NJ Bear Hunt Opens Despite Amendments to NJ State Game Code Public Hearing on January 18th, 2023
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced on December 6th that the Black Bear Hunt will officially be open and effective immediately following a brief suspension on December 1st. The NJ Appellate Court has found the Emergency Rule valid, with some regulation changes;
- Hunters may NOT attempt to take or kill a black bear weighing less than 75 pounds (live weight), or less than 50 pounds dressed.
- Hunters may NOT attempt to take or kill an adult black bear that is in the presence of cub(s) (bears weighing less than 75 pounds).
- Hunters may NOT attempt to take or kill a black bear or have a loaded weapon within 300 ft. of a baited area when hunting bears.
There will be a public hearing on the NJ Fish and Game Council’s proposed 2022 Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP) and amendments pertaining to black bears in the Game Code (NJAC 7:25-5.6) on January 18th, 2023 from 1pm to 8pm. Changes are proposed to the section of the Game Code regulating the hunting of black bears. They would prohibit the harvest of bears less than 75 lbs. live weight as well as adult bears accompanying these young bears and prohibit the hunting of bears within 300 feet of a baited area. Read the full Public Hearing Notice here.
Public comment on proposed changes begins December 5, 2022 through February 3, 2023. Comments on these proposed changes can be made online.
The New Jersey Sierra Club strongly opposes the Black Bear hunt in New Jersey. New Jersey Chapter Director, Anjuli Ramos-Busot, comments that, “The decision to reinstate the bear hunt is extremely disappointing. The 2017 black bear hunt killed 63 bears on its opening day. The state must consider a non-lethal and public education-focused management plan, rather than continue with the easy way out by reopening the violent and out-dated hunt. We strongly encourage our members and supporters to take advantage of the public comment period and make your voice heard on this important issue in the backyards of many New Jerseyans.”
About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information about our work in New Jersey, visit www.sierraclub.org/new-jersey.