New Jerseyans have conflicting opinions about bears as bow hunt approaches

New Jersey’s black bear hunt will begin on Oct. 14 – with bow hunting only for the first two days, followed by bow hunting and muzzleloader guns after.

News 12 Staff

Oct 1, 2019, 2:49 AM

Updated 1,699 days ago

Share:

New Jersey’s black bear hunt will begin on Oct. 14 – with bow hunting only for the first two days, followed by bow hunting and muzzleloader guns after.
New Jersey’s black bear hunt is a controversial topic - with many strong opinions from state residents who support and oppose the hunt.
State officials say that the bear population in New Jersey has been on the rise since the 1980s, with black bears being spotted in all 21 counties in New Jersey. Rockaway Township resident Kathy Caldwell says that she had a close encounter with a bear just last month.
"I was watering my flowers and I all of a sudden turned after water them for a little while and I saw something move out of the corner of my eye and I saw a black bear,” she says.
The encounter was recorded on Caldwell’s doorbell security camera. Caldwell was not hurt in the encounter, but the bear was only about 10 feet away from where she was gardening.
"It's kind of scary because the bear walked across the street and watched me the whole time I was watering the flowers,” she says.
Caldwell says that she has seen bears in her neighborhood several times. State officials say that there was a total of 900 bear sighting reports in New Jersey in 2018. But those who are opposed to the bear hunt say that they do not think that it is necessary.
"We are concerned that given the last couple of hunts that the population of the black bears in New Jersey has dropped so low that there’s no real justification for the hunt anymore,” says Jeff Tittle with the New Jersey Sierra Club.
But hunters say that the bear hunt is important for the preservation of the state’s ecosystem.
"Bears in New Jersey are one of the most overpopulated animals in the state. We actually have two populations that are the densest in North America - human beings and bears,” says Cody McLaughlin with the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance.
Gov. Phil Murphy campaigned on ending the bear hunt in New Jersey. Last year he banned hunting on state-owned land. He says that he is still working to fully end the bear hunt.
“It just proves to be a lot more complicated than I thought,” he told News 12 New Jersey.
A second bear hunt is expected to take place in December.


More from News 12
1:45
Beachgoers pack the Jersey Shore to mark unofficial start of summer

Beachgoers pack the Jersey Shore to mark unofficial start of summer

2:33
Pleasant conditions continue Sunday in New Jersey; storms move in on Memorial Day

Pleasant conditions continue Sunday in New Jersey; storms move in on Memorial Day

1:47
More than the Shore: New Jersey celebrates Memorial Day weekend in Hoboken

More than the Shore: New Jersey celebrates Memorial Day weekend in Hoboken

1:11
Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Dolphin stuck in NJ creek dies after ‘last resort’ rescue attempt, officials say

Dolphin stuck in NJ creek dies after ‘last resort’ rescue attempt, officials say

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

2:08
Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

1:34
'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

0:18
Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

2:50
Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

0:24
Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

1:34
Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

0:51
Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

0:44
Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

2:10
Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

2:07
‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

6:13
EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

1:01
2.9 magnitude aftershock hits Tewksbury, USGS says; 177th aftershock since April earthquake

2.9 magnitude aftershock hits Tewksbury, USGS says; 177th aftershock since April earthquake

1:05
Trump floats possible VP picks in News 12 interview

Trump floats possible VP picks in News 12 interview

2:10
2024 Atlantic hurricane season expected to be above-normal, NOAA predicts

2024 Atlantic hurricane season expected to be above-normal, NOAA predicts