A pro-hunting group went public Friday with a claim that bear hunt opponents are making threats on social media.
The N.J. Outdoor Alliance (NJOA) provided screenshots of several undated comments allegedly made on the Facebook page of the “BEAR Group,” which advocates against the hunt.
One comment included in a press release, in reference to hunters, states, “They need to get shot.”
Another alludes to giving hunters “a 30min head start before I come hunting.”
NJOA spokesman Cody McLaughlin denounced the purported comments as “violent political rhetoric and death threats,” and said they “provide a glimpse into the very real world of radical extremism.”
No police report, though, had been filed as of 2 p.m. Friday,
In response, an attorney for the BEAR Group sought to distance the organization from any threatening comments.
“Our policy is to delete any comments that advocate violence on our Facebook page and remove those people who make those comments,” said the attorney, Doris Lin.
Lin added that bear hunt opponents have also faced threats, citing a 2014 incident in which a bear’s severed paw was allegedly found in the front yard of a bear hunt protestor’s home.
“We ask NJOA to reject all violence against humans and animals, as we have,” Lin said.
NJOA is one of the three pro-hunting groups challenging in state courtGov. Phil Murphy’s ban on using state land during the 2018 hunt.
A hearing is expected sometime before the hunt resumes in December.
The first, 6-day stage of the hunt concluded Oct. 13 with 139 bears being killed, down from 244 through the same timeframe in 2017.
Four bear hunt opponents were arrested at a protest on the opening day of the hunt for disregarding police instructions.