If it felt like everyone you knew in Connecticut spotted a bear in their yard over the past year, the evidence is in now that it was true. According to the State of Connecticut, bears were reportedly spotted in 165 of Connecticut's 169 towns and cities.

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The 2024 State of the Bears, a briefing on bears in Connecticut, has just been posted on ct.gov. I just read through it, it's incredibly thorough, offering not only statistics, but prevention advice and tips to avoid human-bear conflict. The report starts off by stating that the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection significantly expanded it's outreach in 2023 in order to reduce bear-human conflict, and they're raising awareness right now in order to educate us before the Connecticut bears of 2024 emerge from hibernation.

My initial impressions after seeing where bears were sighted in 2023 across Connecticut,, and where Human-Black Bear conflict occurred in Connecticut in 2023, is that Litchfield County and Fairfield County is Connecticut bear-sighting Heaven, but also human-Black bear conflict Hell. There were numerous reports of bears entering homes in Connecticut in 2023, and all of the are in Northern Litchfield and Hartford Counties, especially concentrated along the Connecticut/Massachusetts border.

Getty Images
Getty Images

As for the types of bear conflicts reported in Connecticut in 2023, the most common problems reported were bears tearing apart trash and bird feeders, followed by structural damage, livestock loss, and damage to vegetation. A total of 12,384 bear-human conflicts were reported across Connecticut between 2020 and 2023.

One piece of good news - Bear entries into homes dropped by half in Connecticut from 2022 to 2023. Connecticut had more reported bear-human conflicts(870) in 2023 than our neighbor Massachusetts (504), who also have twice as many bears in population than Connecticut does, yet more bears are killed by vehicles here.

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There are some items at these stores that will shave a lot of dough off your receipts but experts say you should not trust these stores with all purchases. Reader's Digest and USA Today have issued alerts to the public listing items you should steer clear of at Dollar Stores, here are 10 of them.

Gallery Credit: Lou Milano

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