TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - After a court case halted a bear hunt last year, New Jersey officials said Tuesday they would hold a six-day hunt as part of an overall plan to manage the population.
Environmental Commissioner Bradley Campbell said in a letter to the state's fish and game council that risks to public safety and property have increased significantly as the population has grown.
Bears have been spotted in all 21 counties, and in some cases, encountered people. Some reports said they broke into homes as they foraged for food, and in July, a bear injured a sleeping camper at a state park along the Appalachian Trail.
The hunt will likely be held next month in a 1,600-square-mile swath of land in rural northeast New Jersey, officials said.
The state's first hunt in 33 years killed 328 bears in 2003. But Campbell opposed it last year, even taking the fish and game council to court to stop it. The State Supreme Court ultimately ruled in his favor, but said the state lacked an overall management plan and couldn't hold a bear hunt until it had one.
Aside from the hunt, the plan calls for educating campers and residents about how to deal with bears, as well as investigating a bear contraceptive program, which is currently in pilot stages.
"Without a proper management plan, there should not be a hunt," said Jeff Tittel. He said the state didn't address other management methods, such as bear-proof garbage containers.
11/15/05 15:24 EST
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Oh it's approved alright. I don't know if this link works, but I did post a reply on there...about how I'm all for it. I may get hate mail for years!
New York Times: New Jersey Sets Bear Hunt for Six Days in December
November 16, 2005 | view comments | add yours
New Jersey will hold a six-day hunt next month to reduce the state’s bear population after an increase this year in complaints about problem bears.
Bradley M. Campbell, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, said a culling is necessary because “communities are fearful for their safety and the safety of their families.” He said the state received nearly 1,000 complaints so far this year about bears, which he said was up “significantly” from all of last year, when 756 damage and nuisance complaints were filed.
Two bears were killed in August in Sussex County in northwest New Jersey after one broke into a house and another broke into a shed. And, in another case this year, a camper was awakened by a bear but he was able to scare it away.
The state’s Fish and Game Council, an independent panel whose members are appointed by the governor, approved a hunt earlier this year, but only Mr. Campbell can schedule the bear hunt. Last year, Mr. Campbell blocked a hunt, saying the state would be better off exploring other management tools such as contraception and public awareness campaigns. The State Supreme Court sided with Mr. Campbell and ruled that a hunt could not be held until a comprehensive plan was approved.
Now, with the plan approved, the 4,000 hunters who have applied for permits will have a chance to kill black bears with shotguns from Dec. 5 to Dec. 10, provided they p [no swearing please] a safety course. Mr. Campbell noted that the hunt could be called off early if state biologists determined that too many bears have been killed.
Though bears have been sighted in all of New Jersey’s 21 counties, the hunt will be limited to a 1,600-square-mile area in the northwestern part of the state north of Interstate 78 and west of Interstate 287.
In 2003, 328 bears were killed in the state’s first bear hunt in 33 years. Last year, Mr. Campbell called a hunt unnecessary, saying the bear population was about 1,600, though several independent studies estimated that the number was closer to 3,200. Earlier this year Mr. Campbell said the bear population was estimated to be between 2,000 to 3,000.
Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, an animal rights group based in Darien, Conn., said she was disappointed by Mr. Campbell’s decision, especially because Governor-elect Jon S. Corzine opposed a hunt. She said she expects that animal rights groups will go to court to block the hunt and will likely protest once the hunt begins.
“It will be high drama,” she said. “It will stir a lot of people up.”
That came from the Friends of Animals-
This was my reply:
On November 16, 2005, Shelley Liloia wrote:
I am an animal lover, though not when they are a threat to my children and domestic pets. Just last week there was a bear at my childs middle school while students were outside for gym class. So it’s far for them all to have to run inside and stop their activities so they don’t get charged by a bear???
The bear population is too high, that is why they are breaking into homes and garbage cans…they are looking for food because there are too many of them for nature to feed.
I pray that why you are opposing all of this that no one in your family or that you know is harmed by one over these hungry, over populated and sometimes very aggressive bears. Just remember not to send your child to school with lunch in their backpacks if they have to walk to school; as all of my children have to do. Sad how they have to buy lunch even if they don’t like what’s on the menu, do to the fact we DO have bears up here in North West Jersey.
You can be on a tree stand or a blind. The bait pile has to be 300 feet away. If you hunt from the ground and don't build a blind, then you can use bait. The BLIND part is were they get you, a few interesting question were asked at the seminar. LT Brown answer them all very well, if you sit in front of a tree or stand behind a tree or if you sit behind a blow down is OK. Buttttttttttttt if you put any type of branches in front of you, that is considered a blind[confused]
dont wait to bait them, i would start now, once the season starts 50% of deer hunters are gonna be concentrated on them bears over deer!!! there is also a donut scent avaiable, someone on here told me about it!!!!