Shooting black bears is as New Jersey as GTL or misplacing $600 million. Thankfully for the state's tourism board, a court ruled against activists attempting to block the festivities, and the six-day hunt is in full-swing, with over 200 bruins "harvested" so far. One hunter who killed a 181.5 lb bear explained to the Star-Ledger that it was for the animal's own good. "If I had a choice, I'd rather be shot than freeze to death over several months." Serves them right for not evolving enough to survive the winter in some sort of dormant state!
New Jersey's bear population has risen to 3,278 from 1,477 in 2003, and according to the WSJ, you have a 7.5% chance of killing a bear in the state, compared with 2% in Pennsylvania. The state is "a bear's paradise," with its "mild winters and an abundance of acorns, berries, hickory nuts and other species favorites." Dr. Larry Rudolph of Safari Club International explains to FOX News that Bear Heaven needs to be turned into Hell for six days because they've been known to enter homes. "I don't think you want to come home and find a black bear in your kitchen, when you are ready to make dinner." Yeah and they eat all of your manchego and finish the Sancerre and don't even pay for it!
"They have big game hunts to draw people in. I think it's a travesty," Angela Metler, director of the Animal Protection League of New Jersey says. Cheer up, Angela: it's also stimulating the local economy (and try not to look at all these photos of dead bears). 10% of the 7,000 bear permits issued went to out-of-state hunters. Frank Colazzo used to go to Maine to hunt, where he had to pay thousands of dollars for a guide and a pack of dogs. In New Jersey, it's less than $200. "It's not as good as Maine, but it's way cheaper." I think we've found a new state motto.