Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Hunting

Science Takes A Hit In Jersey

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

By *** Required ***

By canceling the state`s bear hunt, the New Jersey Supreme Court has placed residents at risk as bear numbers continue to grow.
by Pete Angle, Assistant Editor

In a shocking and controversial judgment, the New Jersey State Supreme Court unanimously ruled in December to annul the state`s black bear hunt.

Two weeks prior, a lower court had ordered the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue permits for the hunt. According to the Appellate Court, Bradley M. Cambell, the present commissioner for the DEP, overstepped his bounds when he ordered the Division of Fish and Wildlife to not issue permits and to close all wildlife management land to bear hunting. Campbell`s impudent policy fueled lawsuits from hunting groups, sportsmen`s organizations and individuals who supported the bear hunt.

With the recent demands of the state Supreme Court, a black bear hunt cannot take place in any way until the state ratifies a bear management strategy that is equally acceptable to both the Fish and Game Council and the state Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the Division of Fish and Wildlife. The Fish and Game Council is an independent unit empowered by the legislature to set hunting and fishing guidelines.

The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Commission had based its scientific approach to bear management on a 1997 plan. This plan created a successful bear season a year ago--a bear management proposal to which Campbell had agreed.

Just one year later, Campbell changed his tune and decided that politics trumps science. Campbell began challenging the scientific effort of his own biologists only after animal "rights" groups opposed last year`s hunt. Instead of hunting as a management tool, Campbell now supports a costly and unsound contraceptive method in tandem with a "public awareness" campaign.

The Fish and Game Council views Campbell`s philosophy as reckless and purely political. W. Scott Ellis, chairman of the Fish and Game Council, insists that Campbell`s resistance is irresponsible, and, "If there is any damage or injury caused by black bears in the state, Mr. Campbell is the sole person who should shoulder the responsibility, because he is the reason bears will be around.

"You`ve taken 50 years of very successful wildlife management and turned it upside down, subjected it to the whims of one political appointee," Ellis said. "It`s obvious that this commissioner is beholden to the whacko animal `rights` crowd."

According to Campbell, the bear population stands around 1,600 animals, but other reports within state government show almost twice that many. Last year, New Jersey hunters harvested 328 bears out of nearly 4,000 permits issued.

Ellis said authorization of the bear hunt was based on the scientific bear management plan adopted in 1997, which was updated yearly with population reports from DEP biologists. These state biologists, working under Campbell`s control, concluded that as many as 3,200 bears roamed the state last year.

"Hunts are only approved if they are supported by such biological research," Ellis reiterated.

In a similar situation, the state of Maryland held its first bear hunt in more than 50 years, despite pressure from many of the same animal "rights" groups that were involved in the New Jersey situation. Maryland is the latest East Coast "blue" state to grapple with the growing number of black bears, whose return was deemed an "environmental success" by animal "rights" supporters until the emerging bears became a nuisance. Animal-protection advocates, who lobbied against a bear hunt for years in the legislature, lost in the courts. Still, with protests and a noticeable population of anti-hunting residents, Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich trusted the opinion of state scientists and allowed the hunt to proceed.

Maryland fashioned its hunt with conservative numbers and a lottery drawing for permits. It was a resounding success, even though officials closed the season after just one day. Twenty bears were killed in the one-day hunt, the Department of Natural Resources confirmed. Originally, the state had scheduled the bear hunt for six days, but dnr officials halted the hunt to avoid possibly exceeding the quota.

Paul Peditto, director of the Maryland Department of Wildlife and Heritage Service, said of the Maryland hunt, "We stood by our promise to keep this conservative, even more so than the biological limits allowed. I consider it an unqualified success."

Maryland`s bear hunt success in the field and in the courts, however, did not prove to be a model for New Jersey, as it should have been. New Jersey bear hunt supporters were optimistic due to Maryland`s court decisions, as well as some pressure from the federal government. During the New Jersey court proceedings, the hunter-friendly u.s. Department of Interior threatened to pull nearly $2 million in federal aid to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife if the hunt was stopped.

After the public announcement of the New Jersey Supreme Court`s decision, however, the Department of Interior rescinded its warning. Now New Jersey will still get its share of taxpayer and hunter dollars. The verdict is still out concerning whether that money will be used for sound wildlife management practices, or if one man`s (Campbell`s) personal opinion and catering to anti-hunters will dictate just how the money will be distributed.

The prevalent concern of Garden State hunters and wildlife management officials is that animal "rights" groups will push for legislation placing a moratorium on bear hunting in New Jersey so that they will not have to review the situation every year. That could bring an end to bear hunting in New Jersey--possibly forever.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Hunting/Conservation
TRENDING NOW
California: Governor Brown Signs Remaining Anti-Gun Bill

Sunday, October 15, 2017

California: Governor Brown Signs Remaining Anti-Gun Bill

Yesterday, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 424, the remaining anti-gun bill on his desk. 

Illinois: Urgent Action Needed – Numerous Anti-Gun Bills Readied for Consideration Next Week

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Illinois: Urgent Action Needed – Numerous Anti-Gun Bills Readied for Consideration Next Week

Today, multiple gun control bills were released by the House Rules Committee and have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing.

Bad News For “Universal” Background Check Supporters

News  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bad News For “Universal” Background Check Supporters

NRATV Host Cam Edwards describes a study that shows the ineffectiveness of so-called “universal” background checks

Spokane Police To Use Suppressors To Protect Hearing

News  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Spokane Police To Use Suppressors To Protect Hearing

The Spokane PD has 181 service rifles in its inventory; using suppressors on them has the potential to reduce workers compensation claims and lawsuits from bystanders.

Alleged Sexual Predator and Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein Threatens NRA (Again)

News  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Alleged Sexual Predator and Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein Threatens NRA (Again)

On October 5, the New York Times published an article titled, “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.” The piece detailed allegations that the mogul used his position of influence to make unwanted ...

Gun Banners Unmasked: The Vengeful Face of the Anti-gun Agenda Emerges Once Again

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Gun Banners Unmasked: The Vengeful Face of the Anti-gun Agenda Emerges Once Again

What happens to the 400 million or so firearms already in private hands? How does society actually benefit from his plan? Stephens doesn’t say. He apparently just trusts that things would eventually work themselves out ...

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” – Latest Ninth Circuit decision proclaims “selling firearms is not part or parcel of the right to keep and bear arms”

Second Amendment  

Friday, October 13, 2017

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” – Latest Ninth Circuit decision proclaims “selling firearms is not part or parcel of the right to keep and bear arms”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, lower courts across the country have expressed their disagreement with – or downright hostility to ...

California: Governor Vetoes Dealer Storage Bill and Signs Open Carry Ban

Saturday, October 14, 2017

California: Governor Vetoes Dealer Storage Bill and Signs Open Carry Ban

Yesterday, Governor Brown took action on two of the remaining three anti-gun bills by vetoing Senate Bill 464 and signing Assembly Bill 7. 

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Yesterday, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 719A.  Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A will create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement ...

Shall-Issue Concealed Carry Coming Soon to the Nation’s Capital!

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Shall-Issue Concealed Carry Coming Soon to the Nation’s Capital!

It’s important to celebrate that law-abiding Americans are now closer than they have been in nearly half a century to being able to exercise their firearms freedom in our nation’s capital. That is real progress.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.