Bears in Jefferson, Sparta Among First Caught in Hunt

The two bears were killed Monday on the first day of the annual week-long hunt.

The day that the annual week-long black bear hunt began in Northern New Jersey, the first two bears were caught in Jefferson and Sparta, according to a press release from the NJDEP.

The first bear, a 165-pound male, was hunted in Jefferson on Monday, by Edwin Mackin of Boonton.

The second bear that was taken in Sparta later in the day was a 124-pound male. He was brought in by Staney Zeveny of Stillwater. 

The black bears will be hunted until Saturday to control the state's black bear population. The hunt is held in conjunction with the firearm deer-hunting season.

DEP biologists predict a harvest in this year’s hunt similar to last year, when 469 bears were harvested. 

The NJDEP said the reported bear sightings are down this year by 34 percent. Nuisance and damage complaints are down by 26 percent and dangerous bear incidents are down by 43 percent through the end of October.

The Northern New Jersey region has between 2,800 and 3,000 black bears living in the hunting area north of Route 78 and west of Route 287, according to the NJDEP. The number of bears declined from 2010, which was about 3,400.

The hunting this week will take place in portions of a 1,000-square-mile area north of of Route 78 and West of Route 287. 

Commissioner of the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy Bob Martin said they anticipate a "safe and professionally managed" hunt this season.

“The overall goal is to reduce the number of bears, especially in Northern New Jersey, to a more manageable number, while improving public safety by reducing bear encounters with people. It is our responsibility to properly manage the black bear population.”

Barbara Silvestri December 09, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Bruce is ABSOLUTELY right! People want to move to the country but want the void of animals when they're here, "The deer eat my plants!" "I saw a bear (calmly) walk across my back yard!" "OMG!!!" People just have to think about what they are doing so they don't attract what they don't want i.e. they trash cans, the bird feeders,etc. OH! & don't throw apples to the bears, then complain that they are dangerous. My neighbor used to do this. People hurt & kill more people than bears do. People are the dangerous ones not bears.
Barbara Silvestri December 09, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Really! Those bears were so small. Headline should read, "Big men kill baby bears" Horrible!
Barbara Silvestri December 09, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Chris, what do you have around your house? Look to yourself first. I lived in an area backed by woods for 17 years and had a mother bear and cubs (2-3) every year. They would walk into my yard casually. the babies would frollick and play and they would go back in the woods. We had a rule though. "If the bears are out, we go in." However it was not always possible to do that and the bears never, ever bothered us. You must have something on yur deck that attracts them.
Barbara Silvestri December 09, 2012 at 01:44 PM
This is not the wide open spaces of hunter's heaven. "Don't like hunters? Go back to the city"??? I change that to "Don't like animals? Go back to the city." And the truely ridiculous comment, "open season on your children"??? How many kids in NJ were killed by bears? Oh, but 2 babies were just killed by men.
Michael December 09, 2012 at 08:43 PM
How in the world do you get from bear hunting to invasive species and snakehead fish? What invasive species do you envision coming in if bears are not hunted? Is there some number of bears that will bring in such a problem? Why should I "GO BACK TO THE CITY"? Which city? Why do I have to like hunters to live in the country? You say "I don't even hunt but I know this has to be taken care of." What has to be taken care of? You threw out too many unrelated statements that make no real point.


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