Bear Update: 4,164

We reported in December that the Bear harvest was record breaking.  We just didn’t know by how much.

The Pennyslvania Game Commission has released the numbers: 4,164.

This article compares PA & NJ bear mind sets.

While New Jersey continues to debate whether hunting black bears is ethical or necessary, the Pennsylvania Game Commission yesterday announced not just a record bear kill but one that exceeded the state’s previous all-time record by a whopping 35 percent.

Under the headline “Pennsylvania hunters post incredible bear harvest record,” the agency said the official final tally for the two seasons – three days before Thanksgiving statewide plus six days after Thanksgiving in designated areas – was 4,164.

The previous record of 3,075 was set in 2000, before extended seasons were added in more than a dozen counties, mainly in the northeast, where wildlife biologists believed extra measures were needed to control surging bear populations.

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Numerous protests and lawsuits filed by animal-rights groups led to a cancellation of the Garden State hunt in 2004, and then a reinstatement – cleared at the last minute by the state Supreme Court – in 2005. December’s six-day hunt resulted in a preliminary harvest total of 298 statewide.

The tug of war is likely to continue as bear-hunting bills await action in Trenton and Gov. Corzine sets policy of all kinds, including those involving animals and hunting.

Perhaps the hunters in our sister state should voluntarily practice abstinence; after a couple more years, the bear poplulation there will explode, and the animal rights whackos will be, well, confirmed for what they are: whacko.

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