Hunting as a management tool

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:02

    To the editor: Bear hunting is a part a broad bear management plan. Hunting, adverse conditioning, trash control and public education are the tools available for bear management. They all have to be implemented in order to reduce nuisance complaints and conserve or wisely utilize this ultra renewable natural resource. The following is a rundown of the current facts on bear hunting. A) Bears in NJ were NEVER overhunted, after hunting during the years of 1958 and 1971 hunters only took approximately 40-something bears over that period. Hunters and the fish and game council closed the season because they were unsure of the population and didn’t want to damage the resource base. After years of being slaughtered by farmers and landowners as vermin in a much more rural NJ, hunting seasons acted to conserve and utilize and protect our bear population. B) Bear food sources fluctuate from year to year. When the food sources are low and the carrying capacity of the habitat drops, forcing bears to compete for these finite food sources and pushing them into human contact. You cannot stockpile animals in the woods. You dont “save” any bears by not hunting them. For instance when Canada caved to the animal rights fanatics a couple of years ago cancelling spring bear hunts people took the law into their own hands and nothing was “saved” just wasted. C) I always hear that bears who are hunted “in the deep woods” are not the same bears that are causing problems. New Jersey doesn’t border the Yukon. Bear have a large home range and the same bears that are in your neighborhood also tavel wooded areas beyong those places and can be patterned. D) And finally bear birth control,if youre not falling off your chair at this point listen on... when the average working family cannot afford decent medical coverage it is heinous to come up with a plan that will not work to give black bears full medical attention. This is the smokescreen animal rights supporters (if there is such a thing as animal “rights” ) have come up with to ban hunting. It simply looks good on paper and makes people feel good, but in practice is impossible and dangerous. Remember why the Bald eagle almost was extinct? DDT nearly wiped them out by softening the eggshells or as you would say “birth control.” And I thought the animal rights people always against animal experimentation? Or is it just OK when it bans hunting? My belief is in animal welfare and conservation. (The wise use of natural resourses) I believe to cut people off from God’s gifts to us is criminal and just plain rude. Timber plants animals and clean water provide us with life. What hunters fisherman and trappers understand and see on a daily basis the natural cycles of life and death in the wild and the interdependence on each other we have. Eric Bunk West Milford