Battle Rages Over New Jersey Bear Hunt

Hearings on a proposed New Jersey bear hunt got under way recently, and everyone agreed it was a great idea. Wait a second, that story is from our parallel universe. I get them mixed up a lot. Sorry about that. Here's our version...

From the story on Fox News:
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Supporters and opponents of what would be the state's first approved bear hunt in five years weighed in Tuesday on rules that would authorize a fall hunting season.The Environmental Protection Department and the Fish and Game Council heard from several groups, including The Humane Society, the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and other nature conservation groups during its black bear management policy hearing Tuesday night. Groups in support called anti-hunters too emotional and impractical. Some in the groups against the plan called the hunters supporting it extreme and bloodthirsty.

"As an outdoorsman, I'm always thrilled to see a bear in my backyard, but it's not fun to see a bear on my deck," said August Gudmundson, who supports the hunt. Julie Divine, a northern New Jersey resident, said she had more reason to fear humans than bears during a hunt season. "I was so afraid of gunshots, the ricochet gunshots from the bear hunting," said a choked-up Divine, who began driving her children to school when the last state-sanctioned hunting season opened in 2004. Sportsmen groups, appearing to outnumber those against hunting bears, said science-based research supported hunting to reduce risky human-bear interactions, which wildlife officials say are on the rise. Acting Environmental Commissioner Bob Martin in March approved a plan that includes a hunt, saying research shows the black bear population is growing. Martin also says the number of serious bear incidents, including attacks on domestic and farm animals, is on the rise._