A hold on the black bear hunt in New Jersey was removed Tuesday by the Appellate Division of the state’s Superior Court. The state Fish and Game Council soon after declared that the first day of hunting season would coincide with the opening of check stations at 4 o’clock that afternoon.
Animal rights groups appealing to put a stop to the hunt, such as the Humane Society of the United States and the New Jersey chapter of the Animal Protection League, claimed they were denied due process when they were denied the opportunity to have their experts review the emergency proposal and provide feedback. The appellants did admit that they had attended and commented at a public meeting.
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But the judge had another opinion. It ruled that the appellants were given notice of the hearing and an opportunity to be heard, even if the council ultimately decided against their arguments.
On Saturday, the controversial bear hunt will come to a close. To reduce the number of black bears, one of Governor Phil Murphy’s campaign promises was to ban bear hunting.
Similar Material After a judge put a stay on the black bear hunt in New Jersey, Governor Murphy doubled down. On Wednesday, a judge in the New Jersey appeal court imposed an emergency stay, effectively putting a hold on the hunt until further notice.
Murphy, though, gave the hunt the green light after the council amended the rules to account for the huge uptick in recorded bear sightings this year. Many people felt this approach was inhumane and advocated for more humane methods, such as improved garbage collection, to avoid conflicts between bears and humans.
After the interim stay was obtained last week, Murphy reiterated his support for resuming the bear hunt.
Experts may have convinced Murphy that they didn’t need to use deadly force to keep the population in check, but he admitted on WHYY’s Ask Governor Murphy show that his strategy hasn’t been successful. The population monitoring duties have been assigned to the Department of Environmental Protection. You may easily make a mistake and count something twice.
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However, the sheer magnitude of the data precludes any possibility of error.
It was reported that between January 1 and October 21 of 2022, there was a 237% rise in black bear damage and nuisance reports over the same time in 2021, according to data from the Department of Environmental Protection. The bear population in Northwestern New Jersey, according to state biologists, could reach or exceed 4,000 in less than two years if no action is taken to reduce the number now.