This week, the New Jersey Fish and Game Council approved an updated Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy that would increase hunting opportunities and enhance public education on black bear encounters. Now, the proposal must be approved by the Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin before it appears in the New Jersey Register and is opened for public comment.
The updated management plan would open additional land in Northwest New Jersey for the harvest of black bears starting in this year. Beginning in 2016, New Jersey would add a six-day black bear season in October, with three of those days dedicated to bow hunting and the other three days for hunting with bows and muzzleloaders. The plan would also increase the black bear harvest limit to two bears per hunter, provided that one bear is taken in October and one in December. Furthermore, the plan focuses on the importance of public education efforts, trash management and research.
The NRA applauds the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife for their extensive research of the past five bear hunting seasons. Conservation efforts such as this remain an important tool for the protection of our natural resources and proper wildlife management. By allowing sportsmen more opportunities to harvest bears and educating the public, this policy will help to control the number of human-bear conflicts and maintain a sustainable and healthy bear population.