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A Black Market In Black Bear Hunt Emerges On Facebook

Hunters Plan “Bear Drive” To Push Bears Off State Lands

Facebook Posts Suggest Open Defiance And Potential Violence

Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order Sows Chaos

Just days after Gov. Murphy issued Executive Order #34 to block the bear hunt on public lands, chaos has ensued as entrepreneurial private landowners market lands and access fees, hunters seek to game the system, and animal rights groups plan counter-measures.

As we wrote last week:

Wealthy private landowners also will extract a rent, by charging hunters access fees – a premium in addition to State license fees.

Sure enough, that’s exactly what’s going on in the Facebook screenshots below.

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Other Facebook posts by hunters expose plans to defy Gov. Murphy and challenge DEP Park Rangers’ enforcement – suggesting the need for the National Guard. Other hunters are advocating that hunters organize “drives to push bear off state lands” onto private property and to “hunt the line”:

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All this chaos was a foreseeable consequence of privatizing the hunt, which naturally leads to irrational competition, fraud, and rent seeking behaviors. But the Gov.’s vision is warped by his Wall Street investor days at Goldman Sachs.

The Governor has 2 months to direct his DEP to gain control of this growing and foreseeable chaos – which is surely a new take on his former Goldman Sachs billionaire’s understanding of a “bear market” – a situation were there literally is “skin in the game”.

If not, surely the Courts will intervene to stop what is looking like developing into a very dangerous situation, with armed hunters openly defying laws and armed DEP Park Rangers.

No doubt there are extremists and agents provocateur who want a repeat of the armed occupation and confrontation by supporters of cattle grazer Cliven Bundy at the federal  Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

There will also be serious safety risks from armed hunters competing to access restricted private lands – located along narrow rural roads with no parking, signs, or other safety measures  – and from an increased density of hunters on a smaller acreage of private lands as state lands are withdrawn from the hunt.

Some landowners whose land is posted “No Hunting” face the possibility of confrontations with armed hunters – likewise, hunters are sure to engage in widespread trespassing and face arrest.

Finally, there are obvious risks from armed hunter confrontations with protesters and animal rights activists.

And the best case, if no violence or accidents occur, will be massive trespassing on private property, widespread defiance of DEP bear hunt regulations, and a highest bidder mentality trophy hunt slaughter of hundreds of majestic black bears.

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