I've been a resident of NJ for over 40 years, but have hunted the Catskill Mountains in NY for the last 22 years on private land. In 22 years I've never seen a bear during bow or gun season in NY.
Just recently, I 've moved from Bergen County out to Sussex County which is in the North West corner of NJ (Bear County).
The amount of bear sightings since w have been here (13 months) is unreal. Our second day in the house, a mom and two cubs casualy walked into the yard with my two kids 20yrds away on the swings.
I've started bow hunting on land near my home, and this fall was out 4 times. Every time all I saw was bear. Sometimes two at once. In one situation an average size bear sized me up, and was totally unspooked by my presence.
I been told by the locals, "oh, they won't do anything to you" but I'm well aware that if a bear wants you, he's got you and not much you can do about it.
Any good information on safety while sharing the woods with these criters?