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More Bear Mail Unleashes Male Bear
Gregory J. Rummo
FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2002 will be a day my wife and I will not forget for a long time.
Planning to hike seven miles together along the blue trail from Montville Township to Kinnelon, we finally settled on what we thought was to be just another ordinary two-mile walk with the dog into the woods surrounding Butler reservoir.
Or so we thought until on the way back we heard a noise in the woods.
I hear noises in the woods all the time and I’m pretty good at distinguishing the crunch of dead leaves on the forest floor made by a scurrying squirrel from that of a bolting deer.
But there was something different about this sound. It was as though we were being watched.
Di-di-di-di. Di-di-di-di. (That’s Twilight Zone music).
I turned to my wife and said nonchalantly, “Sounded almost like a deer. Certainly not loud enough to be a bear…”
My words trailed off as I peered into the dark woods. There, standing with its front paws on a boulder, not twenty yards from where we were walking, was the unmistakable form of a huge black bear.
“Holy cow!” (Scout’s honor, I did use the word cow), “It is a bear.”
Slowly my wife turned her head, following my gaze into the forest.
Then she quickly looked back at me. Her eyes were wide.
“What do we do?” She whispered nervously.
“Keep walking. Whatever you do, don’t run,” I said in a hushed voice.
Keeping one eye on the bear while trying to avoid a staring contest, we picked up the pace ever so slightly and walked out of the woods without incident.
The dog meanwhile was oblivious to all this.
The timing of my first encounter with a New Jersey black bear in the wild was almost humorous. Earlier that week, I received a flood of e-mail from animal-rights activists, irate over several columns I had written.
Animal rights proponents are a very confused group of people.
“I have rarely seen someone so arrogant! I don’t know who you think you are,” wrote one reader, “but the Natives (which I am) …never killed unless we need something from the animal.”
I agree. I don’t think we should kill animals unless we need something from them either, which in addition to a thick, juicy venison steak, includes the ability to drive along the interstate without having to dodge herds of whitetail deer playing chicken with two-tons of steel moving at 65 mph. Additionally, we should be able to live in safety from the fear of being mauled by a black bear in one’s own front yard.
Another opined, “There wouldn't be so many deer if we stopped killing all their natural predators.”
True, however if we re-introduced the wolf and the coyote, these natural predators might have difficulty distinguishing between a small deer and a small child. This naturally led to my question: “Oh, by the way, speaking of children, are you for a woman’s right to choose?”
Of course there was no reply. These people are not only confused, but they are hypocrites. We murder 4,000 unborn children in this country every day in abortion clinics, but all they’re worried about is saving whales and spotted owls.
Another thought she had me when she quoted from the Bible.
“And God said behold, I have given you every herb …and every tree that is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat. And in the Ten Commandments: ‘Though shalt not kill’. It doesn't say humans, it just says ‘Though shalt not kill’.”
God did intend for us to be vegetarians when he created man in a garden. But because of man’s sin, God required the shedding of animal blood. “…For Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” It was God himself who slaughtered and skinned the animals worn by Adam and Eve.
Citing the commandment “Thou shalt not kill,” is foolishness.
God’s command is clearly against the murder of humans, not the killing of animals. The same God who wrote “Thou shalt not kill” later in Exodus instructed his people to kill spotless lambs without blemish and to spread the blood over the door on the night of the Passover, not to mention the plethora of lambs, rams and bulls God commanded the high priest to slaughter on the altar in the Jewish temple.
The bear we saw in the woods that day was a beautiful animal. There was something awesome about seeing such a magnificent creature in the wild.
But had it come out of the woods and chased us, or had it attacked my dog, I would have had no compunction about gunning it down on the spot had I been carrying a firearm.
My rights are more important than an
Gregory J. Rummo is a syndicated
columnist and author of “The View from
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