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The One Percent of NJ Residents Who Hunt Aim For Bear This December

Bear gathering apples

With the election of a Republican governor, Chris Christie, New Jersey restarting its bear war. The first hunt in five years will almost certainly scheduled for this December. The one percent of New Jersey residents who hunt  are eager to get started.

That’s right, only one percent of of New Jersey residents hunt. The latest National Survey of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife-Associated Recreational of the Fish and Wildlife Service says that in a population of 7 million, only about 86,000 people hunt, or 1%. By contrast 1.5 million or 23% like to watch wildlife.

Does the 1% figure sound low? That’s because hunters like to exaggerate their numbers. Anthony Mauro, head of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, urged hunters to vote for Christie in part so they could shoot bear: “The outdoorsmen/women of NJ can make the difference – remember, there are 650,000 of us, which is approximately 15% of all voters.”

Who are these phantom hunters he’s talking about? NJ Outdoor Alliance claims in its “Just the Facts” section that the state has “562,000 hunters and anglers…among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups, spending more than $1 billion a year on hunting and fishing, according to a new report.”

What report are they citing? The same one I am. Only they are counting anglers. That’s people who fish, not hunt bear. There are eight times as many recreational fishermen than hunters. And that 15%? Who knows? That’s almost double the percentage of people who hunt or fish and 15 times the number who hunt.

NJOA brags that “outdoorsmen” spend $1 billion. Hunters spend $137 million. That’s impressive until you realize wildlife watchers spent $631 million.

The new pro-hunting policy was supposed to be unveiled February 9, NorthJersey.com says.
Now you can expect hear the debate about in at next month’s meeting March 9 at the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area in Robbinsville. Or, actually you won’t hear the arguments. Dr. Len Wolgast, chairman of the fish and game council, says they’ll go into (secret) executive session to discuss the policy.

The NJ bear war is long-running and both sides are entrenched. Hunters claims black bears will surely eat children unless hunting flourishes. The New Jersey Bear Group wants to rely on non-lethal bear control, like chasing bears away and good garbage cans.

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3 comments to The One Percent of NJ Residents Who Hunt Aim For Bear This December

  • cvinzant

    The report is the 2006 National Survey of Fishing Hunting and Wildlife-Related Activities. It’s linked in the story. Table 7 shows hunting expenditures by state.
    http://library.fws.gov/Pubs/nat_survey2006_state.pdf

  • Anonymous

    Trying to find out the facts, I found the original report that states “the NJOA brags that “outdoorsmen” spend $1 billion. Hunters spend $137 million. ” only I cannot find any reference to “That’s impressive until you realize wildlife watchers spent $631 million.” other than a census report but that was exclusively a report on TEXAS not NJ, so please tell me where you got your information from? because I can’t find ANY reference to the amount of money wildlife watchers spend in NJ.

  • Anonymous

    FYI. Even more relevant is the fact that 66% of New Jerseyans support hunting…

    Research Management is a nationally recognized public opinion and attitude survey research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues.

    Results regarding hunting, fishing and trapping: approval of fishing was the highest at 87% followed by hunting at 66% and then trapping at 45%. While many New Jerseyan’s may not take part in these activities, the survey points out that most support these activities.

    Read more at the following sources:

    http://www.njoutdooralliance.org/justthe/facts.html

    http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/news/2004/opinion_survey.htm

    http://www.responsivemanagement.com/

    Thanks for the opportunity to post.