The New Jersey black bear hunt takes place this week, and officials are expecting a good season like last year.
The New Jersey black bear hunt began officially Dec. 8, and will run until sundown Dec. 13. Last year, 251 bears were harvested, and the Department of Environmental Protection is expecting similar results this year.
Approximately 7,000 of the 10,000 available permits were obtained for the New Jersey black bear hunt, which takes place in a 1,000-square-mile region.
DEP biologists understand the importance of New Jersey black bear hunt, as it’s a crucial tool for species management. DEP Commissioner Bob Martin told reporters:
We expect another safe, professionally managed black bear hunt, which is just one component of New Jersey’s comprehensive effort to manage our black bear population. In an effort to properly manage our ecosystem, we are seeking to reduce the number of black bears to a sustainable number in Northwest Jersey while improving public safety by reducing bear encounters with our residents.
Based on estimates, about 2,225 bears live in the specified hunting region of the Garden State, which can be found north of Route 78 and west of Route 287. In 2010, an estimated 3,400 black bears lived in this region. This area has the strongest concentration of black bears in the state, although they have been seen in several other counties.
“The initial results of this coordinated, statewide black bear plan are encouraging,” Dave Chanda, director of the state division of Fish & Wildlife, told reporters.
After this season, DEP biologists plan on assessing the hunt’s results to make educated decisions regarding black bear management that may be applicable to other regions of New Jersey.