Gov. Murphy says no to emergency bear hunt
Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday afternoon that there will be no bear hunt, after the Department of Environmental Protection said an emergency hunt is needed.
The DEP says the current black bear population is double what it was in 2018 and calling it a concern for public safety.
The Fish and Game Council voted on the emergency order Tuesday night, but the final decision was up to Murphy, who put a stop to any bear hunting in the state.
"We put money in the budget in fact to support this. We are committed to non-lethal humane but smart and safe means to control the population, the bear population," Murphy said.
According to the DEP, the current population estimate is at 3,158 bears in New Jersey.
It is projected that the bear population will approach or exceed 4,000 bears in 2021.