Today not only brought snow flurries and a seasonal chill to the air, it also brought the kickoff to bear hunting season in New Jersey, a manly bloodletting event that’s been reinstated after five years despite a round of protests and lawsuits from people who feel, for better or worse, that bears and humans can probably live together in peace, assuming everybody shares the peanut butter.
There was even a last-minute stay requested by the Animal Protection League of New Jersey and the Bear Education and Resource Group. It was unsuccessful.
This is because, according to those who want to kill the bears, THE BEARS ARE OUT OF CONTROL. Estimates count 3,400 of them currently in New Jersey, a population that’s doubled since 2001, and the hunt will “remove” 300 or 400 of them, or “control the growing bear population.” By contrast, the population of new Jersey humans is reaching 9 million, and the population of the Jersey Shore is 8, give or take a few. Which begs the question: Couldn’t we just send the bears to Miami, too?
40 bears were killed in the first few hours of the hunt, reportedly. The jolly sporting continues for 6 days, starting 30 minutes before sunrise, and will be held mostly in the northwest of Jerz.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 6, 2010