Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States
Today marks the start of the 6-day bear hunt in the Garden State, a hunt that has been the center of controversy for decades. Earlier this year, an appeals court in the state rejected a lawsuit brought forward by anti-hunting groups attempting to shut down the hunt entirely.
The lawsuit followed on the heels of an executive order issued by Governor Murphy in 2018 which prohibited bear hunting on public lands in the state. Following the issuance of the executive order, several anti-bear hunting bills were introduced which would have placed a moratorium on all bear hunting in the state. However, there are still individuals willing to advocate for scientific fish and wildlife management and to be a voice for sportsmen and women in New Jersey.
In a statement released on October 10, Assemblyman Parker Space, a Co-Chair of the New Jersey Angling and Hunting Conservation Caucus said, “Before Gov. Murphy took office, we had a sound bear management plan in place and there is absolutely no reason to stop hunting on state-owned lands. The bear hunt has proven to be very effective at keeping the population in check and limiting human encounters. Murphy’s motives are purely political and go against expert recommendations and decades of research.”
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation will continue to work with the leaders and members of the Caucus to fight against any further restrictions on bear hunting in the state and to encourage the return of scientific management on public lands.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?