October 6, 2020
To the New Jersey Fish and Game Council for choosing to ban black bears from being hunted in 2021.
The sighting of a black bear can leave one awestruck and maybe even a little unnerved. These omnivorous creatures can range anywhere from 90-600 pounds. They are more active during the spring and fall, and education is vital when encountering one. In the fall, black bears will consume an amazing 20,000 calories per day in preparation for the winter. When bears are more active, conflict with humans can occur. Leaving food outdoors for wildlife or pets is a common attractant. To limit bear encounters, do not leave food outdoors and secure trash in appropriate containers, such as bear-resistant trashcans.
Some believe that hunting is the only way to decrease the populations of certain species effectively. In New Jersey, the black bear hunting season is between October-December. In 2018, Governor Phil Murphy banned hunting on public properties–“State forests, State parks, State recreation areas, State historic sites, State Wildlife Management Areas and State natural areas.” In 2020, the New Jersey Fish & Game Council is looking for non-lethal ways to control its black bear population and decided that black bear hunting will no longer be allowed by 2021. This has created controversy due to increased bear sightings and activity. Currently, several hunting organizations are fighting Governor Murphy’s 2018 decision to ban hunting on public lands. The Department of Environmental Protection and the NJ Fish and Game Council will study and develop a more humane way to control its black bear population.
Take Action: New Jersey residents, please contact the NJ Fish and Game Council and thank them for their decision to ban the hunting of black bears.
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