Weeklong bear hunt gets underway in New Jersey

Weeklong bear hunt gets underway in New Jersey

Weeklong bear hunt gets underway in New Jersey (12/7/15)

NEWTON - The 2015 bear hunting season opened Monday in New Jersey.

Around 8,200 bear permits were issued on the first day of the bear hunt, which is much more than last year.

By sundown of the first day of the hunt, hunters bagged over 120 bears. Experts expect that number to increase as the six-day hunt goes forward, especially since the warmer weather has kept the bears active and visible.

Protesters gathered at many of the Department of Environmental Protection checkpoints to express their disapproval of the hunt.

At one DEP checkpoint in Newton, protesters were heard calling the hunters murderers and yelling at them.

Mark Worobetz, of Fredon Township, says that he is protesting the hunt not because he is against hunting, but because he doesn't believe the Department of Environmental Protection’s rationale that the bears pose a danger.

“I do see them, particularly mountain biking once in a while,” he says. “One wanders through the neighborhood. We were at a picnic and one came through. We scattered. It didn't really care."

However, wildlife officials say that the hunt is necessary because the bear population is too high and the animals have become too accustomed to humans.

"We have some of the most dense population of black bears in the country,” says Carole Stanko, with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. “We are also the most densely populated state so that leads to a lot of bear-human contacts."

Hunter John DeFilipp says that the hunt is more about managing the population and protecting his family. He says he won’t kill bear cubs and the bears he does kill will be brought to a butcher and eaten.

The DEP hopes the hunt will bring the bear population down by 20 percent. The agency also has the authority to extend the hunt if the goal is not met.

Another hunt, which includes bow hunting, will take place in October.

More on this topic

Expanded Bear Hunt

More information

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

The Bayonne Board of Education voted Wednesday evening 1 Nearly 300 Bayonne School District employees, including teachers, laid off
Bayonne layoffs 2 Bayonne layoffs
Ruben Mondalto was able to wander away from 3 Toddler wanders away from Sayreville day care
Students walked out of their classrooms Thursday morning 4 Nearly 300 Bayonne School District employees laid off; students walk out
Hoboken police two men assaulted a woman and 5 Hoboken police seek ID of robbery suspects

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

New Jersey's controversial black bear hunt will begin Black bear hunt kicks off Monday

New Jersey's controversial black bear hunt will begin Monday. The bear hunts take place in

New Jersey approves expanded bear hunt in state NJ approves expanded bear hunt

The Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey Fish and Game Council have approved a

The expanded New Jersey bear hunt is bringing Expanded bear hunt brings opposing opinions

The expansion of New Jersey's Bear hunt is drawing both criticism and praise.

NJ Fish and Game Council votes to expand Council votes to expand bear hunting season

The New Jersey Fish and Game Council voted to expand bear hunting season in an

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE