NJ Bear Hunt Slows Amid Wet Weather

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Weather appears to favor the bears in New Jersey’s black bear hunt.

The number of kills dropped sharply in the rain with hunters bagging 52 bruins on Tuesday. That’s down from 257 on the first day of the hunt Monday.

Hunters are facing more rain and the chance for snow Wednesday.

Meanwhile, animal activists have asked the state Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that restricts the number of protesters allowed at the Franklin bear check station in Sussex County. The state says the limit is needed for the protesters’ safety.

Activists are being allowed to protest at certain bear check stations during the six-day hunt. A ruling in state superior court ruled Monday says up to 25 people can demonstrate at the Franklin bear check station in Sussex County between noon and 4 p.m. each day.

One protester crossed permit boundaries and was arrested at the weigh station in Franklin. Despite the protests, hunters dismissed the criticism.

“These people are out of touch, there’s too many bears in this area,” hunter Bruce Levendusky told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

A greater number were being allowed to demonstrate at two other weigh stations. Critics of the hunt had been pushing for the Franklin station permit as it is a high-visibility site.

Environmental Protection Department officials felt it was too a dangerous a spot for a large gathering.

A hunter brought the first bear into the Franklin Borough weigh station about 9:30 a.m., as well as a cub weighing 78 pounds on Monday, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

“The hunt is nothing but a trophy hunt for hunters to bring home rugs, mounts and wall trophies. That’s the only thing this hunt is,” said Angie Metler of the Animal Protection League of New Jersey.

“They’re in my backyard a lot, and I have a young daughter, always aware of her being out there with the bear,” said hunter Fred Hasert.

Nearly 600 bears were killed in last year’s hunt.

Do you support the hunt or oppose it? Sound off in our comments section below.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • ed

    how about you can only hunt with a pocket knife, lets give the bears a fighting chance, i bet you won’t see to many HUNTERS

  • jb

    No one mentions that neighboring states, NY & Penn., [as well as many other states] always have annual bear hunts and both states maintain healthy bear populations. So what is the big deal in NJ?

    • M

      The neighboring States don’t shoot Sows with Cubs or Cubs, there by taking a lot of emotion out of the hunt. And in NY and PA you are talking a lot more land in a lot more remote area. I think at last count PA estimated their bear population at over 100,000 as compared to an estimate of 3200 in NJ. I’m telling you, if NJ had a more humane hunt it would be much better received.

  • Mary

    Science daily states that 88% of Preditory Bears are Males. Last year 60% of the kill were females and only 20% nuisance bears. Killing a Cub or a Sow with cubs is immoral and inhumane. I am not against hunting. I am against the go out and kill the first bear you see whether it’s a Cub or a Sow with Cubs. Who could shoot a Cub or it’s Mother? Male bears will even attack Cubs so a Sow is very important in defending her cubs and teaching them how to survive. Elimanate even the Mother of a 1 year old 100lb Cub and you have a defenseless animal who will be chased out of the territory by a full grown male and into Urban neighborhoods. And PS:They did a study of dumpster diving bears and found bears do not learn this from their Mothers. It can skip generations or a bear whose Mother never did it might if the oppurtunity arrives or never do it in a healthy environment.

  • Hunters Rights

    1. The bear and deer hunts need to happen each year. It controls the populations. Over-crowding and large numbers in small areas in turn provide less food for the animals, and they starve to death. Population control is conservation just as much as setting aside open space is.
    2. Shooting a mother bear and leaving her cubs to starve and die is wrong. I admit that. Therefore, if perhaps a mother bear is taken, the cubs should be as well.
    3. Most hunters do no hunt for “sport”. This is how the animal rights activists see it. My family hunts for meat. It fills the freezer for winter and provides for our family. Never have we taken game for sport and left it to waste. How about those folks that do it for sport, and the meat is donated to the food banks to feed the homeless? Is that wrong? Should people starve and die because a bear needs to be free? I SAY NO!!!!

  • p8nt

    If people would stop building in their habitat, this wouldn’t be a problem. If you keep killing the cubs, eventually those bears will be in the endangered species list, in which case, it would become illegal to kill them.

  • Teddylvr

    A size limit should be imposed and a kill of a sow with cubs should be illegal as well…what about birth control alternatives. I know it is available and if placed in food would be accepted easily….heck for that matter spaying some of the females could be done.

    But the hunt generates a lot of revenue so other alternatives would cost money. guess which one wins?

    If there are too many bears then i understand a cull should be done….but it should be done by people trained to hunt these animals, from what I have seen those poor animals suffer horribly by being shot numerous times all over their bodies some shot as many as 10 times. its cruel.

  • DanTe

    FACT: Areas managed by hunters have a lot of healthy game and a balanced eco-system. Areas interfered with by “activists” who are “active” only a few days of the year have starving, dying animals and a decrepit eco-system. Just take a look at what happened to the deer population in Florida after the “activists” got their way for one year. Total slaughter.

    But FACTS are something these T A R D S will never understand.

  • Georgi

    Yes, on Monday evening, I heard a hunter bragging on 1010 radio as how he had brought down with a single shot a mother bear passing by with her cubs. Truly appalling and disgraceful!! How could any civilized human being take a mother bear away from her cubs. And It would be an insult to animals to call the hunter an animal.

  • MIKE


  • Saraforsure

    I think there should be a minimum size limit on the bears.
    Killing cubs is disgusting. Public opinion goes way off the dial when they see a dead baby bear.

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