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Bear surprises Branchburg residents
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
BY GEORGE BERKIN
Star-Ledger Staff
A black bear visited at least four homes in Branchburg yesterday, startling residents and snacking on food in garbage cans, police and residents said.

No one was injured in the Somerset County incidents, which were spread over the day from early morning to last night, said Officer Joseph Bobrowski.

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/somerset/index.ssf?/base/news-0/11151839378570.xml
 

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Discussion Starter #2
"It's not aggressive," Pasek said. "They love to eat garbage. It's just walking the feeding line."
Another anti I'm sure! He should let his dog out there and see how aggressive the bear is! From the saftey of his house the bear seemed un-aggressive but I noticed he didn't run out on the deck to chat with the bruin. I bet if a little kid walked out from around the corner of the house and had the bear cornered on the deck you would have seen some aggression!!! People are so lost!!!
 

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The police chief said this
"It's not aggressive," Pasek said. "They love to eat garbage. It's just walking the feeding line."
What an idiot!! That's how people get hurt... overpopulation and not enough food to go around.
 

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Yeah, ok guys....:D

Thats a great quote..Another bear expert I guess. They are moving south...
 

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Im gonna take flack on this but its true.

Though I do agree with hunting the bears and the fact that bears can become a danger. They normally arent dangerous at all. The chances of being attacked by a black bear are less than that of being struck by lightning.

Black bears are very passive creatures, not looking for trouble. Even when forced into a fight or flight decision, 9 times out of 10 they flee (given the opportunity).

When put into a situation where they feel they can't flee, they will pop their jaw to show dominance, stand up to get a better look and show dominance, some will bluff charge, or try to show dominance by swatting the ground and huffing, not wanting to actually physically confront the "danger". If they have to, they will swat you with their paws. But this is rare, and only when the encounter is very close and they feel threatened, or when they have no way to flee.

Of course bears are large animals and are much more powerful than we are, so I dont recommend purposely approaching bears. Do you really want to approach the bears you meet to see if they are one of the 1 in a 1000 bear that will attack? I dont. I used to be pretty brazen when it came to bears, and Ive been bluff charged twice. Both encounters stopped around 10 feet away, and ended with me needing new underwear. Bears are a big scary looking animal, but they really arent all that dangerous.

All Im saying is that in my opinion, bears get a bad name for nothing, they arent the blood-thirsty human hunters that many people make them out to be.

Bears + Humans with common sense = No problems.


Of course there are bears that will hunt down a person or a pet, but they are honestly one in a thousand or so. Of course living in close proximity with humans helps to diminish their fears, causing more bears to become less afraid of people and become more dangerous. Such as the bear that attacked the girl in Carbon County PA recently. He was attacking to eat, hence the 6" deep ditch he dug to cache the "food" for later consumption.

The best way to prevent more bears from becoming dangerous is to;

Allow a management hunt whenever necessary. This will allow the remaining bears to establish home ranges and find food further from humans.

Condition bears that come near homes or campgrounds (people) with rubber bullets etc.

Trap and destroy bears that are repeat offenders.

(Basically NJ has the right approach with bears, except we are missing the management hunt.)


Have a good one guys---Matt
 

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Matt,

The fact that in NW NJ we have 3-5 times the density that we should have is the real problem. Your "struck by lightning" analogy is true in most of the US but not in NJ because of our overpopulation of bears.

Other than that you are pretty much correct.
 

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Matty, most of what you write is correct and you bring up some good points... but bloodtrails is also correct. Doing some basic math (based on your info)...

The probability of an attack is 1 in 1000 attack, but we have 3 to 5 times the density of bears, this means the probability of an attack has increased to between 1 in 333 or 1 in 200. Now take into account the number of bear encounters there are in NJ because of the density, based on those stats alone, someone is going to get hurt. Now add to that the overpopulation issue... bears are territorial and young boars will be roaming looking for a home in peoples backyards, essentially becoming suburban bears (will they continue to relocate bears to the DWG?)... and the food shortage that is bound to occur, bears will continually feed in your garbage and family pets will be missing... none of this can go well for man or bear. Just based on this alone, we should have a bear hunt.

Not to mention that fact that a bear hunt is the right thing to do. To list a few reasons...

1. Man has been harvesting animals since the dawn of time... anyone who says it is their place to change that tradition is sorely mistaken.
2. A bear is an animal, a natural resource, however you want to refer to it. I have several hunting licenses that say I have the right to harvest it given it has a healthy, harvestable population.
3. The several hundred dollars I spend on licenses and a portion of the thousands of dollars I spend on gear everyyear go toward fish and game management and wildlife conservation. To deny me and my fellow sportsman the right to hunt a legal game species simply because it may offend a particular group of people is criminal.

I could go on and on, but I know you folks feel the same way and won't waste your time.

But to clarify, Matty, I'm not giving you grief... like I said, you brought up some good points. But there is much more to the equation than just a large predator living in our midst.
 

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What did I write that was incorrect? Just curious.

By the way, Im not saying we shouldn't hunt the bears. There is no doubt in my mind it would help counter-act some of the problems we have with bears.
Besides, I LOVE bear hunting, I buy a PA license and a NH license to go. Having it here in NJ would save me some money.:)

BUT....I dont like the fact that we try and make bears out to be these extremely dangerous animals for our own gain. Heck on THIS website a few weeks back, someone mentioned reporting EVERY bear encounter you have, whether you just saw it or what-not, so that we would have another hunt. Thats not right. I would never report a bear unless it acted aggressively, or was way too comfortable around humans. You could be signing that bears death certificate if you make an encounter out to be anything more than a sighting. Then there was the petition for the bear hunt that stated, I live in bear country and fear for my safety. That one statement alone makes it clear that we want to make them out to be dangerous so we can hunt them, and its clear that the antis want to make them out to be harmless so we dont hunt them.


Neither side is right, and neither side makes themselves look good by stretching the truth.

I think hunters would look better if they admitted that bears are not a constant threat, and that if left alone will normally not harm humans. Also make it known that the bears have to be kept at a certain population to prevent them from becoming dangerous. Because under certain circumstances they can and will become dangerous.

Hunting alone will NOT cure all of the problem bear cases though. Will it help to reduce them? Of course, but without other means of controlling bears, you will always have problems.

We have to continue to teach people that live in "bear country" to be "Bear Aware". There are simple things you can do to prevent bears from being attracted to your house or yard. But there isnt any need to fear for your life simply because you are in bear country. Its not like we are living amongst Grizzlies, or Kodiaks.

As I said earlier, we need to have management hunts whenever necessary, to keep the population at a socially and environmentally acceptable balance. Probably once every other year or so would suffice. We also need to continue conditioning bears to fear humans. And educate the public on bear behaviors and how to avoid confrontation. Its the only way to protect them and us.

I like bears, and I dont want to see them labeled as extremely dangerous, or harmless for that matter.

Label them dangerous, and people want them all dead.

Label them harmless, and people view them as big teddy bears, end up provoking attacks, and having bears needlessly destroyed.

Either way, the bears lose out in the end. And though some of us may not realize, we lose out too, because black bears are a magnificent creature to watch in the wilds.

Understand their behavior, leave them be, and respect them for the powerful animals they are, and I bet you will never have a problem with a bear.

---Matt
 

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What did I write that was incorrect? Just curious.
Nothing that I know of... I never told you that you were wrong. But the point of the issue is the larger the bear population in a suburban area, the more contact they will have with humans, increasing the chances of a violent encounter.
 

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Matty, most of what you write is correct...
In a round-about way thats implying that something I wrote was incorrect.

I dont mind though, Im in agreement with you guys about the hunt, and the fact that more bears runs up the risk of a violent encounter. No argument there.

Im also not trying to start a pissing match here, but it seems people like to have the last word here, and love to point out when someone else is wrong. I will admit when Im wrong, but in this case, Im not. Bears are not a very dangerous animal. Ive encountered a LOT of bears and never was one aggressive. Bluff charges are only a means of trying to scare you off.

I dont like the bears to get a bad name for nothing. Too many people are deathly afraid of bears for no reason. I want to see people be more educated on the matter, and I figured Id share these thoughts with my fellow hunters.

I want you guys to read this link if you get a chance. While I dont completely agree with everything this guy says and does, I have to say he is right about black bears being non-aggressive.

Bear thread.....CLICK HERE
 

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Matty,

You may not be aware of this because the media doesn't cover it any more but we have many cat 1 bear incidents a week from spring until late fall and almost 1 a day from now until the breeding season is over. This is not normal bear behavior.

When I have to specially train my dogs to cover my yard just so my kids can go outside something is wrong. We are at dangerous levels in many places.

I suggested calling the Division phone number on every incident because the division wants to know. Incident reports have gone down through the years because people only report the most serious incidents. Many poeple call their police departments and the local police don't always report incidents to the Division. Ignoring the problem does not make it go away.
 

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I want you guys to read this link if you get a chance. While I dont completely agree with everything this guy says and does, I have to say he is right about black bears being non-aggressive.
Lynn Rogers is a quack and a whore for money. He has been denounced by dozens of wildlife biologists and has been caught fixing outcomes of studies including drugging bears to get desired results.

He has a tape where he "for the first time in history" puts a radio collar on a "wild" bear without tranquilizing it. It's also noted that he was hand feeding this bear for 3 years like a pet. That's not wild to me.

Don't believe anything that comes out of his mouth.
 

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I didnt know about Lynn Rogers being a quack, but I got the feeling from the writing they posted there. I was referring to the topic starters opinion though, and the fact that a few of the more respected bear hunters there agreed.

While the topic starter seems a little on the looney side too, he makes a lot of good points. Black-Bears very rarely attack people. (especially in a predetorial way). We cant deny that fact. Yet people still like to believe they are such a fierce and dangerous animal.

Like Ive said, we need to reduce the numbers, but bears really arent the main problem. People who refuse to take precautions are the problem.

Reduce the bears, and teach the people that live in bear country to avoid attracting them, and you will have few, if any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Under normal circumstances I agree black bears are non-aggressive animals but here in NorthWest NJ the bears aren't living in normal circumstances. NJ bears reproduce at a higher rate then normal! They grow at a higher rate then normal! They reach sexual maturity quicker then normal and they have a whole lot less space to roam then normal. These bears are pushed into nieghborhoods by other bears and they have to find a way to live around people or face the big bears that pushed them out in the first place! A hungry animal is always dangerous and the bears around here aren't coming around the houses because thier full! Thier looking for food. I wont even come between a dog and it's food not to mention a BEAR! A hungry bear that has been pushed out of the woods and into my yard.
I agree that a bear might not be a huge threat to you or me Matty but I have 4 kids 6 years old and under that would make an easy meal for a desperate hungry homeless bear! ANY bear coming into nieghborhoods looking for food needs to be treated as a danger and a threat! The moment you drop your guard around Yogi is the moment you will see what a danger they can really be! Lose that respect and take a chance at losing your life!
Don't get me wrong! I don't want to wipe out all the bears or paint them as evil monsters! I just want to see thier numbers brought down to comfortable levels and the fear of man instilled back into the beast! Bears looking for food around humans is going to lead to bad things!
As far as the more likely to be killed by lightning theory goes...If there were as many bears in the USA as there are lightning strikes each year I think IMHO you would see way more deaths by bear then by lightning....Again thats just my opinion....
 

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I guess I just have to put my two cents worth of though into the subject. I don't considered myself an expert on the subject, but I have taken four (4) bears in different parts of Ontario Canada. I wish some of you could explain to the family of the two Soil Coservationist, who were working in Cockcrane, Ontario, in Kennedy district back in 1992, when they were both killed and partially eaten by a non-agressive harmless black bear, I got there the day after the incident happen. Is a proven fact that when a black bear attacks and kills you, he is going to try and make a meal out the victim, unless the sow is protecting the cubs, then you are in for the hurting of your life, maybe even death. June and July (their mating season) a dominant Boar will cover up to 25 miles in one night looking for sex, they become very aggresive at this time. I don't think I have experience anything more frighting then hearing two Boars fighting over "hair pie", let me tell you I have, that day I never moved of that tree stand till the guide came in and got me off the tree. I hunt them with archery, after that incident I bring a shotgun as a back up, makes me feel better knowing that I can deal on equal turns with a bear if walking in or out of the stand. Is not going to be long before someone gets hurt by a black bear in the Republic of NJ, that you can take to the bank. I just hope is not a child, when this happens then look out, is kill all the bears.
Another year we were up in the same area of Canada (Cockcrane) dont laugh is the name of the town look it up. The previous year they had a real bad mast crop of beechnuts, which is what keeps the bears fat for winter up in the part of the world. When the Bears came out of hibernation that spring they were going into the town and eating everything that was not tight down, I have the pictures of me hanging out of the window of a Suburban truck trying to hit a Bear in the head to keep him away from a Lady that was screaming on the other side of the road. The whole town had been told to watch out for the Bears, because they had become very aggresive cause of hunger pains, I believe if we didn't happen to come along, she was the main dish of the day for that Bear. Enough said, Matty don't fool yourself, a Black Bear will kill you and eat you. Its just a matter of time before the stink hits the fan in these State.
 

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"A hungry animal is always dangerous and the bears around here aren't coming around the houses because thier full! Thier looking for food. I wont even come between a dog and it's food not to mention a BEAR!"

Good point Jersey Jim. Another is what if someone gets between a bear and its cub?

Sure, all of the above is manageable or unlikely to a large degree remote areas of the country. But NJ is the most densely populated state in the nation. I think the probabilty of an encounter increases. Plus as bears become more comfortable with their exposure to humans (habituation) encounters will increase.

But at least our DEP commissioner has all the answers and authority to keep nature and humans in balance. Has anyone asked him to come down from the mountain and impart his wisdom. Maybe the NJ Supremes can tell us, that is if he's too tied up at the moment entertaining the anti's.

Ant
 
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