CA DFG estimates of California's bear population are available through 2010. It would appear to be a gradual increase for the last two decades, peaking in 2008 (20k-35k). This last year was tough on them due to the dry winter and greatly reduced food supply, which resulted in big upticks in bears coming into populated areas (e.g., Lake Tahoe) looking for food.

I'll speculate there was a big drop in 2012 cub survival rates, which will have an impact for the next few years.

DFG bear population graph

The CA deer population has dropped by about half during the same period.