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In "The Herald" Newspaper yesterday a woman wrote a "Letter to the Editor" in reference to the New Jersey bear hunt. The writer

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  • In "The Herald" Newspaper yesterday a woman wrote a "Letter to the Editor" in reference to the New Jersey bear hunt. The writer

    In "The Herald" Newspaper yesterday a woman wrote a "Letter to the Editor" in reference to the New Jersey bear hunt. The writer owns horses and other livestock. She is neither a hunter nor an animal rights protester. My first comment has her entire letter. I wanted to share this letter with Field and Stream. My question is what is your opinion on this lady's letter?

  • #2

    Editor:
    It’s Saturday, Nov. 16, mid-afternoon. It’s not trash day in my Hampton neighborhood. It’s not recycling day. An hour or so ago my partner and I saddled up a couple of our horses for a nice ride. We were still in the riding ring warming up when a young bear made a bee line across the pasture a hundred or so feet away. It was headed for the chicken coop. Two of my horses chased the luckless critter back into the woods. Score one for the livestock!
    Business as usual in bear country. The chickens were fine ... this time.
    There has not been a garbage-related bear interaction in this neighborhood in more than a decade, and that one involved a pair of twin youngsters ripping apart a shed to get to a can. Most of us keep our trash locked up, and it keeps the bears from eating it. We keep our livestock feed locked up as well. What we can’t do is keep the bears from eating our chickens or other small animals. I lost an entire flock in 2005 thanks to two bear attacks in two nights. We watched the carnage happen because the bear was intent on his kill and didn’t care that we were yelling at it.
    Despite the reality of life in bear country, the two bear activists from the north part of the county will eventually prevail and we’ll all have to buy bear-proof cans. We’ll do it because it will be a law, and the biggest difference will mostly likely be a huge supply of unneeded plastic cans going to the dump. Environment? What’s that? Prior to the re-institution of the hunt, some 15 bears lived in just one small area of this neighborhood. Since the hunt began, we have seen far fewer bears on our property and wandering the neighborhood. That little bit of a reprieve will be lost because someone in charge will buy into the “it’s a trash thing” explanation. Screaming activists locking themselves in traps trump peaceful, responsible residents every time.
    This isn’t a one-size-fits all problem, so a one-size-fits-all solution isn’t the answer. This needs to be addressed on an area-by-area basis with actual statistics replacing hysteria. The schools and church in my neighborhood have dumpsters. How about starting there? We farmers have fields full of stuff, some of which bears like to eat. My horses are so used to bears in the field that the horses we were riding barely noticed the interaction a hundred feet away. Not all domestic livestock are okay with it. Chickens are especially not okay with it. They take being ripped to shreds in the remains of their demolished coop very personally. Farmhands working at night are not okay with it. I would love for someone to think of all of the animals, not just the bears and their highly dramatic defenders, and about the people who work hard to keep fields growing and livestock and pets safe. I don’t love killing things, but I don’t love things killing my animals and endangering me even more.
    This topic has diverged from the rational to the bizarre. It’s becoming a cartoon. Now two bear activists have gotten hunting licenses and bear tags. The confusion is deepening. Apparently they’re jealous over feeding rights, is that it? Where was the part where the activists came up with a workable alternative to reduce the bear population here? I’m all for it. Find it, fund it and have at it! I call shotgun on that bandwagon. I doubt anyone would object.
    Joanne M. Friedman
    Hampton Township

    Comment


    • #3
      The bears and the people with their livestock are now paying the price for so many years of no bear season. When will they learn the wildlife needs to be 'managed' if people are going to coexist with the game animals.

      Comment


      • #4
        She sounds as though she is reasonable and considerate, but for some reason resigned to letting two people ruin it for countless others whether it be farmers, hunters, or ordinary citizens. She and the likeminded shouldn't just stand by and let it happen, some times you have to fight fire with fire and if it takes people getting loud and obnoxious like the two anti-hunters then so be it. Just don't sit idle by and let this happen it's time for her, you and others to rally the troops and put these two in there place.

        Comment


        • #5
          She makes a couple great points. It especially made me think when she talked about a "one size fits all approach." This is how it has been from the beginning. Protecting bears has been both beneficial and successful in the past. But amount of success has been based on the influence of humans helping bears thrive. Unfortunately now it is important to realize that as conservationist who have had a hand on the increase in numbers of bears we have to infinitely manage the population either growth in numbers or decrease. Left unchecked bears, wolves, and other predators alike can do major damage.

          Statistics are a major flaw when looking at prevalence and the nature of any predatory population. There is such a dramatic outcry from both sides that the numbers are extremely biased. Usage of statistics and numbers to persuade either side just extrapolates the issue. I think solid evidence is found in Mrs. Friedman's account. There are others like her that give us a small window into the world of bears and there interaction with humans.

          Moreover. Worrying about regulation and management through hunting or trapping these animals is a small non important is ironic when the same people are destroying the habitat to expand suburban areas.

          Both sides (pro or anti management) lack education and it is something that is needed when addressing these types of issues. Stories like this need to appear more often!

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree with jhjimbo. Wildlife must be managed in order to keep certain species of animals from becoming too populous. If it wasn't for Hunters managing the number of certain animals such as deer and bear in many parts of the country, people would be living side by side with them. This would result in the exact same scenario as we have happening in this letter. People, livestock and pets would be put in danger.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just another example of what happens when people (anti-hunters!) allow their emotion to overwhelm and cloud common sense!

              Comment


              • #8
                Just another example of what happens when people (anti-hunters!) allow their emotion to overwhelm and cloud common sense!

                Comment


                • #9
                  She did a great job. Exposing the few extremists to the politicians really helps. They typically are only concerned about getting votes and think the "new wave" thinking is representative of the masses. When faced with reality, they tend to back off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very eloquent and intelligently written letter. Ever since the first villages came into existence, the problem of managing wild animals has existed. To completely leave wild animals to their own adds to the over crowding, food shortages, disease, and ultimately conflict between humans and domesticated animals. On the other hand complete annihilation of species negatively impacts ourselves and nature as well. There has to be a middle ground to which extreme gives a little so that all gain a lot. We, as hunters, provide a needed service to protect civilization, read communities and cities, and wildlife, whose healthy survival depends on us.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      *There has to be a middle ground to which each extreme gives a little so that all gain a lot.*

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another example of politicians listening to those who scream loudest and forgetting about everyone else. One of the biggest reasons that cause issues like this is that politicians no longer spend time actually listening to what their constituents have to say.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Several years ago during the long bear hunting "drought" in N.J., I lived across the river in eastern PA., where we had bear hunting seasons. We did not have the level of bear attacks on livestock or property, because the bears kept away from humans, because they were hunted. In most of N.J. they have no fear, so the problem is multiplied. I think I have a solution to the anti-hunters that stir up so much trouble, why not ask them to be involved in bear birth control, they can start by assisting the boars with putting on their condoms.......

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Several years ago during the long bear hunting "drought" in N.J., I lived across the river in eastern PA., where we had bear hunting seasons. We did not have the level of bear attacks on livestock or property, because the bears kept away from humans, because they were hunted. In most of N.J. they have no fear, so the problem is multiplied. I think I have a solution to the anti-hunters that stir up so much trouble, why not ask them to be involved in bear birth control, they can start by assisting the boars with putting on their condoms.......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Letters to the editor tend to be selected for printing if the authors sound like they know what they are talking about, which is clearly the case here.

                              Comment

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