November 16, 2005

Da Bears — The Saga Continues.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:48 pm

bear3.jpgThe New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) has authorized a bear hunt in New Jersey that will run from December 5th through December 10th. As I wrote here, here, here, and here, New Jersey had a bear hunt in 2003, which was the first such hunt authorized in 33 years. The hunt was not without a good deal of controversy, publicity and litigation by animal rights groups.

In addition to the 2003 hunt, a hunt was also planned for 2004. However, the 2004 hunt was blocked by the New Jersey State Supreme Court, which held that a more comprehensive plan for managing the bear population in New Jersey (i.e. one that provides for more than simply permitting a hunt) must be put into place before it would permit a bear hunt.

Consistent with the Court’s mandate, the current plan includes provisions for improved trash control, public education about bears and increased bear research.

The DEP’s justification for authorizing the hunt is that the bear population has increased since the 2003 hunt, as have the number of dangerous bear-people confrontations. Additionally, the increase in population has resulted in the bears migrating into the more heavily populated areas of the state.

The animal rights groups are not happy. One group challenged the hunt on the grounds that the plan does not provide evidence to show that the hunt is designed to focus on the bears that are responsible for the bear-human conflicts. (I am puzzled as to how this might be accomplished, and I am mindful that the law does not permit one to shoot a bear who shows up in one’s back yard.) Another group claims the hunt is not necessary and that the key to the bear problem is “garbage control”.

Now, for those of you who did not have the time or inclination to open up the above links (I don’t blame you), you might be surprised to learn that New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the Union, is home to approximately 3,300 black bears. Although most of them are in the northwestern part of the state, it has been reported that bears have been seen in each of New Jersey’s twenty-one counties.***

I do not claim to have the answer to the problem of managing the bear population in New Jersey, but I do know that if everyone who applied for a bear-hunting permit were to get one, we will have 4,000 people running around with shotguns in a small part of the state for six days in December. That is a good reason not to take a walk in the woods in that part of the state during that time, particularly if you happen to look anything like a black bear.

*** I would be most curious to find out just where in Hudson County a bear was seen. Hoboken? Jersey City? I’m not buying it.


  1. Then again, those 4000 people running around with shotguns could well do a little population control.

    Comment by DMerriman — November 16, 2005 @ 10:00 pm

  2. If I were to be in Jersey, I’d have to wear orange. Just Damn!

    Comment by Dax Montana — November 16, 2005 @ 10:06 pm

  3. Do people eat bear meat?

    Maybe they could have a people hunt to thin out all the troublemakers. Oh wait. That’s called serial murder. That’s a bad thing!

    Comment by Bou — November 16, 2005 @ 10:07 pm

  4. I sometimes wonder if we could rid the state of troublemakers whether there would be enough people left to form a baseball team.

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — November 16, 2005 @ 10:11 pm

  5. Yes Bou, people do eat bear meat. I’ve tried it, didn’t care for it myself….and I like most wild game.

    Jim, maybe I should send some of my cousins up your way. Why, my hometown paper recently ran a cover story about a couple of them. Chuckie killed a 300+ bear….and his wife killed a 500+ one. With a freaking bow & arrow. I now know at least 2 people crazier than a bull rider.

    Comment by rita — November 17, 2005 @ 7:14 am

  6. Rita,

    The plan for next year’s hunt (a total of five have been planned) calls for extending the season to permit one day of bow hunting and two days of muzzle loader hunting.

    No thanks.

    Having said that, we have some guys around here who could probably get the job done with a baseball bat — or a tire iron.

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — November 17, 2005 @ 7:21 am

  7. Yeah, my BIL has killed a couple with a muzzleloader. But I already knew he was crazy. 😉

    Comment by rita — November 17, 2005 @ 8:13 am

  8. Two heavy-duty orange hunting vests: $165.00

    One rental van lost in the woods while staking out Jersey bear-hunt: $89.50 (full day fee)

    Two PRS Operatives fighting over frozen ketchup packets:


    Comment by dogette — November 17, 2005 @ 8:56 am

  9. We shoot wolves up here to protect the moose population.

    Some folks eat bear meat, but I think it is mostly the natives that do that. They’ll eat just about anything, like whale blubber.

    Comment by Alaska Kim — November 17, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

  10. Wasn’t that a bear who was bouncing at that joint in Union City? “Color my world… GUN!”

    Comment by Jack Bog — November 18, 2005 @ 1:05 am

  11. Time for all the animal rights antihunting pansies to stand between a she bear and her cubs and see the action begin just imagine some dummy trying to hug a bear cib while the she bear is eating them up BURP

    Comment by BIRDZILLA — November 20, 2005 @ 8:42 pm

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