I Have a Gripe

August 7, 2011

Bear that Wandered into Stokes Campsite Killed

This week was a mix of lies, stories and excuses on a multiple of fronts. No, I’m not talking about the ongoing nonsense in D.C. – I’m talking about the killing of a black bear in Stokes State Forest.

According to the initial story, a bear attacked two young campers sending them to the hospital with minor injuries. The bear was shot (non kill shot) in the  neck and left the area wounded. A search continued until the bear was caught in a snare and killed.

Later it was learned the counselors jumped to conclusions about the event and the kids lied about being attacked, as doctors that examined the boys and determined their wounds were not fresh. It was also learned that the food at the camp site was not stored properly, which will always bring a bear curiously looking for an easy meal. DEP still classified this as a “Category One” bear, meaning, it displayed “aggressive behavior.”

This was a travesty on multiple fronts. First, the two camp counselors obviously didn’t stress bear safety and food storage properly to their campers. Next, you have two boys who lied about their encounter. You had a representative make an incredibly poor shot that failed to kill the animal the first time, so the bear headed off injured. Finally, the DEP stood by their initial decision, classifying this animal as a category one, setting traps and ultimately killing the bear. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Let’s remember this was an 18-month-old yearling who smelled food and set off looking for an easy meal. It was in a wooded area, not a residential neighborhood. Yearlings are on their own for the first time and are naturally curious about their area and new found independence. If you are in bear country, you need to understand how to store your food, and take important safety measures in order to minimize negative encounters. After all, you are now in their home. My husband and I often fish in bear country and we are always armed with whistles and bear spray and are sure to stay alert and aware of our surroundings. This is just common sense.

These suburbanites need to understand the ramifications of their actions that resulted in the death of a young bear.

Now to clarify, I am not “anti-hunt.” I believe it is important to hunt responsibly, following all safety regulations as a way to control population by “thinning the herd” and avoid starvation by these animals in the winter. Additionally, all hunters I know consume what they harvest, using it as a food source. At the same time, Jersey needs to stop building strip malls in every open space. It is because of the lack of open space that you see more and more wildlife coming into residential areas.

This is a very unfortunate example of ill-prepared counselors, lying kids and over-zealous officials. I hope they all understand the ramifications of their actions.

December 2, 2010

“It Was a Just a Turkey”

Filed under: General Annoyances,Laws,New Jersey,Outdoors — alvb1227 @ 1:04 am
Tags: , , ,

I just saw this story on my local news and I was compelled to write a post.

In Rutherford, NJ, two teenagers killed one of the borough’s wild turkeys in July of this year with a bow and arrow. The backlash has been so bad, the case has been moved to another venue.

Now many of you that know me personally or have read this blog regularly, know that I am an avid angler (catch and release) and thoroughly enjoy the outdoors. I am not a hunter or “catch and keep” angler, but do not begrudge anyone who is, as long as they hunt and fish responsibly and consume what they kill. This represents the large majority of hunters.

The two young men who killed this turkey, that was essentially considered a neighborhood mascot, are not even close to hunters. From what I have read about these two, they are essentially the neighborhood delinquents that even when confronted after shooting the turkey made snide remarks about the event. They received multiple tickets and summons from Rutherford and the state Division of Fish and Wildlife and the case will be heard in court soon.

Since the event, the court has received hundreds of letters from citizens outraged over the event, urging the judge to give out the maximum possible sentence. The two are also receiving harassing phone calls and people are standing outside their homes with signs.

When Jolyn Garner, one of the boy’s mothers, was recently interviewed, she said the following; “It’s just been nonstop harassment for four months,” she said. “I’m sorry the turkey was killed, but it was a just a turkey.”

Wow…good parenting example. Now I know where her boy gets it from.

The kicker to all this is while being interviewed, young Garner also informed the reporter he is a vegetarian for “personal and moral reasons.” Is he serious? Killing a turkey, or any animal, in a public place, for fun, is moral? He was in a park. He could’ve missed the turkey and shot a child!

In case you can’t tell, I’m furious. I hope these kids get whatever the maximum they can receive. What they should really do is give them community service with Fish and Wildlife helping with wildlife management of the state turkey population. That should help them understand what nature in New Jersey is all about.

It is because of idiots like this people have such a low opinion of Jersey.

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