Well, I am thoroughly upset by this year's bear trophy hunt. It's the second year we've had this mass killing in New Jersey. Last year, the hunters killed 589 bears in five days of hunting(?). Of that total, 378 were under one year old, cubs basically, with the smallest one weighing only thirty pounds. I am sorry to say that these trophy hunts are part of a 5-year bear management program, fostered by the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) and under the behest of our bully governor, Chris Christie. This only means three more years of indiscriminate killings of our black bears.
The DFW argues that the hunts are only one part of the program, that public education and proper garbage disposal alternatives plus some vague reference to humane methods are also part of their plan. But Jeff Tittel, Director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey, referred to this 5-yr program as a document filled with beautiful words but lacks the funding and staffing to implement all its provisos. And so, shooting up our black bears becomes the solution of choice which quite remarkably, serendipitously, I might say, also pleases the gun and hunting cabal in the state.
Yesterday was the first day of the 5-day 2011 trophy hunt, and the kills were estimated at 200.
Today, I posted a comment on the Los Angeles Times website as well as the NJ.Com site in response to fallacious comments posted at those sites, those that perpetuate the myth of bear overpopulation in New Jersey, some furthering the even greater myth of black bear attacks. Here it is:
NJ says that Killing an Animal is Animal Cruelty. And that is exactly what hunting is.
In New Jersey, the Definition of Animal: Includes the whole brute creation.
Statute Summary: A person commits the crime of cruelty to animals if the person: overdrives, overloads, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, carries in a cruel manner, abandons a sick or disabled animal, cruelly beats or otherwise abuses, needlessly mutilates, or kills a living animal.
And that is what hunters do!!!!! They kill living animals and they even lure the bears with bait to an arranged killing spot.
And hunters think they are so special.
When my grandson was only 13, he wrote: Hunters think it makes them “tough” to kill a living creature. Yes, “tough” to use a fancy rifle and hunting equipment, bait, and camouflage to kill a plain, naked, unarmed animal. Killing wildlife that can't fight back is nothing to brag about.
I can't believe that this is going on. Honestly, do people even have souls? How can you feel all right shooting an animal? Not to mention innocent animals.. There are nuisance bears that get into garbage and bears that attack humans (in very rare cases, mostly when they sense danger). But the hunters are going around shooting any bears that they can find, not even proven guilty bears for god sake, which makes this so much worse. If I could make the decision, I'd make hunting (especially for "population" reasons) illegal. For food, it's another thing. It's the cycle of life, I understand that. We need food, so something has to give. But this hunt has no excuse for what they are doing. They are completely wrong.
Bears and humans can live in harmony. The other day, I was riding my car down my street, saw someone walking, and saw a bear in the dumpster about 20 feet away from the walker. All she did was yell "Hey get out of there" and the bear left. Not that big of a deal.
Anyway, hopefully somebody can put a stop to this. I appreciate the animal activist groups fighting for the cause. Way to stand up for what you believe in and fight for the safety of everything living.