Kansas City – Hunter Nation, the country’s fastest-growing hunting organization dedicated to protecting and defending the rights of hunters in all 50 states, called today for immediate action to restore black bear hunting in the state of New Jersey. The group’s call follows a move by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to suspend the state’s long-awaited hunt as anti-hunting groups were granted an emergency stay by a state appellate court.

“Delaying this hunt is inappropriate and unnecessary,” says Hunter Nation founder Keith Mark. “The black bear hunt has won support from both sides of the aisle as a science-based way to manage wildlife, As a policy approved by the governor to help keep the public safe, a delay in this hunt is disappointing and simply dangerous.”

The hunt had initially been opposed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D). However, citing an increase in incidents involving humans and bears as well as record level sightings of black bears within the state, Murphy recently changed his position and in November ordered the state to proceed with the hunt.

Approved unanimously by an independent panel of the New Jersey Fish and Game Council, the black bear hunt was scheduled to begin on Monday, Dec. 5.


Public Hearing Notice for 2022 Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy and NJ State Game Code Amendments

This public hearing announcement is specific to the proposed adoption of the CBBMP and changes to the Game Code that would be put in place for 2023 (and beyond).  Concurrently, the Fish and Game Council also moved to initiate a regulated bear hunt for December 2022 through an emergency rule. This public hearing notice is not related to the emergency rule or the 2022 season.

Public comment on proposed changes begins December 5, 2022, through February 3, 2023. Comments on these proposed changes can be made online.

A public hearing is scheduled for January 18, 2023, from 1 pm to 8 pm. The public hearing notice can be found HERE.

NJ Bear Hunt Is Now Open

The NJ Black Bear Hunt is open effective immediately today, Tuesday, December 6, 2022. The NJ Appellate Court has found the Emergency Rule valid.

Hunters must check all bears harvested at a mandatory bear check station (pdf). Check Stations will be open today (12/6) from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and will be open noon – 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 7 through Saturday, December 10.  Hunters shall surrender the black bear transportation tag and will be issued a legal possession seal. Bear check is NOT available through the automated system.


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