In a last minute effort to hold a bear hunt in New Jersey this fall, Governor Phil Murphy shot down an emergency order on Wednesday after the state’s Fish and Game Council approved the action.
According to the NJHerald, Murphy supports developing alternatives to bear hunting and had previously announced he would suspend the hunt for black bears this year. New Jersey has held annual bear hunts since 2010.
“We are committed to non-lethal, humane but smart and safe means to control the population, the bear population.”Governor Murphy
The Department of Environmental Protection has nonlethal bear management strategies. The black bear population has doubled since 2018. New Jersey has now included funding to safely control the bear population.
“The DEP is enhancing and expanding these nonlethal management methods with a dedicated $1.5 million in the DEP’s FY22 budget. These methods include the hiring of additional conservation officers for bear management, training of local officials and public education and outreach, among other enhancements.”Statement DEP
Murphy is up for reelection this year, and when he was elected four years ago promised to stop the hunting of black bears in New Jersey. When that was not successful, Murphy closed state land to bear hunting – the move was upheld by the state Supreme Court.
Statistics report the current black bear population in the state includes 3,158 bears, and it is projected the bear population will increase to 4,000 this year. Nearly 40% of the bear population has been killed on state lands over the years of bear hunting.
There are numerous simple ways, however to prevent conflicts with bears:
- Make trash cans inaccessible to bears
- Enclose compost piles
- Recycle wisely
- Keep barbecue grill clean and free from drippings
- Rethink bird feeders
For more information about bear deterrents, please click here.
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