Heartbreaking News As 241 Black Bears Killed So Far In New Jersey’s Annual Bear Hunt

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Sadly, after the initial news that the annual bear hunt in New Jersey began with a substantial decrease in deaths on the first day, the tally of innocent animals now killed has risen to 241.

While the number is far lower than the 562 killed during last year’s hunt, animal rights advocates remain outraged at the barbaric and inhumane so-called “sport.”

“The senseless slaughter of young cubs and yearlings and moms for trophies, mounts and rugs, that’s what this hunt is about. Don’t kid yourself. It’s not about numbers.” Said Angi Metler, director of the Bear Education and Resource Group.

The organization suggests people write letters to politicians using the following talking points to dispel the myths with the facts.

  • Peer-reviewed studies show that hunts do not reduce human-bear complaints.

  • The nation’s leading experts state emphatically that the only way to reduce conflicts is to secure human-derived foods and trash.

  • Governor Corzine’s staff reviewed the science and came down squarely on the side of non-lethal, trash containment. Thus, there were no bear hunts from 2006-2009.

  • Under Governor Christie, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin simply does the bidding of the state hunting agency, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the political action committee that backed Christie during the election.

  • Bear hunting does not reduce complaints unless of course, they kill every bear in the state. Regulating hunting from 1958–1970 almost did that.

  • Garbage containment is extremely important not only for keeping bears away from homes, but it also reduces their population growth rate. Bears without access to unnatural food sources will not gain as much weight. Weight is a major factor in their reproductive cycle.

  • A bear’s diet typically consists of berries, fruit and seeds. They are primarily vegetarian.

  • Bears are timid animals who often act like prey. Even bears who are used to seeing people can be easily scared off with hoses, umbrellas, broom sticks, and loud noises.

Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, explained to NJ.com that the bear population has been “overhunted” since the hunt returned in 2010.

“The black bear is a symbol that we still have wild places left in the state and that we haven’t completely given over to sprawl,” Tittel said. “Instead of having a real bear management plan with non-lethal options and education, Gov. Chris Christie keeps expanding on his failed plan. The bear population has been so depleted that there aren’t many left to hunt. We may go back to the days where there are only 50 bears left in the state. This is merely a trophy hunt without any real management.”

There are an estimated 2,400 to 2,800 bears in the eight counties where the hunt is taking place.

People are also encouraged to contact NJ Governor Chris Christie at PO Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625 or by calling (609) 292-6000.

The Animal Protection League of New Jersey advises not to let them transfer you to the Division of Fish & Wildlife and to be firm that you want to leave a message for the Governor.

It is imperative that we keep the pressure on officials to ban bear hunting state-wide.

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