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Reply #86: Wow, some real polarization on this thread. [View All]

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freethought Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 10:06 PM
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86. Wow, some real polarization on this thread.
I am not surprised that the state of N.J. had a bear hunt. I am surprised of the number of bears that were taken, nearly 600 in 2010.

When I was in college back in the mid to late 1980s, I was actually studying wildlife biology, ecology, and environmental science. I was attending a large state school in western Massachusetts and at the time, state biologists were trying to get a handle on black bear populations west of the Connecticut River. The estimated number was put at about 500 bears and that was 20 years ago. There is little doubt in my mind that population has expanded eastward closer to urban/suburban areas.

As one previous poster said that black bears DO NOT make good neighbors. The "awwwww" effect is easy when you see a few bear cubs ambling in the back yard, but when one of those bears grows up to tip the scales at nearly 300 pounds (the Mass. record for a bear taken during a hunt was 467 pounds dressed weight) and can rip up gardens, damage property, raise havoc with agricultural crops, and on occasion force their way into homes, peoples' opinions tend to change quickly. That's just the cold hard truth of it. Accidentally get between a sow (the term for an adult female bear) and her cubs and you could get ripped to shreds.

Some people have voiced opinions as to why states do hunts. As a response to hunters seeking hunting opportunities. To bring in revenues from licences and the like. For cost-effectiveness. In truth, all three reason are true. Hunters want opportunities and the state responds to that. States get revenues from license sales but the also get funds from the federal govt in which the amount given is based on the number of licenses sold in that state. But also for its cost-effectiveness. In truth, if you have to control a certain type of wild population a regulated hunt is, more often than not, the best way to do it whether you approve of it or not.

Relocation seems like a good option but in truth it isn't. Try to relocate a number of bears to a certain area and about half of them will somehow manage to make their way back, even if they were transported 100 miles away. I have read a number of articles about "birth control" for wildlife, especially for deer. Exactly how do you effectively administer such a treatment to a wild population that could be spread out over hundreds of square miles? How much would this cost? Such an approach is just not a viable option, especially in the current fiscal climate.

Lastly, the article is referring to a regulated hunt of a species that is not endangered or threatened with extinction. The hunters are licensed and the state has an educated guess as to how many bears it wants taken. What went on in New Jersey IS NOT THE SAME as poaching a threatened species like the African White Rhino or the Siberian Tiger.

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