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Bears or Humans – Who’s in the Way? [POLL]

Flikr user ANDR3W A
Flikr user ANDR3W A

Bear season is here, and it’s not even December.

Each and every fall hunters take to the woods and bag a bear so as to cull the herd.

And every year the bear nuts come out and protest, even after the season.

Earlier in the week, I wrote about the intrusion (or is it us intruding?) about the critters.

Raccoons, snakes, skunks, foxes, wood turtles that require a tunnel to cross the road.

You name it.

So it’s only natural to pose the question as to who’s in the way of whom.

Are the bears, deer, raccoons, etc. in the way, or is it us?

According to this:, black bears are on the move in New Jersey, in search of mates and food, leading to warnings to residents to take steps to reduce the risk of encounters.

A 150-pound bear cub was struck by a car and killed on Route 202 in Branchburg Township on Tuesday (that’s a sin!), and municipalities are warning residents that the bears are back.

Worried residents often call police when they see a bear in their neighborhood. Police say that’s happening this week in Hunterdon County. There’s no reason to report a bear, officials say, unless it’s damaging property, is aggressive, or causing a nuisance.

Bears now are at the start of their “most active period of the year,” according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. Northwest New Jersey is considered the state’s “bear country,” although they have been spotted in all 21 counties, including suburban developments.

Commissioner Bob Martin said,”most importantly, do not feed bears, either intentionally or unintentionally.”

It is illegal to intentionally feed black bears in New Jersey, an offense punishable by fines of up to $1,000.

The more common problem, officials say, is unintentionally feeding them by failing to secure trash cans or pet food, leaving food residue on barbecue grills or filling bird feeders during warm weather months. The DEP posts a page, “Be a Good Neighbor — Be Bear Aware” with tips to keep a bear moving past a home and yard.

According to the state DEP, overall bear sightings and encounters appear to be on the decline again this year.

Martin credits the state’s Black Bear Management Plan with making a difference, aimed at “reducing bear-human encounters through a mix of education, research and monitoring, trash management and an annual bear hunt.”

See that! Even the DEP head says “Bear Hunt!”

Sucks to be a bear, but I ask, and please take the poll, who’s in the way, us or the bears?

There’s a third option which asks a la Rodney King, “we’ll just have to learn to all just get along”.

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