Black Bear

I almost certainly have a smaller black bear living on the back of my property which isn't cleared. Recently he caused some damage on my deck and this is the 1st time in the year I've been there he has made "contact" I'd like to find a humane solution. I've called the town a few times but I've never gotten a return call in months. Any suggestions?? I'm in Independence/Hackettstown

Independence itself isn't the one to call, they just pass the info along to the Animal Control Officer. Call the ACO directly. There are two officers, their contact info is on the Township web page.

Bears wander around Independence...If you see a little one...Mama isn't far behind..They probably don't live on your property and are just passing through. They can put a trap and move the bear but others will probably come by too

Call NJ Wildlife they will patch you through to the local reps in your area to address to the situation.

Not today Not today
2 weeks ago

Just feed it every day. Eventually it will become your pet and provide security. Win win situation.

danny zucko danny zucko
2 weeks ago

You live in the sticks...bears are part of it. It amazes me that people are "annoyed no one notified them of bear sightings" or looking for a way to "stop having them come for a visit". If you are worried about the bears....move! Common sense out the window SMH.

2 weeks ago

Fish & Wildlife

To report black bear damage and nuisance, call the DEP's 24-hour, toll-free hotline: 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337). Black bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey

Some data comparing last year to this year for the period of May 20th - June 21st of this year. Numbers of reported incidents and activity are way up. All of the reports generated this year are showing large increases.

Yea they are in Independence township. Number one thing is keep garbage away and out of bears reach, if not they will come back again and again. They are pretty much harmless let them be free to live.

Tweety bird Tweety bird
2 weeks ago

Spray your garbage cans with lysol that has ammonia. I live in the woods and keeps them away from mine.

We've lived in Indy for 35 years on very wooded property. We see both Bears and signs of Bears on our property. We don't keep garbage outside. We've had no problems with the Bears that are passing through other than destruction of bird feeders which we, unfortunately, no longer put out for the birds. One time I was sitting at the kitchen table and sensed "something." I looked out the window and a Bear was on the deck looking in at me. I stood up, and the Bear turned and walked across the deck and down the stairs and went away. The Bear population has increased in Northwest NJ.

Mrs. Pipes Mrs. Pipes
2 weeks ago

Is it still illegal to hunt bear in NJ? If I remember correctly, our Governor cancelled bear hunting last year.

Spring fever Spring fever
2 weeks ago

Why would anyone want to hunt and kill a bear! They are pretty harmless and just amazing to watch. Be thankful you can share some time with them!

Martha, we are the only natural predators of black bears. Without culling the population, bears will become a nuisance and start encroaching in areas they ordinarily would not have. They will start eating food nature provided for other animals and those animals will suffer. They will get hit by cars and cause insurance rates to increase. They could, God forbid, attack humans when their bear friends have eaten all other food sources. Nature needs balance and, as humans, we are the stewards of that balance.

To the poster above suggestion feeding the bears: I hope that was sarcasm.

To the poster warning of “momma” being around the young as a danger, that is a complete fallacy when it comes to black bears. I trail run and hike with my family a minimum of 4 days per week but sometimes every single day of a given week. Ive been going this for the past 12 years. I’ve had countless black bear encounters. Two years ago I was running in stephens park and came flying around a corner and was 15 feet from a mother and 4 cubs. The mother looked me in the eyes and bolted. Leaving the 4 cubs behind her. They quickly followed her but I was shocked based on everything I’ve heard over the years. After getting home and doing research, I found that only grizzlies and brown bear mothers will fight when confronted by humans that are in between them and their young. Black bears, for the most part, are terrified of humans and will save their own butts before defending their young.

2 weeks ago

Oh, and to the OP, call the ACO and have the bear removed/destroyed.

2 weeks ago

You can have the bear removed or destroyed but that won't solve the overpopulation issue

Two very different versions of real bear encounters here in NJ. A 10 min read.

As a nj hunter.. I don’t believe we need a bear hunt every year… and let’s just say some hunters are killing cubs during the bear hunting season which makes me sick to my stomach…let the bear hunt have a rest for a few years open it up again … and never keep your trash outside that is common sense.. but the old saying “common sense is not so common”

LibertyThinker LibertyThinker
2 weeks ago

Thanks for the read, Greg. I remember when the Rutgers student was killed and read articles about it at the time, but none with those details.

More than once I was headed into the woods when someone walking out said they saw a bear. Every time I simply walked back to the car and left. Once you’re a mile or more into the woods, you obviously don’t have that option. But you never, ever, ever run from one. Raise your arms above you head to appear larger, use a low, deep (but calm) voice and say “whoa bear!” (Word choice up to you obviously). That’s always been enough for me. I’ve never had one bluff charge but you’re supposed to hold your ground and not flinch. When the bear realizes you’re not scared, they assume you’re not food. If they think you’ll fight back, they won’t take the risk.

Side story - For years I carried dog pepper spray with me because (big surprise) NJ outlawed bear spray. Last year I scoured the internet until I found a site that would ship me a can of grizzly spray. I now carry that every time I go out. I even have a chest holster if I’m running. I’ll take the fine or even a night in jail if I’m caught by the park police. I’m not risking an attack or, God forbid, death.

2 weeks ago

I hadn't realized NJ banned bear spray. Nothing screams common sense like stopping a bear hunt thereby creating a larger population of bears in the most densely populated state as well as the most dense black bear population in the US, then banning a deterrent while incidents and interactions increase by over 100 percent in many cases. Classic idiotic decision by the inept in Trenton.

I agree, common sense should be exhibited when in the company of a black bear. Also knowing as you point out the proper way to behave is key to not ending up in a pile of bear scat. Heck we are at Riverfront park daily. I would say we see the juvenile black bear there at least 3-4 times a week both in the early morning and evening. We do our thing he/she does its thing. We'll keep it that way.

Try spraying some Pine-Sol around the area. From what I understand, a bear's sense of smell is good for up to 20 miles, and supposedly they don't like pine. We usually get a bear or two in our backyard, but since I've been spraying Pine-Sol around this year, we haven't seen any. Coincidence? Possibly, but I'll keep spraying anyway.

only one truth only one truth
2 weeks ago

Wow,I never knew this state banned bear spray . Another reason to vote the people who make this law out of office.

JG, you are probably not going to go for this effective solution, but if you were to apply human urine around your property, it often is effective in keeping away bear.

To a bear, it is like us marking our territory like they would.

Have a male volunteer offer to assist.

Best of luck.

Actually human urine may attract a bear. I recall reading that when I did a lot more camping a few years back. A quick google search provided this:

"Even though bears don't like ammonia, urine isn't a good deterrent. Urine contains salt and other components that are appealing to wildlife. While small mammals might avoid areas that you mark with urine, a large predator like a bear or mountain lion will investigate the urine smell."

Very true, Greg. It can work for field mice or even deer but large predators would actually be attracted to the scent of human urine.

1 week ago

Guess you best change your Depends before going on a hike in the woods.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
1 week ago

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