We are in the middle of NJ's first extended bear hunt. It is going surprisingly well. After first reporting 146 bears killed on day one, that number was later changed to 206 due to late reporting. 206! I thought that must be a typo at first. Why was I surprised? Because the hunt going on through Wednesday is bow and arrow only. That takes mad skill to bring down a bear with just a bow and arrow. Then Thursday through Sunday the hunt goes to both bow and arrow and muzzleloader. Old school hunting for sure. And clearly effective.

The highest number of kills were in Sussex County, with more in Morris, Warren, Passaic, Hunterdon, and Bergen. The first bear taken was a 104 pound female. The biggest was in Sussex County. A 472 pound male. Hole Revenant, Leo DiCaprio!

Of course the protesters were out. A few dozen on day one stood and screamed at the hunters, calling them murderers and killers and cowards. Yes, they are killers in that they are killing bear. That's what hunting is. No they are not cowards. One of the last things I would like to do is face a 472 pound bear with only a bow and arrow. Not cowardly at all in my opinion. Far from it. The protesters see the bears as only beautiful and even regal creatures. They are not wrong.

It's just that they are more than that.

They are an animal that is starting to create bigger and bigger problems for the Garden State. They are running into the road like deer and causing traffic accidents on our highways. It has already happened several times this year and once just days ago on Route 22 in Lopatcong when a black bear ran out in front of a tractor trailer. They are causing more and more property damage. They are losing their fear of humans and some are becoming more aggressive. The bear hunt is not pretty, but it is the best way we have to control the bear population. I know the protesters feel what they are doing is the most noble thing, and they have every right to protest. But they are very misguided on this and I support the hunt 100%.

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