by Cody McLaughlin - Monday, October 31, 2022
Yet another black bear has attacked a citizen in the Northeast. Occurring this time in Connecticut, the bear (shown in a necropsy report to have been feeding on garbage, including macaroni) attacked a 10-year-old boy in his grandparents’ back yard and tried to drag him away before being killed by police.
Readers and NRA members will know, though, that while black bear populations are exploding across the continental United States, resulting in more conflicts in highly populated areas, more and more anti-hunting states are closing or attempting to close bear hunting seasons, taking a critical tool out of the toolbox of resource managers hoping to mitigate conflicts.
On the heels of multiple high-profile and protracted fights over the management of black bears in the nation, including in New Jersey and California—which have banned or attempted to ban the scientific management of black bears in recent years—black bear attacks continue to rise.
In Florida this year, an Apopka couple described being charged by a black bear as a “horrifying” experience and shared a viral video highlighting the encounter. A Canadian man fought off a black bear with a knife just outside his home in New Brunswick, Canada, this year.
That’s to say nothing of New Jersey’s troubles. A full two years after a high-profile hunting ban, the state’s northwestern counties are so overrun with black bear attacks that local elected officials must work nonstop to address it. In New Jersey, a state that this website reports on repeatedly due to its escalating bear attacks, a black bear killed a person’s dog and bit the owner when she tried to rescue it. In May, a woman in Lafayette was attacked by a bear while checking her mail. Another dog also was recently killed in the Garden State, and readers will likely remember hearing about a 2020 high-profile mauling of a New Jersey resident in his own garage.
What’s most concerning about this recent attack in Connecticut is the nutritional circumstances surrounding the bear. It is an extremely bold move for a relatively young 250-pound bear to attack a child in a yard and try to drag him from the scene. Couple that with the fact that a necropsy showed the bear to be in perfect health and “good nutritional body condition with adequate fat reserves” and it becomes clear that this was not an act of desperation or random cub-driven aggression that anti-hunting extremists would have you believe is the cause of all bear attacks.
In New Jersey, dangerous anti-hunting extremists do more to habituate bears to human contact than trash, yet instead of punishment they receive internet fame for it from legions of strangers who enjoy seeing their “cute” videos. Anyone who has encountered a suburban bear knows one of the main culprits that contributes to the increasing aggression is its comfort level around human beings. Hunters, by contrast, recognize that respect is born from the inherent fear that comes with being a main predator of black bears.
About the Author
Cody McLaughlin is a noted conservationist and conservative thought leader on public policy issues including hunting, fishing, gun rights, free-market tax and wage policy and the environment. He works as a GOP consultant for conservative political causes, managing clients’ digital communications and online presence, serves currently on the board of the Alaska Outdoor Council (the Last Frontier’s State NRA Affiliate) and is a former board member and lead spokesman of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, helping to represent the state’s 1.2 million sportsmen in the political arena.
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