NJ Bear Season Ends With 464 Taken

New Jersey DEP Fish & Wildlife, Bear Hunting Magazine

Final Update 12/12/11:
The state Department of Environmental Protection released today that 464 bears were harvested during the six-day hunt that ended Saturday.

UPDATE 12/12/11:
An official update with the harvest numbers for this season should be released later today. The largest taken was estimated at 829 pounds.

UPDATE 12/10/11:
As of Friday night, 410 bears have been harvested during the hunt's first five days with one day left in the season.

UPDATE 12/9/11:
Thursday brought in another 43 bears, for a total of 369 so far for the season. This is behind last years total for the same number of days, mainly because of weather conditions hampering hunters.

UPDATE 12/8/11:
Another day of wet and cold weather dampened the hunt today with only 17 bears being checked in. After three days, 327 bears have been harvested.

UPDATE 12/7/11:
A steady rain and lower temperatures Tuesday may have kept some hunters out of the woods. A total of 52 bears were harvested as of 9pm Tuesday, for a total so far of 309 bears taken.

UPDATE 12/6/11:
Approximately 250 bears were taken during the first day of the 2011 bear season in New Jersey.

UPDATE 12/2/11:
A state appeals court ruled yesterday that New Jersey's black bear hunt can go on as scheduled starting Monday. They turned down a challenge by two animal rights groups that said the state's bear management policy was flawed. The court determined the state properly developed the plan.

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin was pleased by the ruling, saying the ruling affirms the science and fact based policy the state adopted to managed the black bear population in the state.

New Jersey Still Waiting On Season Verdict

New Jersey bear hunters are waiting for the final judgement on whether or not they will be able to begin their hunt this coming Monday. An appellate panel heard arguments yesterday from lawyers for bear advocacy groups as well as the state Department of Environmental Protection and now must decide whether the six-day season will begin next week.

There is agreement the bear population in the woods of northwestern New Jersey has been growing over the past decade, but just how many bruins, and if there should be a hunt, are being debated.

The state argued that it has constantly re-evaluated and revamped its bear numbers, which shows a scientific need for the hunt to control a population that has doubled in the past five years. Because of the increase in the number of bears, hunts were held in 2003, 2005 and 2010.

Last year, a record 592 bears were harvested during the six-day hunt. The population estimate in the hunt area is around 3,200, the same number leading into last year’s hunt, according to New Jersey biologists.

The appellate decision is expected before the planned start of the hunt Monday. The judges acknowledged the crucial timing of their decision as they left the courtroom.

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