Wildlife officials: At least 10 black bears culled on first full day of hunt

At least 10 black bears were killed on the first full day of New Jersey’s bear hunt.

News 12 Staff

Dec 7, 2022, 10:33 PM

Updated 595 days ago


At least 10 black bears were killed on the first full day of New Jersey’s bear hunt.
The hunt officially began on Tuesday but only lasted for three hours. Officials say that at least 30 more bears need to be culled for the hunt to achieve its goal of successfully managing the bear population.
Hunters are required to bring any bear they kill to a station to be recorded by officials.
“We’ll weigh the bear. We’ll take some biological data,” says Dave Golden, assistant director of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.
More than 4,500 people have signed up for the bear hunt. It lasts through Saturday but could be extended for four days starting next Wednesday. The hunt was originally supposed to begin on Monday but was delayed due to a lawsuit.
“You have a lot of people in the woods that first day. To lose that is unfortunate for that reason, people plan around it,” Golden says.
There are many who are opposed to the hunt. Gov. Phil Murphy originally suspended the bear hunt but later changed his mind due to the increase in bear incidents.
“I'm very disappointed and a bit angry. I think the governor broke his commitment to the people of New Jersey,” says Jeff Tittel, former president of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
Tittel calls the hunt a waste and says he blames Murphy for backing away from his promise to end the hunt and manage the bear population through nonlethal measures.
“They are an integral part of a complete ecosystem because we don't have any predator that goes after other animals to keep their population intact,” Tittel says. “We've made the problem worse. We need to make the problem better by actually putting in a strict management plan.”
There are some restrictions for hunting. Hunters are not allowed to kill any bears under 75 pounds. This is enforced at the weigh stations. There is a citation if hunters violate the rule. Adult bears can’t be killed if they are with their cubs.
Hunters are allowed to use bait but are not allowed to hunt within 300 feet of a baited area.
Wildlife officials say they don’t know if they will need the second four-day hunt, but they say they are already planning for a hunt in 2023.

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