Hunters group responds to calls for NJ bear hunt to end

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TRENTON -

A group that represents hunters in New Jersey says that an environmental group calling for the end of the state’s black bear hunt is wrong.

The New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club says that a decline in the state’s black bear population shows that there has been enough hunting in the state. The group says that the hunt should be terminated before the bear population gets too low.

But the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, a group that represents hunters, says that the decline in population shows that the hunt is working to keep the bear population in New Jersey in check.

RELATED: Sierra Club: Decline in population means bear hunt can end

“It’s a big problem. It’s reaching carrying capacity, which is the scientific term that refers to how many animals or a specific species can be hosted by a specific environment before we start running into things like bear complaints and…bears that cause problems,” says Cody McLaughlin.

McLaughlin says that New Jersey has the densest bear population in the country. He says that bears in New Jersey breed twice the rate of other states. He says that stopping the hunt would reverse the progress that has been made.

Gov. Phil Murphy has previously said that he plans to put an end to bear hunting in New Jersey. But the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection says that October’s bear hunt will still take place as scheduled.

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