Skip to content
Home » Why Bear hunting returns to New Jersey?

Why Bear hunting returns to New Jersey?

Why Bear hunting returns to New Jersey?

The New Jersey Fish and Game Board approved yesterday to open a hunting season for black bears in December, with which they seek to eliminate more than 500 bears during a week.

Given the increase in sightings of bears in residential areas, the state governor, Phil Murphy, proposed last week to reactivate the hunting permit for these specimens and the initiative was approved yesterday.

Murphy said the move is aimed at reducing the black bear population and dangerous bear-human interactions.

Proposal to kill 20% of prized black bears

As approved, the bear hunting season is from December 5 to 10, 2022 with the aim of eliminating a maximum of 30 per cent of the population of these animals, which are estimated at about 3,200 specimens in the state.

State records show that between January and October of this year, bear attacks on humans increased by one, attacks on domestic dogs increased by five, and the number of bears entering vehicles increased by four compared to the same period last year.

“This proposal to kill 20% of New Jersey’s prized black bears is nothing more than a state-sanctioned kill that caters to less than 1% of people who want to hunt bears for trophies. It is unacceptable in any form,” Elissa Frank, New Jersey state director for HSUS, said in a statement.

“Bears are highly intelligent, family-oriented, and one of New Jersey’s most beloved and iconic species. The most effective way to stop conflicts with bears is to provide people with bear-resistant trash cans and educate them about the importance of taking common-sense precautions to avoid attracting bears, such as removing bird feeders and preventing food from for pets and livestock available, without instituting a futile strategy.

If the capture of at least 20% of the population is not reached, the season will be extended until the following week, from December 14 to 17. Bear hunting will be permitted on state and private land within designated zones.

Approved initiative, hunting will have certain conditions:

  • Hunters may not kill a bear that weighs less than 75 pounds.
  • They may not attempt to kill an adult bear in the presence of cubs.
  • They may not attempt to hunt a bear within 300 feet of protected areas.
  • Bear sightings are on the rise in New Jersey neighbourhoods.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) estimated that the black bear population in Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties, where the population is concentrated, has increased and there are about 3,200 black bears.

While incidents from January to October of this year were up 237% compared to the same period in 2021, according to the department.

Of these incidents, 62 were aggressive encounters with humans, 1 attack on a human, 12 attacks on dogs, 12 home entries, 15 attempted home entries, 84 cases of property damage greater than $1,000, and 52 attacks on protected livestock.

Also Read:  100 bears killed every year to make iconic King’s Guard hats

The black bear population is expected to grow to more than 4,000 bears in the next two years, the state added.

Bear attacks on humans

Black bear attacks on humans are rare, but often begin as fights with dogs, experts told ABC News in 2019. Black bears, which are generally timid and non-aggressive, would likely flee before attacking, usually climbing up the tree.

Incidents reported to the state Department of Environmental Protection from January to October of this year increased 237% compared to the same period in 2021, Murphy’s office said in a press release Nov. 10, announcing the reinstatement of hunting as a possible way to stop those interactions. There were 62 aggressive encounters with humans, one attack on a human, 12 attacks on dogs, 12 home entries, 15 home entry attempts, 84 cases of property damage of more than $1,000 and 52 attacks on protected livestock, according to the release.

Frank refuted those claims, stating that between January and October 2022, bear attacks on humans increased by one, bear attacks on dogs increased by five, and vehicle injuries involving bear attacks increased by four, compared to the same time window in 2021, citing state wildlife data.

New Jersey black bear population is growing

“Since the beginning of my administration, I have vowed to base every difficult decision on the latest science and evidence to protect our communities,” Murphy said in a statement.

“From the data we have analyzed and the stories we have heard from families across the state, it is clear that the New Jersey black bear population is growing significantly and non-lethal bear management strategies alone are not enough to mitigate this trend.

He added that New Jersey families deserve to be protected from harm.

“While I have pledged to end bear hunting, the data demands that we act now to prevent tragic bear-human interactions. We must responsibly adapt to the population with strict and carefully regulated bear population management strategies to ensure our communities and families are protected from the growing black bear population.”

The New Jersey black bear population in Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties has increased sharply, with estimates nearing 3,000 black bears, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. The department says that, if left untouched, the bear population could grow to more than 4,000 in the next two years.

Also Read

Follow Ground Report for Climate Change and Under-Reported issues in India. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterKoo AppInstagramWhatsapp and YouTube. Write us on GReport2018@gmail.com

%d bloggers like this: