New Jersey bear hunt returns despite efforts by animal rights groups to ban it

New Jersey’s first bear hunt in two years resumed Wednesday, despite efforts by animal rights groups to convince the courts to block its return.

The decision also marked a change of heart by Governor Phil Murphy, who was convinced by wildlife officials to bring back the hunt as increased sightings and encounters with bears in the state put the public at risk.

Within hours of the court ordered stay being lifted Tuesday, word went out to permitted hunters, 6,268 of them, that the hunt was on.

“We had one successful hunter yesterday check a bear,” said Dave Golden, Assistant Commissioner of New Jersey Fish and Wildlife.

The stay, successfully but temporarily won by Animal Rights groups, delayed the hunt for one day. On Wednesday, check stations were open.

All culled bears must now be brought to one of the five stations to be weighed. The Department of Environmental Protection is taking specific data on the animals.

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