New Jersey Hunters banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,661 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Fewer sportsmen apply for chance at bear hunt
Friday, November 4, 2005

By RICHARD COWEN
STAFF WRITER bergen record


Hunters appear to be a lot less excited about this year's proposed black bear hunt than in 2003, the last time New Jersey allowed sportsmen to thin out the ranks of the state's bruin population.

The state Division of Fish and Wildlife received 4,073 applications for bear permits by last week's deadline. That's a sharp drop from 2003, when the division received more than 7,000 applications from hunters after the state decided to go ahead with its first black bear hunt in 30 years. Ultimately, the state issued 5,450 permits to sportsmen who completed a one-day bear hunting seminar.

The reason for the drop-off?

The leader of a prominent hunting group speculates hunters are wary that the always controversial hunt will be called off at the last minute, like it was last year.

"The guys don't know if it's going to happen or not," said Dick Strobel, secretary for the Sussex County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs. "The feedback I'm getting is that the state canceled it last year, so it's not going to happen this year."

State Environmental Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell has the final say for the bear hunt to go forward. The state Supreme Court ruled last year that Campbell, as head of the state Department of Environmental Protection, and not the state Fish and Game Council, has the power to call for a hunt.

But the court also made a hunt contingent on updating New Jersey's Bear Management Plan, which hadn't been revamped since it was adopted in 1997.

That updated plan is now on Campbell's desk awaiting his signature. He has already publicly stated his support for a hunt this year. But he has said he is mindful that a decision to go forward with another hunt would likely trigger a lawsuit from animal rights groups. So far, he has set the political hot potato aside.

Campbell declined to comment directly Thursday. Through a spokeswoman, he said he planned to act on the updated plan "by the middle of November." The bear hunt is set for Dec. 5-10.

Karen Hershey, a DEP spokeswoman, says Campbell is considering suggestions made at a public hearing at Rutgers University in September.

"The commissioner wants to make a carefully thought-out decision and is considering a number of public comments," she said.

Ernest Hahn, chairman of the Fish and Game Council, says the revamped policy arrived on Campbell's desk on Monday. It calls for a bear hunt in December and another in 2006, he said. It also contains changes to the state's "Bear-Free Zones" policy originally proposed in March.

The plan does not say how many bears are now in New Jersey, relying on 2003 reports. The numbers were central to the original debate over whether the population poses a rising threat to residential areas.

The original policy had called for Bear-Free Zones - defined as densely populated urban and suburban areas where there would be a "zero tolerance" for bears that roam into them. The original policy would have allowed police to shoot such bears.

The revamped plan takes a less drastic approach, Hahn said. Instead of facing a shoot-to-kill approach, bears that wander into such a zone would be captured, tranquilized and relocated, he said - provided that capture was possible.

"People really misunderstood what a Bear-Free Zone meant," Hahn said.

As to why the revised plan does not include a new population estimate, Hahn says such a count just can't be done.

"You would need to know where every black bear is," Hahn said. "That's impossible."

Before the 2003 hunt, estimates of the population ranged from 1,600 to 3,200. In opposing the hunt last year, Campbell placed the count at around 1,600.

Hunt proponents say a rising number of nuisance complaints indicates a bear problem, whatever the number. Bear advocates say that without an accurate head count, a hunt cannot be justified.

"You would hope that any decision to go forward with a hunt would be based on sound science, not junk science," said Stu Chaifetz, head of the Animal Rights Political Action Committee.

Hunters killed 328 bears in the first hunt, in December 2003. Last year, the Fish and Game Council voted to hold a second bear hunt, but Campbell stepped in and canceled it. He argued for development of other, non-lethal methods of control, such as contraception and better enforcement of trash laws, before resorting solely to another slaughter.

In an ensuing court battle, the state Supreme Court clarified Campbell's authority on the issue.

The Humane Society of the United States, a national animal rights group that opposes hunting, is keeping watch on the situation. It has already been involved in legal battles over New Jersey's bear hunt and appears to be bracing for battle once again.

"It's a waiting game. Like everyone else, we're waiting to see what decision Mr. Campbell makes," said Michael Makarian, executive vice president of The Humane Society. "If this hunt were to go forward we would do everything in our power to stop it."

By the numbers


Number of applications for bear permits, 2005: 4,073


Number of bear permits issued, 2003: 5,450


Number of bears killed in 2003 hunt: 328


Hunter success, 2003: 6 percent
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
when it comes to hunting, you can never have too much education.
Not looking to start a debate with anyone over hunter ed., if you feel you need it, fine.
I'll sit it out in NJ, if I want to bear hunt, I'll go out of state. Three different safety courses is enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,256 Posts
See, this is why only 28% of people rate media as trustworthy.

It's because people like Richard Cowen, the staff writer for the Bergen Record, just can't help themselves but to insert their bias into what should be a straighforward piece of reporting.


before resorting solely to another slaughter.

yes, slaughter indeed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,435 Posts
Black B You nailed it!

You have an eye for the Liberal Horse S**T

Good catch[up]
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
11,226 Posts
Last year you had all those hunters planning vacation weeks for a shot at a bear then the hunt gets cancelled at the very last minute! Why would they want to go through that again? This year they probably decided to take off during the rut instead! There is a lot less chance of that being cancelled! Maybe an out of state bear hunt where they know the time they are reserving off from work wont be wasted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
I really don't listen to any of the crap that is published in the Bergen Record.The entire paper is anti and run by a bunch of dirt bags. Me personally, I applied for a permit but I resent having to attend another so called hunters education seminar.Especially when the whole damned thing is so politically motivated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,834 Posts
You got it Jim!

You can't plan your vacation, family time, etc. around something that some political hack may decide to cancel at the last minute..depending on who gets into office today.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,843 Posts
Do you plan your vacation time for the buck week? If so there is no problem as the bear hunt has been schulded in conjuction with the buck week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,824 Posts
I tried to apply but the F & G web site said no more applications will be accepted.
Application period has ended. However, if you already went through the education seminar there may be another option before the season starts. Stay tuned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,824 Posts
Also... you need to remember... not all NJ sportsmen hunt the 6-day for various reasons.
Very true. Normally I only hunt opening day and the last Saturday. Wioth a bear season I like to take a whole week off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,593 Posts
Also... you need to remember... not all NJ sportsmen hunt the 6-day for various reasons.
I can see your point there, and it would suck to take a week off of work hoping to harvest a bear and have it snatched away over some political non sense.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,661 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Also... communication. How many guys knew about the bear application deadline?

I mean... guys who are "online"... or guys actively working with a sportsment organization would all know.

But what about the guy who works 6 days a week and does not really use a computer?

What about some of the "old timers"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
546 Posts
However, if you already went through the education seminar there may be another option before the season starts
If they are so worried about the numbers they need to still be offering a chance to take the course and get an application completed. Can't grip about the numbers when you cut off everyones options to join the hunt.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
11,226 Posts
Isn't the hunt during the 6 day anyway?
Yes it is but you have a lot of bow hunters who would rather have a week off during the permit bow season(the rut) then a week with the orange army during the buck season...I take the buck season week off anyway so it doesn't matter to me but it does to a lot of other hunters!
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top