Bear Okay, I know this is the Big Buck Zone, but we here at Outdoor Life have been known to get a little excited about bears, too. Heck, Executive Editor John Snow is so into shooting bears (he’s not the only one of us) that he just got back from hunting them for a week in Alberta, Canada. Well, while he was in Canada, wildlife officials in northern Passaic County, New Jersey—about 45 minutes from John’s desk in Manhattan—captured a 726-pound black bear dubbed Bearzilla by the Newark Star Ledger.

The bear was trapped and then released into the wild where officials believe that it might weigh as much as 900 pounds by fall. At last report, Snow was heavily lobbying New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine to make sure that Jersey has a bear hunting season in ’08.

So, okay, call me a freak, but I really wish I was one of the guys in the crew employed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources called upon to decrease the deer herd in northwestern Minnesota over the past few months.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, sharpshooters shot 962 deer in a 164-square-mile area in an effort to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis. The “hunt” started in February and ended last Friday. Two of the deer have tested positive for the disease.

So what do you do with all that venison?

“Most of the deer were given to individuals who requested venison,” said Paul Telander, DNR regional wildlife manager in Bemidji.—Gerry Bethge