Monday marks start of black bear hunting season

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Monday marks the start of New Jersey's black bear hunting season.

Jeffrey Wren is the president of the Middlesex County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs. He says he represents about 520 sportsmen who are all in favor of the hunt.

"The bear population gets too large, somebody is going to get hurt," he says. "By keeping the population in check, it reduces the chance of human/bear confrontation."

Wren says it's is a matter of conservation, not preservation.

"A conservationist, you conserve the natural resources, and you keep everything in balance," he says.

Others want to see the hunt come to an end. Doris Lin, who's the director of legal affairs for the Animal Protection League of New Jersey says a billboard went up on Oct. 7 on Route 36 in Middletown, calling on Gov. Murphy to stop the bear hunt.

"The black bear hunt is cruel to the bears and it doesn't solve any problems. The real problem is garbage attracting bears to suburban neighborhoods," she says.

Lin says they will be protesting on Oct. 19 underneath the billboard.

Gov. Murphy's press secretary tells News 12 in part, "By ending the bear hunt on public lands last year, Gov. Murphy acted to the fullest extent of his legal authority and has called on the Legislature to take action as well."

In response to continuing the bear hunt, New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection tells News 12 that the Division of Fish and Wildlife continues to do research and monitor the black bear population.

According to New Jersey's Division of Fish and Wildlife website, legal hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

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