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Old 05-07-2012, 02:38 PM
 
283 posts, read 405,761 times
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What a strange thread. NJ now has a bear season after not having one for years. Pretty much every other state in the nation that has a significant bear population also has a bear season. I'm not sure I understand the controversy? There have been many posts which talk about how they saw bears in Maine, Pennsylvania, etc...those are both states in which there are hunting seasons for black bear. In New Jersey you can also hunt ducks, geese, pheasants, quail, grouse, turkey, deer, squirrels, rabbits, and in a few zones in South Jersey, feral pigs. That's not to mention trapping and fishing. Am I missing something here?
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tdstyles View Post
LOL. Whistler's closest city is Vancouver and that is 2 hours away...it's in the middle of NOWHERE. If you go 2 hours away from NYC, in Northwest New Jersey, do you know where you are? I do, and it's called Pennsylvania. Sell your bear smarts there...or at least on that forum.
Yes, but Whistler has a huge population of visitors, 2 million annually, which greatly increases the chance of human bear encounters.

The resort community of Whistler is home to the Get Bear Smart Society, 10,000 residents, more than two million annual visitors, and about 100 black bears. This is where the rubber hits the road.

California, the most populous state in the nation, has significant populations of mountain lion within the outer edges of the Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas with no hunting seasons. Mountain lions are far more dangerous to humans than bears.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:06 PM
 
283 posts, read 405,761 times
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Originally Posted by chennai01 View Post
Yes, but Whistler has a huge population of visitors, 2 million annually, which greatly increases the chance of human bear encounters.

The resort community of Whistler is home to the Get Bear Smart Society, 10,000 residents, more than two million annual visitors, and about 100 black bears. This is where the rubber hits the road.

California, the most populous state in the nation, has significant populations of mountain lion within the outer edges of the Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas with no hunting seasons. Mountain lions are far more dangerous to humans than bears.
What does any of this have to do with bears in New Jersey? FWIW, British Columbia has a bear season as does most of Canada.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chennai01 View Post
Yes, but Whistler has a huge population of visitors, 2 million annually, which greatly increases the chance of human bear encounters.

The resort community of Whistler is home to the Get Bear Smart Society, 10,000 residents, more than two million annual visitors, and about 100 black bears. This is where the rubber hits the road.

California, the most populous state in the nation, has significant populations of mountain lion within the outer edges of the Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas with no hunting seasons. Mountain lions are far more dangerous to humans than bears.
I like to deal with facts:

Mountain Lion population California is approximately 4,000. There are 163,695 sq mi in the state of California.

NJ Black Bear Population is also approximately 4,000. There are 8,722 sq mi in the state of NJ.

Same population and 5% of the room to roam....your comparison is as ignorant as your argument.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
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Originally Posted by chennai01 View Post
Truly wild places where populations and wildlife do not interact are virtually non-existant. Based on your recommendation, we would relegate wildlife into tiny enclaves in such few numbers where genetic viability is non-existant.

Bears will never permanently reside in urban or highly developed suburban areas due to lack of habitat. Yes, some young bears dispersing from their mothers may wander in during spring searching for a new territory and will either leave on their own or can be relocated (or euthanized if deemed aggressive).

The main areas where bears are issues are developments bordering on prime bear habitat. Strict enforcement of rules mandating use of bear proof garbage containers would address the main issue why bears are in these areas - easy access to dense sources of calories exceeding natural foods.

This is not an issue of animal rights and that issue is not as black and white as you claim. We as a society have certain ethical standards - animal control does not shoot stray dogs on site, snares are banned in most places due to cruelty, poisoning of carcasses is prohibited, etc. Under your logic of "humans > animals" , all these actions would be allowable.

New Jersey is a progressive state and people like to know wildlife exists. Frankly, I'd rather live in a state where people look for innovative solutions than to simply kill anything that is a "nuiscance." That being said, problem bears that cannot be effectively deterred from causing problems should be lethally removed. However, eradicating all the bears (and deer and geese) is not the solution and is an outdated 1800s model of "managing wildlife."

Black bears generally are easy predators to get along with provided simple steps are taken. How can we ask poor rural people in southeast Asia to preserve the last remaining tigers, black rhinos, etc, which are very much a significant threat to humans, when we cannot get along with a species that is generally non-aggressive to people?

New Jersey should be on the leading edge promoting co-existance of humans and bears in northwest New Jersey. Innovative programs developed by world renowned bear biologists, which have had tremendous success, should be conducted in New Jersey. For example:

The Get Bear Smart Society (GBS)* is a registered Canadian charity that works hard to ensure people and bears safely and respectfully coexist wherever their homes and home ranges overlap.
Our staff, board and supporters champion progressive management policies and human behaviours that reduce human-bear conflicts. This inevitably improves public safety, limits property damage and reduces the number of bears that needlessly die each year as a result of these preventable conflicts.

We accomplish our mission by:
  • educating people about how to prevent human-bear conflicts in and around their homes, neighbourhoods and communities;
  • helping policymakers find cost-effective solutions to the challenges of creating Bear Smart communities, including the implementation of effective conflict management policies and regulations and bear-proof waste management systems;
  • and promoting innovative and practical non-lethal bear management practices.
Although our work informs and influences bear management practices and policies across North America, we focus much of our time and energy on the resort community of Whistler, BC, where we are based. The improvements achieved over the years as part of our BearSmart Whistler Program illustrate what can be accomplished by implementing Bear Smart policies and practices.

As a result of Get Bear Smart programs, the number of conflict bears that have been killed has been reduced by more than 50 per cent over the last decade — despite the fact the number of human-bear interactions has increased four-fold. This makes Whistler a leader in the ongoing attempt to establish a truly Bear Smart community that can act as a model for other communities to follow.

Together, we can create a paradigm shift in people's attitudes toward bears and other wildlife by replacing fear and ignorance with understanding and respect.

About Us | www.bearsmart.com
Look, I just like to keep things simple, like they were in the 1800s. Bears cannot live in northern NJ outside of the rural western counties. If they encroach in these areas, they need to be killed. Humans and bears do not mix. The same goes for other wildlife that presents a nusiance or hazard to humans. The country is more than big enough to accomodate predatory mammals in the rural areas which make up about 80% of the land area of the country. Once you are in cities and suburbs, no bears can be allowed. Same with large cats, coyotes, etc. Man comes first in these areas, and that's the way most rational people want it.

The bears are smart enough not to worry about the "rights" of the deer that they kill and eat. We need to exhibit the same intelligence in areas that we populate.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:34 PM
 
74 posts, read 76,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdstyles View Post
I like to deal with facts:

Mountain Lion population California is approximately 4,000. There are 163,695 sq mi in the state of California.

NJ Black Bear Population is also approximately 4,000. There are 8,722 sq mi in the state of NJ.

Same population and 5% of the room to roam....your comparison is as ignorant as your argument.
Your arguments show your ignorance. Suggest you stop embarrassing yourself.

Mountain lions nor black bears permanently live in all parts of the states so your figures are irrelevent. More importantly, while bear density is higher in New Jersey than cougar density is in California, cougars roam further and are FAR more likely to attack a human than bears. California has a high enough density of cougars to make interactions not uncommon:

Any statewide estimate of the mountain lion population is just a “guesstimate.” Mountain lion studies over the last 30 years have estimated population densities for different habitat types around the state. These density estimates varied from zero to 10 lions per 100 square miles, and were simply expanded to the total amount of each habitat type available. This method provides a crude estimate of between 4,000 and 6,000 mountain lions statewide.

Commonly Asked Questions about Mountain Lions

Anyone with an elementary understanding of each animal would tell you bears are nowhere near the risk of cougars. Cougars are active predators while black bears are omivorous for the most part (except for predation on young ungulates).

As for a test, go suggest switching 3/4 of New Jersey's black bears (southern California has black bear density 1/4 of New Jersey's) in exchange for 350 cougars. I'd wager most people would stick with the bears.

The following is from Lynn Rogers, a 42 year veteran bear researcher, and clearly shows you have far more risk from additional people moving into your town than black bears.

In the years Rogers has tramped through the Northwoods he has abandoned just about everything he knew, or thought he knew, about bears. They do not like honey. They are not even that crazy about berries or nuts – provided, of course, there is a nice rich stash of ant larvae in the vicinity.
And they are not ferocious. Rogers is adamant about that. He said he has never heard a bear roar or even growl, and that in all of his years of close proximity to the animals he has never been seriously hurt even though in his early years he displayed what he calls "bad bear manners".
The bears he knows are timid creatures. Defensive postures, such as swatting their large paws on the ground, are mistaken for aggression by many people.

"In my 42 years of working closely with bears and testing every no-no, I have not found a way of getting a bear to attack. The more I push them the more they try to get away. They might want to nip and slap, but it is not an attack, it is just a way of fending me off so they can find a way to escape."
It's humans who are the more dangerous animal, he said. "If you look at the statistics, one black bear out of a million kills somebody. With grizzly bears it's one in 50,000. Among humans it's one person out of 18,000 kills somebody. So you could see why I would feel a lot less comfortable in the city than in the woods next to a bear."
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chennai01 View Post
blah blah blah"[/i]
The cougars would be dead as fast as the bears, bullets work the same on both.That is unless the cougars were armed with laser beams and were encased in armor plating, now that would be something. As for the rest of your diatribe...I pretty much lost all interest once I found out you were Canadian and were telling people over 3000 miles away how they should live.

Last edited by tdstyles; 05-07-2012 at 03:56 PM..
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
Look, I just like to keep things simple, like they were in the 1800s. Bears cannot live in northern NJ outside of the rural western counties. If they encroach in these areas, they need to be killed. Humans and bears do not mix. The same goes for other wildlife that presents a nusiance or hazard to humans. The country is more than big enough to accomodate predatory mammals in the rural areas which make up about 80% of the land area of the country. Once you are in cities and suburbs, no bears can be allowed. Same with large cats, coyotes, etc. Man comes first in these areas, and that's the way most rational people want it.

The bears are smart enough not to worry about the "rights" of the deer that they kill and eat. We need to exhibit the same intelligence in areas that we populate.
And that is where they will permanently live. Lack of suitable habitat exists in the most populated parts of the state and bears cannot survive there. A young dispersing bear may wander into these areas occasionally in spring looking for territory and they will either leave or be removed.

This is stated even by the NJ Dept of Wildlife:

[LEFT]DFW has classified BMZ 7 as unsuitable bear habitat. Council recognizes that the lack of[/LEFT]
suitable bear habitat in BMZ 7 makes it unlikely that a viable population could be established.

Most bears live north of I 78 and west of 287, which is described as suitable bear habitat by the NJ Dept of Wildlife. The issue is when bears move from forests to residential parts of these areas. Use of improper garbage containers causes bears to leave the forest and enter residential neighborhoods. A quick drive around towns in these areas during garbage pick-up days reveals why bears enter these areas.

Large enough areas without human development is becoming rarer and rarer and human wildlife interactions are a fact of life. The 80% of the country you describe contains many unsuitable habitats (i.e. deserts, farmland, etc.) so that is a bit of an overstatement IMHO.

Also, your view on eliminating coyotes is unreleastic. Its been tried by the US government by every means possible and doesn't work and is usually counterproductive. Coyotes simply have larger litters to more than make up for coyotes killed and the population has a larger proportion of younger animals. These younger animals tend to get into more trouble like teenagers and young adults.

Then there are the ramifications of killing predators. What happens to prey, such as deer (and rodent) populations and that effect on lyme disease and fatal car accidents?

Unfortunately, most rational people have evolved to a broader view of the world. We realize wildlife is something to enjoy and the dangers are mostly a figment of people's imaginations. Most people I know are happy to hear a coyote's howl or see a bear walking away while hiking in the woods.

Last edited by chennai01; 05-07-2012 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tdstyles View Post
The cougars would be dead as fast as the bears, bullets work the same on both.That is unless the cougars were armed with laser beams and were encased in armor plating, now that would be something. As for the rest of your diatribe...I pretty much lost all interest once I found out you were Canadian and were telling people over 3000 miles away how they should live.
Great answer. Unfortunately, you totally missed the point of my post where Californians in the San Diego And Los Angeles metropolitan area are able to live with a large cougar population, which are far more dangerous the black bears, WITHOUT hunting.

Besides, cougar hunting leads to more problems due to skewing age structure to riskier adolescent animals:

First, a bevy of research shows that hunting skews cougar populations (as well as other predators) towards younger animals which are more likely to attack people and livestock. Thus hunting exacerbates the likelihood of human conflicts.

The reason is that in unhunted populations, dominant male cougar kill young males. Young males are less skillful hunters and are more “brazen” and bold. Thus the more young males in a population, the more likelihood you will have depredations on livestock and the rare attack on humans. One does not get to be an old male cougar by being an ineffective hunter and/or either brazen or bold. Thus cougar hunting is more likely to create social chaos by killing the dominant males that control cougar social structure, permitting a greater number of young males to survive.

California is a good control since it is the only state with any significant cougar population where hunting is banned. No sport hunting of cougars has effectively occurred since 1972. The human population of California is 38 million or approximately 10 times the population of Oregon (3.8 million) and California’s human population is more widely dispersed into cougar habitat than Oregon (due to Oregon’s strict land use laws). California also has 17% of the West’s suitable cougar habitat-- more than twice as much cougar habitat as Oregon.

Thus one would expect-- all things being equal-- that California’s much higher human population and greater cougar habitat would lead to much higher number of human conflicts, and livestock depredations than Oregon. But in reality the opposite is true. California has the lowest per capita cougar attacks on human in the West, and a low level of livestock depredations as well.

Comparisons between California and Washington also show the same trends. For 2009, the last year for Washington data, there were 1528 cougar “incidents” in the state Incidents are defined as a livestock depredation, sighting in someone’s yard, etc. Washington has an aggressive hunting season. Washington has an estimated 2000-2,500 cougars.

http://wdfw.wa.gov/enforcement/cougar_reports/index.php

By comparison in California where there is no cougar hunting, there are an estimated 4000-6000 cougars (as much as three times as many as in Washington) and with six times the human population of Washington, and far more of the state covered with sprawl, yet there were less than 400 incidents a year in recent years--less than a third of the number reported in Washington where cougars are hunted. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/lion/trends.html

Oregon, which has year round cougar hunting, presently kills 3-4 times as many cougars a year as California, yet it has many, many more complaints and livestock depredations. Are Oregon cougars just craftier than their California cousins--and better able to attack livestock than in the Golden State? Or is something else going on here?

Even if cougar hunting were effective at reducing cougar populations that does not mean it will result in fewer conflicts. Dr. Robert Wielgus found that as the cougar population in his Washington study area was declining due to hunting, while complaints and documented conflicts were increasing.

Oregon’s assumptions on cougar hunting misplaced | George Wuerthner | Community Blogs | NewWest.Net

Not Canadian - born and bred in various parts of northern New Jersey. However, I do travel to places outside of New Jersey and can critique my home state's policies.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:12 PM
 
283 posts, read 405,761 times
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Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
Look, I just like to keep things simple, like they were in the 1800s. Bears cannot live in northern NJ outside of the rural western counties. If they encroach in these areas, they need to be killed. Humans and bears do not mix. The same goes for other wildlife that presents a nusiance or hazard to humans. The country is more than big enough to accomodate predatory mammals in the rural areas which make up about 80% of the land area of the country. Once you are in cities and suburbs, no bears can be allowed. Same with large cats, coyotes, etc. Man comes first in these areas, and that's the way most rational people want it.

The bears are smart enough not to worry about the "rights" of the deer that they kill and eat. We need to exhibit the same intelligence in areas that we populate.
What's interesting about this thread is that both the pro-hunting posters and the anti-hunting posters aren't making much sense. FYI-bears don't kill deer-they might feast upon a dead one if they came upon it (bears are omnivorous but are also opportunists), but a black bear would be hard pressed to catch a deer much less "eat" it. Furthermore, bear hunting and bear seasons have nothing to do with keeping bears out of the suburbs. The NJ bear hunting zones are in Sussex, Warren, and Northwestern Passaic Counties. There is a bear season because there's a need to manage the population-a well managed bear hunt is a far cry from the fiascos you see when a bear wanders into the average NJ suburb.

As for the person from British Columbia, I've yet to see a reason why there shouldn't be a bear season just like there is a deer season, small game season, etc...are you against all hunting? If so, that's just silly. If you're only against bear hunting, that's even sillier. Finally, you mention that where you come from people like to see bears while they are hiking and hear coyotes howl, etc... So do I and so do most of the hunters I know-what does that have to do with hunting or not hunting? No one has advocated wiping either species off of the face of the earth, just managing them responsibly.

One of the reasons I don't post on this forum much is because of the lack of rural folks from NJ. Topics like this are a glaring example. On one hand you have frightened suburbanites who think that bears kill deer, and on the other hand you have animal rights folks who oppose all hunting for reasons they can't even explain to themselves. Then you have people like myself who can only read these threads and
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