Courts Halt New Jersey Bear Hunt

Activists from the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, Humane Society of the United States and Friends of Animals filed a motion to stay the emergency order from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy reinstating the bear hunt scheduled to begin on Dec. 5. Superior Court Appellate Judge Lisa Rose granted the temporary stay, which is likely to delay the bear hunt.

In her ruling, the judge gave the animal-rights organization until 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, to file formal objections to the hunt. The state has until 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, to file opposing arguments. The six-day emergency bear hunt was to begin at sunrise on Monday, with the possibility of extending it if harvest goals were not met.

“Clearly, this is a delaying tactic that will impact the bear hunt and undeniable need to control exploding bear conflicts. This is, and has been, a matter of public safety,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Gov. Murphy obviously has the power to protect the public, but animal extremists are only interested in government action that serves their purposes.”

Before reversing course and reinstating the bear hunt under emergency powers, Gov. Phil Murphy fought the Sportsmen’s Alliance, Safari Club International and New Jersey Outdoor Alliance in court when he closed the bear season on state-owned land. Expert testimony in that case, which went unrefuted by the state and animal-rights organizations, predicted a large jump in human-bear conflicts in two years as bear populations would explode with no control mechanism. Almost exactly two years later, and despite throwing millions of taxpayer dollars at non-lethal means of deterrence, Gov. Murphy conceded that a bear hunt was necessary to protect the citizens of his state.

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.