Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In-basket cleaning leads to New Jersey monster bear story

        As the new year races out of the starting gate headlong into the Mayan calendar’s 2012, we need to make sure we have caught our share fish, bagged our share of squirrels and hiked our share of trails.
While obviously the Mayans were a pretty bright bunch, only a few of them made it to 2012. But their famous calendar which claims this year will be our last gives us cause to enjoy it.
Several brief fishing outings the first week were just that -- fishing for crappie, but not catching. So, it also is time to sift through the desk in-basket, and a couple of interesting times turned up.
Last month, a New Jersey hunter, Bruce Headley, shot an 829-pound black bear in Morris County. It was one of the top dozen black bears in size ever harvested in the United States or Canada.
Back in the late 70’s, I, along with my family lived in Morris County, not far from Headley’s family farm where he shot the bear.
Back in those days, no one ever heard of a bear in New Jersey. However, I do remember doing a story about one that tore up a camper’s tent in Pennsylvania.
But similar to the way bears moved into Kentucky and have been sighted in Indiana, bears moved into New Jersey and thrived. In fact they have done so well, the state started a hunting season a couple years ago after bears became a nuisance in the populous state.
Headley, who was hunting on the farm, which has been owned by his family for nine decades, purchased a bear tag, but really wasn’t hunting for the bruin. He really wanted a deer as his family enjoys venison.
He had seen the bear in September, when it was stuffing itself with yellow delicious apples, in his back yard.
The bear was so large it took near three hours from the woods. Headley and friends had to obtain equipment and cut a path to get it out. 
Headley donated the huge bear to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which hopes to have it mounted and displayed at the Pequest Natural Resource Education Center, so others can see the biggest bear ever taken in New Jersey.
Another surprising item in the “in-box” involves an Oregon wind farm, which would produce environmentally green electric power. The wind farmer is seeking an OK from the federal government to legally kill up to three protected Golden Eagles.
Killing a Golden Eagle could cost someone at least $5,000 and land them in prison for a year.
The federal government is proposing to grant a first-of-its-kind permit that would allow the developer of a central Oregon wind-power project to legally kill golden eagles.
The application for the eagle “take permit” is the first to be received and acted on by U.S. Fish and Wildlife under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. 
The permit, if ultimately issued, stipulates that there must be no net loss to breeding populations of golden eagles from the wind farm project. That means for every protected bird permitted killed, developers must contribute to conservation efforts for breeding them.
Can you imagine the uproar had an oil or coal company applied for an OK to kill Golden Eagles?

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