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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

December 5, 2005

Contact: Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795


(05/130) TRENTON -- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that the 2005 black bear hunting season is underway and is scheduled to end on Saturday, December 10. The season runs concurrently with the six-day firearm deer season.

The bear hunting area is divided into four zones that include Sussex County and portions of Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergen, Hunterdon and Somerset counties.

Daily hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Only one bear of either sex may be taken by a properly licensed hunter. All harvested bears must be taken to a bear-check station where biological and geographical information is collected.

At the check stations, biologists weigh and measure each bear, record ear tag numbers, and collect biological data, including hair samples for DNA analysis. Data collected at the check stations is used to refine the state’s bear population assessment.

All bear hunting permit holders must have completed a mandatory bear hunting seminar provided by DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. The seminar covers the biology of bears, hunting laws and hunting ethics. As with all types of New Jersey game hunting, bear hunters are required to hold a valid hunting license and complete a hunter education course. Additional Conservation Officers will be in the field during the black bear hunting season to enforce the hunting regulations and laws.

The New Jersey Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy, which was drafted by the New Jersey Fish and Game Council and approved by DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell on November 14, allows for a bear hunting season as part of an overall black bear management strategy. The Comprehensive Management Policy was drafted and approved in accordance with a ruling from the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2004. The Court ordered that a black bear hunt could not take place until a comprehensive management policy was formulated by the Fish and Game Council and approved by the DEP Commissioner.

A primary goal of New Jersey’s new Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy is to ensure that black bears are always an integral part of New Jersey’s natural heritage.

Hunters should consult the 2005 Hunting Issue of the Fish and Wildlife Digest for all black bear hunting season information and regulations.

NOTE TO PRESS: Members of the press are advised that DEP will provide updated daily harvest numbers and other information via telephone conference. The press should contact the DEP press office each day at 609-984-1795 to obtain the call in number. The daily telephone conference will take place at 3:30 p.m.

Harvest numbers and other information will also be available on DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Web site at:




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Last Updated: December 5, 2005