HIGHLAND LAKES, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A bear hunt kicks off Monday in parts of New Jersey after a court ruled against opponents’ pleas to stop the hunt from happening.

“Behind my house, I can see the hunters. I can hear them when they fire the shots. It’s very disturbing,” said Angie Metler, Executive Director for the Animal Protection League of New Jersey.

Metler is again vowing and fighting this year to stop the state’s controversial bear hunt.

“The hunt is nothing but a trophy hunt for hunters to bring home rugs, mounts and wall trophies,” she told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano.

State officials say the hunt is meant to help control a bear population that’s getting dangerously out of hand.

An appeals court ruled the hunt could happen this year, denying claims that the state’s policy was flawed. Opponents say an appeal to that decision is in the works.

Parts of Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergen, Somerset and Hunterdon Counties will be approved bear hunting grounds. Last year nearly 600 were killed during the hunt.

Hunter Fred Hasert of Barry Lakes told Mercogliano that he will join the hunt to protect his family.

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

Metler says the solution to controlling the black bear population in New Jersey lies in a bear-resistant garbage cans that, she says, every resident should have.

Hunting store owner Sig Borstad disagrees.

“If they can’t get figure out how to open them, they’ll jump up and down on them until they pop open,” the Sig Borstad Archery owner said.

Opponents also say a permit to protest was denied, but they still plan to hold a vigil in sight of hunters getting ready to enter the woods.

What do you think of the hunt? Sound off in our comments section below…

Comments (23)
  1. jean says:

    huntrs cant tell the difference between the way grizzlies and black bears act. black bears run. i saw a picture of a black bear treed by a cat. it was published in many newspapers. hunters make up stories to make themselves as heroes when they are disugsint perverts with blood lust to kill. instead of minding their own business, they need to go out to kill. what normal human being does that in 2011. none.this is not l860. stamp out hunting and trapping, animals feel pain. they want to live just as much as the hunters do.

  2. Jeanine DeNitto says:

    The state says this hunt is necessary to reduce the bear population, which is, from what info i can find ONLY 3,500. The population of humans in NJ is 8,707,739. Almost nine million vs three thousand? (2009-2010) WHO’S POPULATION NEEDS REDUCING? HUMANS NOT BEARS.

  3. Herb says:

    The hunt is a sad example of people who just can’t move into the 21st century. The frightening thing is these people need to shoot guns AT living things. And they bait the poor creatures to them with stale donuts and grease. That’s not hunting, that’s slaughter!

    The DEP figures for complaints are and have been falsely increased. The only question was whether it was being done intentionally.

    Want to separate trophy hunters from conservationists? Make the hunters turn in the heads, paws, and pelts. We’ll see who comes out for a hunt then.

    1. Sandy says:

      Agreed on all counts!

  4. elaine dunn says:

    it is a trophy hunt for people that enjoy killing……….Safety is the hunter’s escuse for killling…….black bears don’t want us……….they want the food we leave out for them……I am completely against the hunt……there are many ways to keep bears from our neighborhoods. Bear resistant cans are NOT east to open if closed correctly. That is for people who respect and appreciate our animal neighbors. I have had NO animal get into my two and they are always outside.

  5. Sandy says:

    It is irresponsible for government and developers to build in areas that are natural habitats for wildlife without a plan to relocate or deal with over-population. Exterminating lives is not the solution for human overpopulation or for wildlife. How we treat animals is directly related to how we treat ourselves. Are we civilized or barbarians? In NJ it’s apparent. It is criminal to brutally massacre such beautiful creatures. As a taxpayer and voter, my family, friends and I will show our disapproval with this administration at the polls.

  6. Scout says:

    The emotional pathology of anti-hunters is startling. What bitter, sad people they must be.

    How many of their loved ones would they sacrifice to the nice bears?

  7. tony says:

    the hunters are disgusting for killing is a terrible act!

  8. Aaron J says:

    Metler et. al. lost in two New Jersey courts, superior and appellate. It lloks as though they do not have any legal standing. At the heart of the matter metler and friends are trying to control what other people eat and do to the point of obsession. Obsession with anything isn’t healthy so I suppose the state of mind of some these animal rights zealots is unhealthy.

  9. John Mannion says:

    Move to Montague N.J. and you will soon see why these animals need to be controlled. All the anti hunters live closer to the city. They don’t know bears. I know bears. No hunt means eventual human harm. Man and bears do not mix.30 years ago their was a couple of dozen bear in Stokes State Forest. Now it is estimated to be around 1200. I live where they are, and I vote for the hunt

  10. Vernon Hell says:

    A curse on the hunters and their families. May they all get cancer, die in agony and burn in eternal Hell. Save the bears, kill the hunters!

    1. Marty says:

      ooooh internet tough guy.

  11. Mariag says:

    Maybe you should include in your broadcast what exactly are these bears doing? Are they just existing or are they KILLING or ATTACKING humans and pets?

  12. bobby says:

    I hope the coward hunters kids one day feel the same pain that these Bears feel .The people of Jersey and their corrupt government are a disgrace for allowing this slaughter ……

  13. bobby says:

    What a disgrace .This pathetic State of New Jersey should be ashamed of themselves ..As for the Punk hunters you little people are spineless COWARDS …..

    1. marty says:

      just as brave as someone leaving anonymous internet comments.

  14. vexation says:

    If I were Ms. Metler, I would certainly be more concerned by the fact that so many large predators lived so near my home that I could hear the gunshots, than the fact that they were hunting them at all. Humans have hunted since the dawn of time. It is an effective method of keeping populations in check in human-inhabited areas. If she really were an advocate for animal rights, then she wouldn’t have built her home in their habitat. Hypocrite!

  15. Anne C Ferguson says:

    No. Maybe we should move, instead of killing all of the wildlife around us. Wasn’t Zanesville enough of an abomination with our “oh, it’s just collateral damage. Not with it!

  16. Lisa Donadio says:

    Kill bears acting like bears—makes sense, NOT.

  17. Shawn Ryu says:

    Once again these people offer no solution and still whines and moans about least important issues. Disgusting.

  18. Linda Elsey says:

    Why don’t these people protect families being homeless, kids starving and being abused ? Dangerous animals need to be kept in check and its better to hunt them than run into them on roads. More animals are hit on highways and starve to death than hunters take each year.

    1. Shawn Ryu says:

      Hear hear

    2. michelle says:

      That comment goes to show the human population needs it’s population controlled maybe we should go and shot a few of them,

Leave a Reply