Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer Steve Baumgardner tags a bear that might be responsible for breaking into cars in Steamboat.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer Steve Baumgardner tags a bear that might be responsible for breaking into cars in Steamboat.

One bear suspected of breaking into cars in Steamboat Springs relocated


— Time will tell whether wildlife officers successfully trapped a bear that has been opening car doors and ravaging the interiors in search of food.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer Steve Baumgardner said officials think there might be two bears that have adapted the behavior of opening car doors in search of food. If cars continue to get broken into, wildlife officials will know another cute culprit is on the loose.

The bear was trapped Thursday night near a home at 2450 Ski Trail Lane by Steamboat Ski Area. The previous night, a bear had opened the unlocked car doors of a Toyota 4Runner and damaged the center console and dash. A bear also has been getting into cars in the area of Steamboat Boulevard.

Baumgardner said the bear or bears have been able to open car doors that have handles where bears can wedge the paws or claws between the door and the handle.

Bear bait was used to lure the bear into the trap. Baumgardner said there was a trash can overflowing with trash in the same area where the bear was trapped. It was not secured and made for an easy meal for any bear. Baumgardner reminded residents to secure their trash and to put it out the morning of trash service.

The bear was taken to a Parks and Wildlife garage where it spent Thursday night. On Friday morning, the bear was tranquilized, an ear tag with the number 400 was put in each ear and a microchip was implanted into the bear’s skull so it can be identified with a handheld scanner. DNA samples also were harvested by collecting some of the bear’s hair.

Upon examination, it was determined the bear was a 2-year-old male. Wildlife officers earlier had suspected the bears getting into the cars were yearlings that had learned bad habits from their mother and now were on their own.

After tagging the bear, it was relocated to an undisclosed location. The hope is that it will not make its way back to Steamboat.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email


David Moore 3 years, 10 months ago

At least they trapped and relocated it, not like the one that was shot and killed last year in Craig for roaming about, sorta like bears do. Kudos to the CPW for handling it the right way instead of the knee-jerk way.


cory5611 3 years, 10 months ago

if they let us use dogs to hunt or bait them like other states or a spring bear chase with dogs it would help with some of the issues the CDOW has hurt hunting in Colorado for years I do believe in for chase and the right to manage the wildlife In Colorado but the Dow needs better management and smarter people there to manage the wildlife


lonelyone 3 years, 10 months ago

DavidMoore, I heard one was spotted in Craig again. Close to where the one was put down last year!!


calvinhobbs 3 years, 10 months ago

Cory, Not saying Parks and Wildlife is the best at their job. But Amendment 10, passed by the voters (front range boulderite types)in 1992, regulates how we can hunt bears. I grew up with spring bear hunts, I spent a bunch of quality time with family. Since they passed that, bear contacts have went up. It will only get worse, until amendment 10 is changed.


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