The global pandemic caused by the coronavirus has been in the top news story of 2020 and groups every were are trying to use it to pass their own agenda.
For example, a collaboration of anti-hunting groups has banded together to petition the New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe to cancel this year’s upcoming bear hunt because of coronavirus and the global pandemic.
According to NorthJersey.com, the coalition is headed by former state Sen. Raymond Lesniak and includes the Humane Society of the United States, the Sierra Club, and the Animal Protection League of New Jersey. and they hope to cancel both the archery season in October and the firearms season in December.
The petition itself list many of the same reasons to stop the hunt that the groups has proposed for years, but this year the coronavirus language is new.
The group does not feel that hunters can or will practice proper social distancing rules while hunting and that allowing the bear hunt is “Dangerous.”
“Hunters come in from other states for the bear hunt,” which increases the risk of spreading the virus, Lesniak said in an interview. Many hunters would be arriving from hot-spot states and should quarantine for 14 days, although that’s not likely to happen, he added.
There’s also the potential for hunters to pass the virus when they’re removing the bear from the woods and to infect state workers at check stations, he said.
“You just don’t take a bear down by yourself,” Lesniak said.
Cody McLaughlin, a spokesman for the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance said the petition is just opponents of the hunt trying to exploit the health emergency.
“Everyone is trying to co-opt this coronavirus disaster for political gain,” McLaughlin said. “It’s OK for people to stand in line literally for days on end, and camp outside a Motor Vehicles office. Yet they have a problem with a hunter asking his buddy to help him with a bear.”
“This is more crap from the anti-hunt crowd,” McLaughlin said. “It’s political gamesmanship.”
Hunting is probably one of the most social distancing activities a person can participate in. The fact that this group is trying to claim the opposite shows that they have absolutely no idea how hunting is conducted and proves they should have zero say in how it should be managed.
The New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner has 60 days to accept the Aug. 3 petition, reject it, or ask for more time to study the issue.
I guess we will see what happens and hopefully common sense prevails.