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NJ Bear Hunt for Sport or Management?

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December 15, 2011

NJ Bear Hunt for Sport or Management?

By Sarah Smith Barnum

The New Jersey bear hunt is over and people are trying to figure out whether it was a good choice or not. Groups such as the New Jersey Sierra Club, the APLNJ and BEAR Group contend that hunters are killing the bears purely for sport--not management--and that there must be a more effective management plan.

The proposed plan suggested public education to teach people how to better handle their garbage disposal, but if suburban sprawl continues to eat the land bears call home, then the locals better get used to bruins in the trash or hunters managing the population.

From this controversial story on Northjersey.com:

...Black bear sightings have increased in regularity from 1995 to the present, according to the DEP. There have been black bear sightings in every county in New Jersey, with the bears making their way into more and more densely populated residential areas, the DEP said.


The New Jersey Sierra Club went on record stating that the hunt is unwarranted, and that it doesn't help to manage the bear population. It took the position that a better bear management plan is needed from the DEP before any significant change can occur."It is a trophy hunt, (and) has nothing to do with managing the bear population," said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club. "It is all about sport."

Tittel said that human-bear interactions usually stem from a nuisance bear that chooses to live close to residential areas. Part of the Sierra Club's proposed bear management plan would combine non-lethal methods, public education, and steps to handle garbage disposal. Generally, most nuisance bears are lured into residential areas after discovering easily attained garbage.

...Known local hunter Eric Bunk said that the only way to help control the bear hunt population is through a combination of both hunting and preserving the natural habitat in the state. He said that the information coming from the Sierra Club and the BEAR Group is nothing more than propaganda. Although he didn't participate in this year's hunt, Bunk said he hopes to participate in the next one, if it occurs.

"There is no biological data to prove what they are saying is true," Bunk said. "We don't live in the Yukon, where the bears are spread out."

This isn’t the first controversy over the bears in the Garden State. A few weeks ago we reported on animal rights protestors attempting to make their mark on the most recent bruin  season.

What do you think? Is the New Jersey bear hunt warranted, or is it killing for killing's sake?

Comments (11)

Top Rated
All Comments
from steve182 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I have a friend, a non-hunter, who lives in Northwest Jersey where the bear population is burgeoning. He says he see's bears EVERYDAY. Pennsylvania has a burgeoning bear population too, but when i'm at camp there we see bears infrequently to occassionally depending on time of year but never everyday. The NJ bear hunt is warranted and justified in the Northern and western sections of the state. If not a hunt, they want to spend taxpayer dollars to sterilize bears and educate the public. The bear hunt is a moneymaker but a sound one at that.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buriti wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Hunting is the practice of (lawfully) pursuing and eventually taking (killing) wildlife for food or recreation. The fact that it can also be used as a tool for wildlife management is an additional benefit.

All these people or entities that oppose the NJ bear hunt season are using the divide and conquer approach. Target bear hunting first, then go after the next suitable target.

By the way, bear meat is really tasty.

Please, read my blog at http://awildbeastatheart.blogspot.com

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

In today's economy I don't think New Jersey can even consider spending all that money to reinvent the garbage disposal wheel and educate the public on how to live with bears. And why does it matter if someone is hunting for sport? Does it control the population less if I take a trophy bruin instead of a smaller one? I just love ignorant smart people!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Yeah...on the surface, the conflict is made up. Hunters hunt for sport, resulting in a trophy and meat in the freezer. In the process, it helps manage the wildlife population.

I believe most states set up their deer hunting regulations to manage the population as needed, and the bear hunting regulations can be done the same way.

For example...
In Missouri we have a point restriction for bucks over most of the state. The most noteworthy areas where the point restriction does not apply are those counties or portions of counties deemed, "Urban Areas." They want to keep the deer population in these areas to a minimum to reduce the occurrences of deer being hit by cars. Missouri even has an "Urban Portion" to the firearms season, where you can only hunt in those urban areas.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hoytshooter wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

How you teach about living with bears?
1) secure your garbage. ( bears have and will break into locked dumpsters)
2) don't leave bird, dog, or cat food outside. ( let's be real about that one, there's one in every crowd, somebody is going to feed them)
3) if you encounter a bear wave Your arms, yell, and don't run. ( this will work most times but if bear doesn't fear man then It will stop working)
with the 7 or 8 bear attacks that happened this year throughout the world I'm sure some of them happened because of not fearing us.
I hope for a good outcome in this debate as I do for any hunting and fishing problem we have with anti's.
GOOD LUCK N.J. HUNTERS

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob81 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I think that the hunting community has itself to blame in part for this. When I first started hunting, I was told up and down that deer hunting was all about population management and used this argument many a times in discussions with non-hunting friends.

It wasn't until my state started a wolf reintroduction program and deer hunters statewide were thrown into a rage because "It will decrease the deer population!!" that I realized the population control argument was a bunch of hoohey.

Now, we have a creature that is at the top of the food chain and hunting really can control the population, and non-hunters think the argument is alot of BS becuase we have talked out both sides of our mouths on other issues.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Big Green anti-hunting? Who knew? They will use you when its in their interest, otherwise, not so much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dasmith wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I would say its for both sport and management and thats good for NJ. More money in the state treasury and food on peoples tables and the elimination of nusiance bears. Its a winner all the way around.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Hmmm...I'm new enough to hunting that I haven't talked out of both sides of my mouth. If someone asks me why I hunt, I will tell them:

1 - I enjoy it.
2 - It puts meat in the freezer.
3 - It helps maintain a healthy deer population.

Very simple.

And isn't it timely, the story about a bear being found in the basement of a NJ home?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

When these morons get some sort of infestation in their house, taking care of it shouldn't be allowed. It would end up being purely for sport. Just a trophy hunt...

I don't get their logic. How does one decide if a kill was only for sport and not management? It's both, and if it's only one, it's simply management.

How is it not effective in controlling the population?

Does it not count if the hunter mounts it, because it's still in NJ?

What else do you do to control the population? Mail excess bears to Quebec?

Or are they claiming that there isn't a bear problem?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Wanna keep bears outa the basement? Start hunting them and instill the fear of humans back into them, I bet they will become much more reclusive.
I don't know how much the population will be harmed, in all likelyhood, very little. The goal is to keep down the interaction between bears and humans and a hunting season will do that.
The animal rights/naturalist idiots should leave wildlife managements to the professionals and leave politicians out of it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buriti wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Hunting is the practice of (lawfully) pursuing and eventually taking (killing) wildlife for food or recreation. The fact that it can also be used as a tool for wildlife management is an additional benefit.

All these people or entities that oppose the NJ bear hunt season are using the divide and conquer approach. Target bear hunting first, then go after the next suitable target.

By the way, bear meat is really tasty.

Please, read my blog at http://awildbeastatheart.blogspot.com

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Yeah...on the surface, the conflict is made up. Hunters hunt for sport, resulting in a trophy and meat in the freezer. In the process, it helps manage the wildlife population.

I believe most states set up their deer hunting regulations to manage the population as needed, and the bear hunting regulations can be done the same way.

For example...
In Missouri we have a point restriction for bucks over most of the state. The most noteworthy areas where the point restriction does not apply are those counties or portions of counties deemed, "Urban Areas." They want to keep the deer population in these areas to a minimum to reduce the occurrences of deer being hit by cars. Missouri even has an "Urban Portion" to the firearms season, where you can only hunt in those urban areas.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I have a friend, a non-hunter, who lives in Northwest Jersey where the bear population is burgeoning. He says he see's bears EVERYDAY. Pennsylvania has a burgeoning bear population too, but when i'm at camp there we see bears infrequently to occassionally depending on time of year but never everyday. The NJ bear hunt is warranted and justified in the Northern and western sections of the state. If not a hunt, they want to spend taxpayer dollars to sterilize bears and educate the public. The bear hunt is a moneymaker but a sound one at that.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

In today's economy I don't think New Jersey can even consider spending all that money to reinvent the garbage disposal wheel and educate the public on how to live with bears. And why does it matter if someone is hunting for sport? Does it control the population less if I take a trophy bruin instead of a smaller one? I just love ignorant smart people!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hoytshooter wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

How you teach about living with bears?
1) secure your garbage. ( bears have and will break into locked dumpsters)
2) don't leave bird, dog, or cat food outside. ( let's be real about that one, there's one in every crowd, somebody is going to feed them)
3) if you encounter a bear wave Your arms, yell, and don't run. ( this will work most times but if bear doesn't fear man then It will stop working)
with the 7 or 8 bear attacks that happened this year throughout the world I'm sure some of them happened because of not fearing us.
I hope for a good outcome in this debate as I do for any hunting and fishing problem we have with anti's.
GOOD LUCK N.J. HUNTERS

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob81 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I think that the hunting community has itself to blame in part for this. When I first started hunting, I was told up and down that deer hunting was all about population management and used this argument many a times in discussions with non-hunting friends.

It wasn't until my state started a wolf reintroduction program and deer hunters statewide were thrown into a rage because "It will decrease the deer population!!" that I realized the population control argument was a bunch of hoohey.

Now, we have a creature that is at the top of the food chain and hunting really can control the population, and non-hunters think the argument is alot of BS becuase we have talked out both sides of our mouths on other issues.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Big Green anti-hunting? Who knew? They will use you when its in their interest, otherwise, not so much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dasmith wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I would say its for both sport and management and thats good for NJ. More money in the state treasury and food on peoples tables and the elimination of nusiance bears. Its a winner all the way around.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Hmmm...I'm new enough to hunting that I haven't talked out of both sides of my mouth. If someone asks me why I hunt, I will tell them:

1 - I enjoy it.
2 - It puts meat in the freezer.
3 - It helps maintain a healthy deer population.

Very simple.

And isn't it timely, the story about a bear being found in the basement of a NJ home?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

When these morons get some sort of infestation in their house, taking care of it shouldn't be allowed. It would end up being purely for sport. Just a trophy hunt...

I don't get their logic. How does one decide if a kill was only for sport and not management? It's both, and if it's only one, it's simply management.

How is it not effective in controlling the population?

Does it not count if the hunter mounts it, because it's still in NJ?

What else do you do to control the population? Mail excess bears to Quebec?

Or are they claiming that there isn't a bear problem?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Wanna keep bears outa the basement? Start hunting them and instill the fear of humans back into them, I bet they will become much more reclusive.
I don't know how much the population will be harmed, in all likelyhood, very little. The goal is to keep down the interaction between bears and humans and a hunting season will do that.
The animal rights/naturalist idiots should leave wildlife managements to the professionals and leave politicians out of it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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