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Learning the dos, don'ts of shooting bears
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 bergen record

By RICHARD COWEN
STAFF WRITER

How do you shoot and skin a bear?

Hunters who came to the Meadowlands Environmental Center in Lyndhurst on Monday night were eager to find out.

With New Jersey's proposed bear hunt only two weeks away, the video and chat session with state supervising bear biologist Paul Ritter was meant to give hunters the lowdown on how to shoot and drag a 400-pound black bear out of the woods.

"Your goal as a hunter is to kill that animal as quickly and cleanly as possible," Ritter said.

Bradley Campbell, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, signed off on New Jersey's new five-year Capital Bear Management Policy last week. The plan calls for a six-day bear hunt this year.

The stated goal of the policy is to reduce the bear population in New Jersey to the 2002 level, which was estimated at 1,600 to 3,200. Hunt proponents say it's the only viable way to control a growing population that has increasingly invaded areas of human habitation in search of food.

The state last authorized a bear hunt in 2003, during which 328 bears were killed.

However, only 4,100 hunters applied for bear permits this year, down from 5,700 hunters in 2003.

The bear training seminars, where the hunters learn the dos and don'ts of bear hunting, are mandatory for anyone who has applied for a bear permit.

Ritter explained to a crowd of about 100, some wearing camouflage hats, that during the declared season from Dec. 5 to Dec. 10, bears can be hunted only from 30 minutes after sunrise to 30 minutes before sunset in a 1,600-square-mile zone that is west of Route 287 and north of Route 78.

He added that hunters are forbidden to follow bears into their dens and must respect state law, which prohibits them from firing within 450 feet of a building unless given permission by the owner.

Much of the discussion Monday night was about hunter ethics and how to conduct themselves to ensure a fair hunt.

"I advise you that you are responsible for every projectile that you shoot," Ritter said. "It is not illegal to shoot a bear out of a tree, but what happens to that projectile after you shoot it? I remind you, you are responsible for where that projectile lands."

Normally, only about 6 percent of hunters kill a bear, but there is no limit to the number of males, sows or cubs hunters can bag. Campbell does reserve the right to call off the hunt if he deems too many bears are being killed.

The state is allowing any hunter who completed a bear training seminar in 2003, 2004 or 2005 to apply for a bear permit. All permit applications will be accepted by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife through Dec. 2.

Youth hunters 10 to 13 are allowed, provided they are under adult supervision. Dogs are not permitted for tracking.

Hunters also watched a video that showed how to gut a bear in the woods; carefully splitting the belly, and emptying the guts, which hunters are allowed to leave in the woods.

But before showing the video, Ritter warned that images would be graphic and grisly in detail.

A few of the hunters cringed as they watched, and Ritter related a story about a hunter who actually passed out while watching the film, which drew laughs.

After the session concluded, hunters were issued their permits.

Joe Mattera of Little Ferry and his friend Aldo Bazzarelli of Fort Lee were raring to bag a black bear. Like many in the audience, the two are experienced deer hunters, but first-time bear hunters.

"I see a lot of bears in the woods when I go to deer hunt," Mattera said. "I'd like to take a bear if I see it."

Mattera said he shoots only what he can eat, but admitted he would mount the head of a bear if he got one.

The meat would go to Bazzarelli, who owns a restaurant in Moonachie.

"Give Aldo a dinosaur and he'll make it taste good," Mattera said. "I've eaten elk, moose, snake, pheasant and deer. And I am ready for bear."


FAST FACTS

# The bear hunt is scheduled for Dec. 5-10.

# The hunt will take place in a 1,600-square-mile zone west |of Route 287 and north of Route 78.

# Only hunters who have attended a bear safety course can |receive permits. Hunters who attended a bear safety course in 2003 or 2004 who haven't already applied for permits may still |do so.

# Access the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Web site through state.nj.us/dep.
 

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Hunters also watched a video that showed how to gut a bear in the woods; carefully splitting the belly, and emptying the guts, which hunters are allowed to leave in the woods.

But before showing the video, Ritter warned that images would be graphic and grisly in detail.

A few of the hunters cringed as they watched, and Ritter related a story about a hunter who actually passed out while watching the film, which drew laughs.
Big eye roll... that was back in 2001.
 

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A few of the hunters cringed as they watched, and Ritter related a story about a hunter who actually passed out while watching the film,
You are kidding me right? If you cringe or p [no swearing please] out why watching an animal being gutted, you are NOT a big game hunter.
 
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A few of the hunters cringed as they watched, and Ritter related a story about a hunter who actually passed out while watching the film,
FAGS
 

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Don't know why, if you can gut a deer you can gut a bear. Just watch for the cut in the stomach dont go up to far up if you are going to have a full mount. I usually cut right up to were both legs join and then I go right up the leg to the paw and them brake the join at the paws. make sure you leave the privates intact so they can tell the sex.
 

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A few of the hunters cringed as they watched,
There were parts of the video that showed cutting through the wrist tendons and then twisting the paws to break them off. Same with the head. During those parts the sound of breaking bones and tearing meat was distinctly heard. No one likes to hear sounds like that, but I wouldn't have characterized the reaction as cringing, that being defined as having a component of fear, or cowering. It was some instinctive muffled nervous laughter and smiles at an unpleasant sound. Then again, maybe Richard Cowen had a better perspective, not sure, my view was blocked by all those guys wearing camouflage hats /snicker.
 

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I was there Monday night.I didn't cringe. I have my permit and I want to taste Bear meat. I have seen more Bears this year than deer.I have just the right space for a full body mount in my living room.It will be the first thing you see when I open my front door.
 

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Ritter explained to a crowd of about 100, some wearing camouflage hats, that during the declared season from Dec. 5 to Dec. 10, bears can be hunted only from 30 minutes after sunrise to 30 minutes before sunset in a 1,600-square-mile zone that is west of Route 287 and north of Route 78.
Note the new hunting hours.....
 

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its only new hunting hours if its in the regulations, not if some dimwit reporter got it wrong in the story.

remember, we're dealing with people who see 30 women and kids on the side of the road and call it a well organized protest of over 100 people..
 

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bears can be hunted only from 30 minutes after sunrise to 30 minutes before sunset
That's the author trying to confuse some people hoping to limit their hunting hours. It's definitely 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset .
 

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JERSEYBOB - WHY CAN'T HUNTERS FACE FACTS?

WHY DO HUNTERS NEED TO LIE ABOUT HOW MANY PROTESTORS THERE WERE?

THERE WERE OVER 100 INCLUDING MEN
 
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THERE WERE OVER 100 INCLUDING MEN
from what I saw it was 1/2 that, and those so called men well they where from the special group, you know FAGS
 
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