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I was on the Captain John last night fishing for stripers and blues and when we're heading back to port, I was helping my buddies swab the deck and clean fish. I made a comment about using the fish carcasses for bear bait and a woman nearby asked in what state. I told her probably maine but NJ if they opened the season back up.

She said, "After what they did a few years ago, that's not going to happen."

I asked, "I'm not following you, who did what?"

"The hunters."

"What did the hunters do?"

She said with the utmost conviction, "When they realized all the bears were in hibernation, they started going after them in the dens. And they were using the bears radio collars to find them."

"WWWWWhat? Where did you hear that?"

"My mother told me all about it. She has been opposed the bear hunt since they wanted to start it and that's a perfect example of why."

I explained to her that maybe a few hunters might have spooked a bear out of it's den to kill it but most of the people I know believe in fair chase and wouldn't do that. I also explained the radio collars are used by biologists to monitor bears location and not many hunters (if any) would have the tracking equipment or the collar frequencies to be able to locate the bears that way. The conversation went on for a few more minutes and it was obvious to me she was getting all her information from the anti-hunting side of the arguement. I explained things as rationally as possible (while she got angrier and angrier) until she used the word slaughter. I was kinda put out by the comment so came back with along the lines of (and this is pretty close to what I actually said), "Lady, you're out here on a party boat... fishing... you're standing here waiting for the fillets of the fish you caught. People would p [no swearing please] judgement on your for that but fact of the matter is, it's a game animal that has a poplulation that needs to be harvested and controlled. Just because you had a Teddy bear as a kid doesn't mean the black bears in NJ don't fall into that same category."

She tried to come back with something but I cut her off and said, "Face it lady, you drank the coolaid." And that ended our conversation.

So folks, that is the sort of mentallity we're up against. Not only animal rights activists, but other sportsman that don't take the time to educate themselves. It's disturbing.
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