Despite it’s reputation for being the trash heap for New York City, having a rundown blighted gambling town and dirty needles washing up on its shores, New Jersey actually has some nature. And with that nature, a surprisingly high population of black bears.
Unfortunately for the VAST majority of New Jersians, if they want to leave the smoggy, industrial, morally barren part of their state to enjoy nature on its north and western borders they must do so unarmed and as such be unable to adequately defend themselves from predators. I include those who walk on two feet as well as those who do so on four.
I wrote an article earlier this month entitled “Why you should ALWAYS carry a sidearm when you go hunting”, when a man was attacked by a bear and couldn’t bring his bow and arrow to heed quick enough.
Perhaps that title wasn’t inclusive enough.
The story of 22 year old Darsh Patel is a reason why you should ALWAYS carry a sidearm when you are out in the woods.
Patel, a Rutgers Senior, was out hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford in North Central New Jersey. It was while hiking that the friends saw a 300 lb black bear following them. The five friends then split up and ran in differing directions as if they’ve never seen a horror movie before. But I’ll get to that later.
Four of the friends reunitied but couldn’t find Patel so they called the police. The officers discovered his body 2 hours later with the same male black bear walking circles around it.
Even after trying to scare the bear off with loud noises and throwing sticks at it the bear stayed near his kill. It was at this point the officers shot the bear twice and killed it.
Now, let me stress, bear attacks are rare and this is only the 2nd bear fatality since 1852.
I doubt that will be much comfort to Darsh Patel’s family.
If I find myself in the woods and a bear is attacking me I think shooting him with a sidearm until either the magazine is empty or he stops charging is a perfectly reasonable course of action.
And in Pennsylvania, that is exactly what I would do, because in a commonwealth that respects the right to keep and bear arms, we are not denied the right to stop a bear from eating us like our poor neighbors to the east.
While police say the five hikers didn’t provoke the bear; the splitting off and running didn’t help matters.
I mean really, “let’s split up and run from the bear” was a good idea why? Was that supposed to confuse the bear and have him not chase anybody?
It’s sad that Mr. Patel was eaten by a bear.
It’s even sadder that the State of New Jersey will sit back and do nothing to ensure that future hikers don’t suffer the same fate.
Send this to friend