Finally, some sensible talk about bear management in New Jersey. Five years after the state closed its successful bear hunt, New Jersey’s game commission has recommended a fall season to control what is probably the most successful bear population in the nation.
The state’s Fish and Game Council voted yesterday (http://www.nj.com/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1268205919285030.xml&coll=8) to consider a six-day hunt starting in early December. Expect plenty of opposition to the hunt when meetings are convened to collect public sentiment around the state. But the facts are clear: since then-governor Jon Corzine arbitrarily halted bear hunting, problem-bear complaints have skyrocketed, bear populations have spiked, and reports of aggressive bears have caused widespread public-safety concerns.
It’s appropriate that managed hunting should be the first response to this overpopulation, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the next world-record black bear come from the woods and subdivisions of northwestern New Jersey.