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2008 NJ Bear Incidents Up, Alarmingly

Speaking of Bear incidents

Posted today Wednesday 5/28 on myCentralJersey.com:

BRIDGEWATER —A bear was struck and killed Wednesday morning on northbound Interstate 287 after there were several bruin sightings in the township.

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The motorist, who was not identified, was not injured. Her silver Toyota Camry suffered front-end damage. The bear was killed in the crash and was left roadside for the New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife to pick up sometime Wednesday or Thursday, Potter said.

There were six bear sightings on Monday along Crim Road and Mountaintop Road, Township Administrator Jim Naples said. There was another one Wednesday morning on West Foothill Road, he said, reading from police Chief Richard Borden’s report.

Township officials are asking residents to be “bear aware” and posted a list of precautions on the township Web site, www.bridgewaternj.gov.
Speaking of Bear incidents

The motorist, who was not identified, was not injured. Her silver Toyota Camry suffered front-end damage. The bear was killed in the crash and was left roadside for the New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife to pick up sometime Wednesday or Thursday, but an unidentified man only known as Petie-Po skinned the bear before officials had a chance to claim it. Potter said.

I am surprised that more hit and kill accidents haven't occured.

As always, bears should remain in bear country, and not in New Jersey.

AK Skim
The best way to get a bear hunt approved is for the bears to keep moving east.

AK, probably more killed than what gets reported. Up my way, it's a more common way to shop than Shoprite.

What's for dinner Grampa...Road kill...yum yum,
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I'm just curious...How many people here have eaten NJ black bear meat?

I had it once and that was enough for me. Would rather eat possum stew.

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I ate it once. My crazy PA buddy had some. Apparently it needs to be cooked very well becuase of bacteria or something of the sorts, I forget. That crazy bastard also fed me beaver tail.. mmmm, tastes like chicken (steak actually).
Actualy there have been past bear counts, and field work done on the bear population through the 80's and early 90's untill the Federal Funds ran out because the Division didn't have the personnel. Before the last hunts additional traps were set out in the areas where the hunt was to be allowed.

Of the some 250 bears trapped and tagged before the last hunt 78% had never been tagged before. Most of the bears taken during the hunt were also untagged. Just a couple of years ago a jackass hiking with his kids in the GAP tossed bagels to a bear to get a better picture. The bear became aggressive and swiped at the kids backpack where the bagels were.

This bear had a tag so they knew which one they were looking for. A trap was set and baited. They never got the bear they were looking for but if memory serves me about 11 additional bears were caught over the next few days...all untagged!

The Fish & Wildlife's formual of estimating the bear population, based on exsisting data, and tagging was peer reviewed and excepted.

If they know they tagged and tracked 250 female bears, that these bears were producing two to four cubs each, and that better the half the produced bears are female, simple math gives you the growing population.

NYS and PA are seeing more and more NJ tagged bears showing up in their states, 50 to one hundred miles from NJ, and we are seeing bears coming from their states also, as bears can roam hundreds of miles seeking territory and mates. So just on the estimate of new born cubs the population grows by 500 or so a year, the population will not decline or come under control by the state printing pamphlets. The folks who live up here in bear country, have been secruing their trash for years, well before the anti hunt "bear group" came about. Their postion has been no garbage, no increase in bears, but as the bears, can't find the garbage they are breaking into homes more.

To be frank in seaking with state biologist, there is no way to actual count bears in the wild, so they have to go by the best estimates they can based on their field data. This is the excepted method used by all states. The commissioner is still hoping that bear education will work, but noone has yet gotten a picture of a bear reading one of her brochures. Its interesting to note in Western Maryland they estimated the bear population to be at about 500 znimals. Their Gov a Democrate, allowed a hunt to go forward because "if it came down to a bear vs the safety of his citizens, the citizens came first".
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Uhh.. What?? Why are you assuming I dont believe the bear incident report? You're getting a bit out of line. First of all, I said the bear count isnt public info. because there isnt one. Second, I never said the bear pop. wasn't growing.. I said like every other hunt thats allowed by law, you need to take the necessary steps and get a count and proof. This would prove it's their numbers growing and not just ours. Incident reports dont prove that they've grown in numbers. Its a fact that the human pop. has grown and that could be a possible reason for the incidents, I really dont know or care as much as you think I may. And when did I ever say killing and eating a bear or other animals was a bad thing?? Please dont put words in my mouth so you can sound like the good guy. You may want to actually read my full posts before making your assumptions. I am by no means a vegetarian. I have family and friends that are, and thats certainly all right to, but that has absolutely nothing to do with anything I've posted or commented on. You're completely missing my point. You cant just assume there are more bears because you see more and there are more incidents.. you need to count them and put the numbers in the management plan so you know what you're working with and take the measures from there.. thats all Im saying and all I ever meant.. you're putting words in my mouth and not even making sense half the time.


Posts are at times a difficult medium to use for discussion - things are easily confused.
The purpose of the thread is to:

** Show how the bear activity is growing - alarmingly.

That's it. People can extrapolate on their own.

BTW - Sows are averaging nearly 3 cubs (figure from DFW, an unusually high figure.) This is confirmed by wildlife biologists. Without any noted, exceptional, or reported; diseases, natural/unnatural deaths, culling activities, abnormal migrations - the bear population is growing. Anecdotally, this may well be reflected in the bear activity report. As human/bear encounters increase so too do the risks to bears, humans, pets... The DFW via the direction of DEP has NO bear population management plan in place. It is a "human management" program.

The DEP is serving their brand of Kool-Aid to those willing to drink it. The problem is that people arte being put in harms way when they drink it.

Stonefly has provided some good info regarding the bear.

The purpose of this thread is informational. I stated this in my initial post. (see post below)

so you can sound like the good guy
It has nothing to do with being a good guy - it hase everything to do with being an "informed" guy.


This information is intended for educational purposes.

For the period January 1, 2008 through April 20, 2008 versus same period in 2007.

Category I Bear incidents are up a whopping 314.3% this year over the same period last year (January 1 -April 20.) Category 1 contains the most severe incidents. Increases were seen in the categories; Attempted Home Entry, Home Entry, Livestock Kills, Aggressive behavior, Vehicle Entry, and Rabbit Attacks. A total incident report in category I (one) is 29 in 2008 versus 7 in 2007.

Category II Bear incidents have also increased a stunning 177.4%. Property Damage, Nuisance and Garbage incidents were the categories that contained the complaints. A total incident report in category II (two) is 172 in 2008 versus 62 in 2007.

Even Category III complaints (Bird Feeder damage, Sightings and Vehicle Strikes) are up 46.3% from prior year (79 incidents in 2008 versus 54 incidents in 2007.)

These figures do NOT include incidents reported to police departments without assistance from the DEP.

These incidents are NOT restricted to one or two areas of New Jersey or a hand-full of people. The above complaints include the counties that reported activity, which were: Sussex, Ocean, Warren, Morris, Somerset, Passaic, and Hunterdon.

As the population of bears continues to increase in NJ, unrestricted by any method of population control, so too do the risks to humans and pets.

This information is taken from publicly disclosed documents. Although black bear attacks on humans are infrequent there are a reported 52 known fatal black bear attacks in North America during the last 100 years.

Anthony P. Mauro, Sr.
Chairman, NJOA
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Thanks for bring up the accident. FYI - Bear "road kills" have increased to 12 from 2 (up 6 times) versus the same period last year. Two have occured on Rte 287. It must be a real tragedy for a driver of a car traveling at high speeds to collide with a 200, 300, 400 lb bear.

Couldn't find more recent numbers, but it looks like from 99-05 the incident reports actually went down.. guess they're back up. I must say, I've ran into many more bears in the last few years backpacking in the Adirondacks than I have in my whole life combined. Again, not sure if this is due to more bears, or the more hiker traffic along the trails. Used to be there'd be plenty of parking at trailheads and only a few people on the trail.. those days are long gone.
<TABLE class=black12 cellPadding=3 border=1><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=8>
Number of Black Bear Complaints 1999-2005
Reported to NJ DFW Wildlife Control Unit
</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>INCIDENT TYPE</TD><TD align=middle>1999</TD><TD align=middle>2000</TD><TD align=middle>2001</TD><TD align=middle>2002</TD><TD align=middle>2003</TD><TD align=middle>2004</TD><TD align=middle>2005</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>NUISANCE</TD><TD aligtn="center">468</TD><TD align=middle>483</TD><TD align=middle>357</TD><TD align=middle>525</TD><TD align=middle>357</TD><TD align=middle>229</TD><TD align=middle>387</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>GARBAGE</TD><TD align=middle>496</TD><TD align=middle>290</TD><TD align=middle>269</TD><TD align=middle>379</TD><TD align=middle>503</TD><TD align=middle>282</TD><TD align=middle>358</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>BIRDFEEDER</TD><TD align=middle>274</TD><TD align=middle>202</TD><TD align=middle>137</TD><TD align=middle>137</TD><TD align=middle>89</TD><TD align=middle>59</TD><TD align=middle>87</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>PROTECTED HIVE</TD><TD align=middle>4</TD><TD align=middle>7</TD><TD align=middle>0</TD><TD align=middle>2</TD><TD align=middle>3</TD><TD align=middle>5</TD><TD align=middle>2</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>UNPROTECTED HIVE</TD><TD align=middle>19</TD><TD align=middle>16</TD><TD align=middle>13</TD><TD align=middle>24</TD><TD align=middle>9</TD><TD align=middle>5</TD><TD align=middle>9</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>LIVESTOCK KILL</TD><TD align=middle>25</TD><TD align=middle>22</TD><TD align=middle>36</TD><TD align=middle>27</TD><TD align=middle>17</TD><TD align=middle>24</TD><TD align=middle>24</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>RABBIT KILL</TD><TD align=middle>28</TD><TD align=middle>38</TD><TD align=middle>57</TD><TD align=middle>34</TD><TD align=middle>38</TD><TD align=middle>27</TD><TD align=middle>15</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>UNPROVOKED DOG ATTACK</TD><TD align=middle>12</TD><TD align=middle>17</TD><TD align=middle>6</TD><TD align=middle>15</TD><TD align=middle>11</TD><TD align=middle>5</TD><TD align=middle>8</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>PROVOKED DOG ATTACK</TD><TD align=middle>***</TD><TD align=middle>***</TD><TD align=middle>***</TD><TD align=middle>***</TD><TD align=middle>22</TD><TD align=middle>4</TD><TD align=middle>4</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>HOME ENTRY</TD><TD align=middle>29</TD><TD align=middle>29</TD><TD align=middle>29</TD><TD align=middle>55</TD><TD align=middle>53</TD><TD align=middle>24</TD><TD align=middle>29</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>AGGRESSIVE</TD><TD align=middle>34</TD><TD align=middle>51</TD><TD align=middle>37</TD><TD align=middle>28</TD><TD align=middle>19</TD><TD align=middle>7</TD><TD align=middle>21</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>CAMPSITE / PARK</TD><TD align=middle>28</TD><TD align=middle>22</TD><TD align=middle>5</TD><TD align=middle>10</TD><TD align=middle>1</TD><TD align=middle>3</TD><TD align=middle>0</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>URBAN REMOVAL</TD><TD align=middle>10</TD><TD align=middle>7</TD><TD align=middle>12</TD><TD align=middle>19</TD><TD align=middle>11</TD><TD align=middle>12</TD><TD align=middle>38</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>PROPERTY DAMAGE</TD><TD align=middle>232</TD><TD align=middle>191</TD><TD align=middle>123</TD><TD align=middle>111</TD><TD align=middle>132</TD><TD align=middle>44</TD><TD align=middle>83</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top width=170>
</TD><TD align=middle>0</TD><TD align=middle>0</TD><TD align=middle>1</TD><TD align=middle>1</TD><TD align=middle>2</TD><TD align=middle>1</TD><TD align=middle>1</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top width=170>
</TD><TD align=middle>*</TD><TD align=middle>*</TD><TD align=middle>5</TD><TD align=middle>25</TD><TD align=middle>23</TD><TD align=middle>10</TD><TD align=middle>23</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>AGRICULTURAL DAMAGE</TD><TD align=middle>*</TD><TD align=middle>*</TD><TD align=middle>5</TD><TD align=middle>9</TD><TD align=middle>5</TD><TD align=middle>10</TD><TD align=middle>8</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>TENT ENTRY</TD><TD align=middle>*</TD><TD align=middle>*</TD><TD align=middle>2</TD><TD align=middle>5</TD><TD align=middle>4</TD><TD align=middle>2</TD><TD align=middle>3</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>VEHICLE ENTRY</TD><TD align=middle>*</TD><TD align=middle>*</TD><TD align=middle>2</TD><TD align=middle>6</TD><TD align=middle>9</TD><TD align=middle>3</TD><TD align=middle>4</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>TOTAL</TD><TD align=middle>1,659</TD><TD align=middle>1,375</TD><TD vAlign=center align=middle width=62>1,096**</TD><TD vAlign=center align=middle width=62>1,412**</TD><TD vAlign=center align=middle width=62>1,308**</TD><TD vAlign=center align=middle width=49>756**</TD><TD align=middle>1,104</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Hmm... More data needed to say anything definite but:

Bear hunt in 2003 -- Sharp drop in Incidents in 2004
No hunt in 2004 ---- Incidents increase
Next hunt in 2005 -- 2006 figures not shown ????
No hunt in 2006 & 7- 2007 Figures not shown (too soon for 2008, other than trends).

Your posts indicates that you have some of the numbers for 2008.
Do you have a source for the rest of the missing data for 2006 & 2007?
BTW: The figures shown in Bigbow's last post can be sourced at:
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/2005/bearpolicy05.pdf (scroll to page 40)
NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife - Questions and Answers About NJ's Black Bears
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I guess we're all tired of talking about Fly Fishing, cause this OT bear thread has received the most posts and views in quite a while.

Good points Pete.

BB, Imagine being involved in one of those tent entries. I'd need a new sleeping bag.