Outdoor Writer J.B. Kasper, who also happens to be one of the guys I shoot with on Thursday nights, has an article in the Trenton Times talking about the bear problem in New Jersey:
This is typical of how bear incidents are handled by the DEP. Of course this one was a little too big to be covered up. According to a statement by Harry Herrighty, deputy director of the DF&W: “At this point, it just doesn’t seem we will be able to label this as an attack on a person. He had no bruises, claw marks or scratches or even a ripped shirt that indicates it was a purposeful attack by the bear.” So I guess what Mr. Herrighty is saying is that the black eye, the cut across the temple and the separated shoulder were the bear’s way of saying get out of my way I want your sandwich? I wonder if Mr. Herrighty found himself in Mr. Rowendal place, how would he describe the event?
Read the whole thing. Bears are powerful critters, and we can see in this example what “out of my way” can mean to a bear. I’ve heard stories of bears just ripping the doors clean off a car to get to food inside. Once inside, you car can look like this. Back to Joe:
It’s about time someone in the Corzine Administration, in specific the DEP, wakes up. Bears are not the cuddly little creatures we see in cartoons and Hollywood movies. From the period of January 1 through May 20, the DEP has received 693 calls about bears, which is over 100 more than the same period last year. Seventy-one of those calls pertained to livestock deaths, home break-ins and aggressive behavior. A total of 42 of the calls were classified as Category 1 incidents, which is up from 33 for the same period last year. Seven aggressive bears have had to be killed so far this year.
Joe’s conclusion is that the only way to reduce bear numbers to a manageable level in New Jersey is through hunting. I just hope it doesn’t have to come to a child being killed or mauled by a bear before the policymakers and voters in the Garden State come to realize that.