ESTES PARK Some residents in Estes Park are upset over the killing of a 300-pound black bear. The bear was shot and killed last Wednesday by the property manager of the Elk Horn Lodge.

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Gary O’Dell says he had no other choice but to shoot the bear when it showed aggression. O’Dell says children were around when the bear snarled and stomped its paws.

“The bear came out and pounded its feet on the ground 6 or 8 feet away from us,” O’Dell said. “It was threatening. I didn’t like to shoot the bear, but I had very little choice at that point”.

Monday, a group of bear advocates met in Estes Park to discuss the shooting. They say they were outraged, because the night before the shooting O’Dell posted on his Facebook page that he was “at wits end with [the] bear problem” and that he wanted “R&R and Bear BBQ.”

“This individual very specifically posted in writing that he was going to have a bear barbeque, and the next night the bear was killed,” said Becky Browning, who was part of the group.

“I posted that we had a bear problem,” O’Dell said.
“Did you say what you wanted to do with the bear?” Asked 9NEWS Reporter Kevin Torres.
“I don’t remember,” O’Dell responded.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the bear was aggressive, but they only found grounds to fine O’Dell for having trash on his land, which attracted the bear.

“We’re continuing to work with the lodge to make sure the trash is properly stored,” said Randy Hampton with Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

Instead of facing a $10,000 fine for killing the bear, O’Dell was only given a $68 ticket, which he paid.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife says its investigation is closed but could be re-opened if evidence is found that O’Dell wanted to intentionally kill the bear. O’Dell says there was never any intent.

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