The state of New Jersey has officially reopened the bear hunting season, extending it by 4 days. Bear hunting season reopens in New Jersey due to the fact that the hunters fell short on their quota this year.
Jersey’ Division of Fish and Wildlife announced that the extended season will begin on Wednesday. According to the announcement, the extended season will begin 30 minutes before the first light on Wednesday and will end 30 minutes after the sunset, on Saturday.
By this exercise, the Division of Fish and Wildlife intends to thin out the number of black bears found in the forests around New Jersey. According to different spokespersons from the DFW, each year this hunting season is necessary to the bear’s well-being. The high number of bears in a certain area of the forest can deplete food sources quite rapidly, determining the bear population to come out of the forest, in order to find food around human establishments.
Bob Martin, a commissioner working for the State Department of Environmental Protection, stated in his report that the hunters managed to hunt down approximately 472 bruins, over a period of 60 days. According to their estimation, the hunt quota for the first hunting season was below 20 percent.
And, according to a policy enacted by the DEP at the beginning of the year, if a hunting season’s quota falls below 20 percent, the local wildlife authorities are entitled to authorise an extended hunting season.
In order to measure how effective the hunting season really is, the wildlife authorities managed to capture and tag approximately 133 bears. These bear will be used in order to calculate the hunting harvest rates. According to their early estimations, it would seem that only 24 tagged bears were brought back, meaning that the hunting-harvesting rate is way below 18 percent.
The state of New Jersey brought bear hunting into attention since 2003, and now, all hunting activities are focused around managing the bear population. Martin emphasized that these measures, radical as they may seem at first hand, are designed in order to help maintain the balance in bear population.
Moreover, if a thin balance is not maintained, as he explained, the bears will rapidly consume all food available in the forest and then would leave their habitat to search for other food sources. Most of them would descend into nearby cities and scavenge for food scraps in people’s dumpsters. In order to avoid further accidents, the authorities decided that this is the best course of action, despite the fact that they have received criticism from several activists, claiming that the method is both useless and inhumane.