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LETTER: Bowhunters want a chance at killing NJ bears

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  • FeralPlace@aol.com
    CONTACT: Governor James E. McGreevey PO Box 001 Trenton NJ 08625 tel. (609) 292-6000 fax (609) 292-3454 * (best fax) email:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 16, 2003
      CONTACT:

      Governor James E. McGreevey
      PO Box 001
      Trenton NJ 08625
      tel. (609) 292-6000
      fax (609) 292-3454 * (best fax)
      email: http://www.state.nj.us/governor/govmail.html

      Jamie Fox (James Fox)
      Governor's Chief of Staff
      tel. (609) 777-2475
      fax (609) 292-5181
       
      Eric Shuffler
      Counselor to Governor
      tel. (609) 777-2219
      fax (609) 777- 4082
       
      James Davy
      Chief of Management & Operations
      tel. (609) 777-2201
      fax (609) 777-0357


      SAMPLE LETTER:

      Re: Please pledge to stop all future bear hunts in New Jersey

      Dear Governor McGreevey:

      People from across the nation urged you to halt the first bear hunt in New Jersey in 33 years. You refused and as a result over 300 bears, including cubs, were killed. Predictably, the hunt opened up a Pandora's box of troubles for bears.

      Now, as if to add insult to injury, bowhunters are calling upon New Jersey wildlife officials to give them a chance to kill bears in the state. The Star-Ledger recently reported that the United Bowhunters of New Jersey hope to kill bears as early as next fall and that the state Fish and Game Council was indeed considering a sanctioned bowhunt of bears. The newspaper wrote:
       
       "I think it's [a bowhunt on black bears] in the cards,"said George Howard, a member of the Fish and Game Council, which makes New Jersey's hunting regulations. "The council wanted to take the bear hunt one step at a time."
       
      Howard said there's no logical reason to disallow bowhunters from taking part in the state's effort to thin the black bear population. He said the council realizes modern bowhunting equipment is as accurate and deadly as the shotguns and muzzleloaders allowed in last week's hunt.
       
      Some may never forgive you for allowing the killing of bears in your state. But you can pledge to prevent this tragedy in the future. Please stop any future bear hunts in New Jersey. Thank you.

      Sincerely,
       
      YOUR NAME
      ADDRESS
      PHONE
      E-MAIL

      --end of sample--

      NEWS ARTICLE:

      Archers want shot at bears
      Tuesday, December 16, 2003
      BY FRED J. AUN
      For the Star-Ledger

      There are about 52,000 bowhunters in New Jersey and those that ply the state's northwestern woods for deer are accustomed to seeing black bears. Sometimes they're chased by the big mammals and they're occasionally forced to abandon the deer they shoot because hungry bears get to them first.

      So far, these hunters have been forced to go elsewhere if they want to hunt bears with their bows and arrows. While the state Fish and Game Council allowed bear hunting last week, for the first time in 33 years, it was for guns only. Bowhunting of bruins remains illegal in New Jersey.

      A fear of negative public reaction precluded bowhunters from participating in the bear hunt this year. The state Fish and Game Council and the state Division of Fish and Wildlife figured the already agitated anti-bear-hunting folks would get even more crazed at the thought of bleeding bears, with arrows sticking from their sides, staggering wounded through the woods.

      But Jack Spoto, president of United Bowhunters of New Jersey, envisions the day, maybe as soon as next autumn, when that will change. He and others involved in the issue think there just might be a bear season in 2004 for archers.

      "I think it's in the cards," said George Howard, a member of the Fish and Game Council, which makes New Jersey's hunting regulations. "The council wanted to take the bear hunt one step at a time."

      Howard said there's no logical reason to disallow bowhunters from taking part in the state's effort to thin the black bear population. He said the council realizes modern bowhunting equipment is as accurate and deadly as the shotguns and muzzleloaders allowed in last week's hunt.

      "The bow and arrow is very effective with bears," Howard said. "A lot of times, a bear will go down quicker when hit with an arrow than he will with a rifle. The bow is very efficient. ... We discussed it, but it was ruled out at this time. A lot of things were ruled out because of the hysteria involved with this hunt."

      Spoto noted a broadhead arrow propelled by a 55- to 60-pound hunting bow is deadly enough to "take down an 1,000-pound elk" and is not an inhumane weapon. "Black bears are harvested all over this country with bow and arrow," he said.

      "It's a very effective wildlife management tool. A bear doesn't die any slower, or faster, with either an arrow or a bullet when hit in the vital organs."

      Fish and Game Council president W. Scott Ellis said it's "premature" to discuss the matter, since the council doesn't even know if a firearm season for bear is going to be repeated next winter.

      Spoto said he sees no problem with a bear season running simultaneously with part or all of the current bow seasons for deer. Fall bow season begins in September and ends in late October. It's followed by permit bow season which runs from late October to late December in some areas.

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