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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.”

Bruce December 05, 2012 at 01:54 PM
"... while improving public safety by reducing bear encounters with people." REALLY? Please be serious! People who encounter bears usually do so due to their own "carelessness" (read: stupidity!), i.e. accessible bird feeders, accessible trash cans, not stowing food at camp sites, etc. etc. Here's a thought... perhaps we should have open season on those who stupidly (oops...ahem...CARELESSLY) and repeatedly do these types of things! We could actually handle a much larger bear population if people would simply exercise a bit more common sense and not do the things that attract bears in the first place!
Deb Sisco December 05, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Bears 'caught'? Tell it like it is-bears KILLED, and bear CUBS at that...
The Watcher December 05, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Deer hunt stuff is on the agenda for tonights meeting.
BeachBum December 05, 2012 at 05:40 PM
They don't bother anybody - The deer are the problem - 165/124lb those are babies - Disgusting!
Tammy December 05, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I love how this article uses the terms "hunted, caught, taken, brought in". Any word the author could come up with except KILLED.
Teresa Fontana December 05, 2012 at 06:25 PM
TAKE ACTION: Call Governor Christie's office constantly. 609-292-6000 Let his staff know that you do not want bear hunting to continue in New Jersey. Demand non-lethal methods and Bear Smart legislation.
topo December 05, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Boooo bear hunters! "Me big man, me kill deer". Seriously? Sparta isn't exactly Wyoming. And you're not a hunter if you can coax the bear over with an apple and donk it on the head. Totally agree with Bruce above - responsible animal management begins with responsible citizens, not gun-toting "hunters" who park their trucks in the Sussex library parking lot.
Jayne December 05, 2012 at 06:40 PM
TOTALLY AGREE, Bruce!
Jayne December 05, 2012 at 06:41 PM
That's exactly right. 165/124 lbs ARE babies. Probably why they got 'caught' in the first place. Lack of experience dealing with our 'responsible' hunting community.
Stephanie December 05, 2012 at 06:46 PM
You people are idiotic. Do you buy and eat meat from the grocery store? (which if you have ever been to a "farm" with chickens or cows you would realize were treated inhumane) I would much rather eat fresh deer or bear meat any day!
Will Wilson December 05, 2012 at 06:51 PM
You people are morons and should shut your mouths, and maybe do some research before you start going on and on about things you know nothing about. The bear population in the 1000 square mile area is the most densely populated area in ALL OF NORTH AMERICA. More heavily populated then all of Canada, Pennsylvenia and Alaska combined. There are an average of 3 bears per square mile here in northern New Jersey. So do all of us hunters a favor and stay in the city and if you wanna see wild life then go to a zoo and stay out of the woods. These bear hunts are actually a good thing for the enviorment and the bear population. Harvesting some bears will thin the herd and create a healthier habitat, which will make for healthier bears. The same reason why we hunt deer. So if you have a problem with what we do here then stay in the city and dont come out to the woods and polute like all you dam city folk do. Thank you very much a hunter from the woods of northern New Jersey.
Deer Sleigher December 05, 2012 at 07:10 PM
God bless hunting season! Going huntin' this week! More meet, more leather!
Kris Cooper December 05, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Will Wilson - 'do us all a favor and stay in the city and if you wanna see wild life then go to a zoo'?? WTF?? That doesn't even make sense. We are not people from the city; we are people from North Jersey. Many of us enjoy the wild animals, including the bears. I hope you feel good about killing defenseless animals living in the environment they are in., You have a sick, twisted perception of what is 'good for the enviorment'.
chris December 05, 2012 at 08:17 PM
guess you live in a area where there or no bear since i had many encounters where they came on my deck which attached to my house. One also got aggressive towrds me. By the way I am not a hunter but I will not go against bear hunting
gary December 05, 2012 at 08:34 PM
124 pounds? Nice way to slay a baby you cowards..
jim December 05, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Way to kill a baby cub!!! killers!!
Michael December 05, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I oppose the bear "hunt." Being allowed to bait the bears well in advance of the kill season is really not a hunt. Killing these two that had barely been on their own without their moms hardly qualifies the "hunter" to brag about waiting by the bait. The bears haven't killed anyone in NJ and are hardly threats now if you don't try to attack them. They have neither a pension plan nor a health care plan. All they want to do is find food and be left alone. Well, Stephanie, I don't eat meat and I am opposed to the "farming" methods for raising the various animals for market. I suppose that you eat deer and bear meat year round. Will Wilson, what research are we supposed to do? Why should we stay out of the woods? I don't know what research that you have done that I haven't. I know that dfw wants to keep the bear population up enough to use the fright tactic to allow bear hunting licenses to be sold for the department's income. You don't "harvest" any bears; that implies planting and tending the crop; you harvest corn or wheat that you have raised on a plot of land. You kill the bears. If you leave the bears alone, they will stabilize their own population in competition for the available food supply. As noted above, by Bruce, reduce the access to human food to reduce the bears getting into garbage cans, etc.
Tim S December 06, 2012 at 02:00 AM
It's best for the Bears and best for the community. The ratio of bears per square mile is unbelievable to say the least. Disease is the only outcome if the population isn't controlled- natures way of reducing the number. So do the Bears a favor let the hunts continue.
Bruce December 06, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Spell check not working?
Michael December 06, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Tim, why is "diease" be "the only outcome? " If this is based on dfw output, it is suspect. The bears have been driven by housing expansion into smaller and smaller areas that are normally used by bears. At what density point does this "disease" scenario begin? All of the excuses for hunting are very weak, at best, and mostly specious.
marie December 07, 2012 at 02:53 PM
It's not the bears that are the problems its the idiot people that feed then and keep stuff out of there reach.
Bruce December 07, 2012 at 04:25 PM
WRONG! What's unbelievable is the number of nitwits per square mile that invite the problems with bears!
LV Outdoorsman007 December 09, 2012 at 03:11 AM
I live in long valley and have a word for people against bear hunting. Wake up! If we don't hunt bear and dear, we will soon have an invasive species. Look up snakehead on google. If we don't take action, open season on your children. Don't like hunters? GO BACK TO THE CITY. WELCOME TO THE COUNTRY. I don't even hunt but I know this has to be taken care of.
Bruce December 09, 2012 at 12:27 PM
"... open season on your children"... are you serious? Black bears are typically shy and want nothing to do with humans. I think you have them mixed up with grizzly bears, who are aggressive and who will attack people. Drunk drivers are a bigger threat to people than black bears!
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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