By Cody McLaughlin
It’s that time of year, Save Jerseyans, the annual bear hunt kicked off this week with the usual platitudes and misinformation from anti-hunting extremist groups. But the real story of the day has been largely unreported on by the media.
Check this out:
Yes. You read that right. And you literally can’t make this stuff up.
According to the New Jersey Herald, Animal Protection League Of New Jersey Director Angie Metler stood shoulder to shoulder with Jeff Tittel of the New Jersey Sierra Club and Brian Hackett of the Humane Society and made the claim that hunters have been storing 600-plus pound black bears in their basement and saving them for hunting season.
And if they believe that, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell them.
These are the same groups with big dollar lobbying operations that Governor Murphy took his marching orders from when he instituted his bizarre and inexplicable ban of New Jersey’s perfectly legal bear hunt on state lands. A ban which not only serves to somehow anger BOTH animal rights extremists and law-abiding sportsmen, but has no basis in fact or science and has, in fact, been widely panned as the wrong move for the bear population.
So What Happened?
Some hunters on Facebook were joking about nuisance bears and one shared a photo of a 650 PLUS POUND BEAR that made its way into the basement of an abandoned house:
When his neighbor purchased the abandoned home, which is next to his, they looked in the basement and discovered the massive bear hiding away near the hot water heater. They called the Division of Fish and Wildlife and eventually borrowed some electricity via extension cord from the hunter, piping in some loud rock music into the basement and scaring it out of the house.
Meanwhile, New Jersey’s 1.2 million sportsmen and women take to the woodsthis week for the archery and muzzleloader portions of the conservation hunt, in pursuit of a comprehensive 5-year bear management plan that experts (and the numbers) say has hit public safety goals such as dropping the number of nuisance complaints, reducing negative bear-human interactions and all with an ever-increasing amount of bears.
New Jersey’s densest-in-North-America black bear population breeds at twice the rate of other states, an average of 4 cubs per litter.
In fact, twice as many bears were born during 2017 as were killed in the hunt and 80% of New Jersey bears survive to adulthood.
With the hunt underway but the limited amount of land due to the ban, the hunt is off to a slow start. A coalition of hunting groups led locally by The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, along with the Sportsmen’s Allianceand Safari Club International have taken to court to sue the Governor for pandering to campaign donors at the expense of public safety and sound wildlife management. No hearing date has been set yet.
CODY McLAUGHLIN serves as a trustee for the NJ Outdoor Alliance which represents 1.2 million hunters, fishermen,and trappers. He is also a veteran of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s 2013 reelection campaign as well as numerous GOP campaign efforts in the Pacific Northwest.