Beginning on Wednesday, the black bear hunt in New Jersey will continue for another four days. Last week’s, much shorter, hunt resulted in the deaths of roughly one hundred bears, prompting this week’s, much longer, hunt.
State wildlife officials’ expectations were not met.
According to the state Department of Environmental Protection, 93 bears were killed in the first phase of the hunt, which concluded over the weekend.
According to a statement released by the DEP: “The rate of harvest can be affected by many variables, including the weather.
It’s important to note that the legal challenge to the hunt cut over a day and a half off the beginning of the season.” The number of bears killed is irrelevant to the hunt’s continuation.
Instead, it’s calculated by tallying the number of tagged bears that have been shot. That figure is used to estimate the total bear population in the state and determine the appropriate culling rate.
The DEP establishes the criteria that will be used to decide if the search will continue. To date, 93 bears have been killed, 11 of which had tags.
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This is only 6%, which is well below the target of 20%. Officials cited deer as a possible explanation for a lower bear kill rate on the first day of the hunt last week.
Because it was and is the first day of deer season, many people have been seen and activities have been reported in the woods since Monday.
“There’s so much activity, it’s only normal for wildlife to be frightened of humans,” David Golden, then-assistant director of New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, said at the time.
According to Golden, it’s mandatory to eat bear meat. Some hunters even mount the stuffed bears as trophies. Some people will successfully mount it entirely. Some people will get it halfway mounted,” Golden predicted. They treat the animal with great care and make every effort to put it to good use.
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Hunters are obliged to provide bear meat or documentation of where bear meat was stored within 48 hours of a hunt, per DEP standards.