On Monday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced a new plan that would suspend bear hunting in the state after this year.
The New Jersey Fish and Game Council presented a new amendment that puts local bear hunts on hold. In fact, Murphy already outlawed bear hunting on state land in 2018.
“2020 bear hunt will be the LAST,” Murphy announced on Twitter. “The New Jersey Fish and Game Council has proposed an amendment to the Game Code that will: SUSPEND the bear hunt following the conclusion of the 2020 season. Remove the current Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy from the Game Code.”
During a recent conference call with reporters, Murphy spoke a bit more about the new amendment.
“This means, drum roll, that the 2020 bear hunt — already limited to a few days in October and December and, pursuant to my 2018 executive order, not permitted on state lands — will be the last bear hunt under my administration,” he explained.
New Jersey Bear Hunting Not Canceled Just Yet
The New Jersey governor’s term ends in 2022. Yet, Murphy does not have the direct authority to cancel bear hunting on his own. Only the state Legislature or the council can make that final call.
Additionally, a longtime council member recently said that he is in favor of allowing bear hunts to continue.
“I see absolutely zero possibility of not having a bear hunt,” council member Phil Brodhecker explained.
The governor is looking for alternative solutions to controlling the state’s bear population. Murphy said the suspension of bear hunts would allow the council and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to find ways to curb the animals’ population without killing them.
Hunters argue that bear hunts help to keep the animals’ population under control and protect humans.
[H/T NY Post]