For many years, the hunting of black bear in New Jersey has been prohibited, in large part due to the efforts of a small but vocal minority of animal activists. A rapidly shrinking habitat, recent mild winters, and the lack of natural predators have combined to foster an exploding bear population throughout the state and, not coincidentally, a disturbing increase in the number of black bear attacks on humans.
Last month, New Jersey sportsmen and concerned citizens made their voices heard on the bear management issue at a joint public forum hosted by the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife and Department of Environmental Protection. Three more of these bear hunt forums have now been scheduled around the state for September 10, 17, and 19. Please mark your calendars with these important dates. Specific meeting times and locations will follow in subsequent Alerts.