Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You call this a ‘management’ plan?

“For hunters, a big first day”: So read the headline in Tuesday morning’s Trenton Times. Too bad they couldn’t interview the bears involved too. But – oops, I forgot: they were dead. Yes, mothers, cubs, males – all were “fair” game.

And those diligent, eager hunters killed at least 150 of them on the first of six hunting days. Or as the Times reported it: “the biggest one-day take in the hunt’s three seasons.”

Hunters, stand tall. You bagged ’em. You kept New Jersey safe for . . . unsecured garbage? unprotected bird feeders?

A reported 7,800 permits were issued to hunters from NJ and neighboring states. They were up against an estimated 3,400 bears. How do those odds stack up?

And those hunters we read about earlier, eager to make taxidermy arrangements: how do they feel later about a bear cub they shot to death?

All in the interest, so state officials said, of reducing the bear population that “preyed on livestock, the occasional house pet and, mostly, table scraps tossed into the trash at the margins of suburbia.”

Mostly table scraps. Which, if laws were enforced, wouldn’t be there to attract the bears.

We’ve repeated the many arguments against this hunt. We’ve discussed how shy and non-aggressive New Jersey’s black bears actually are. We’ve pointed out the errors in the so-called “management plan,” with its so-called “proof” of the need for a hunt.

This hunt is heinous, nothing less.

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