In 2018 Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey worked diligently to implement a bear-hunting ban on state lands, preventing hundreds of bears from being slaughtered, and in 2021 he managed to ban the hunts completely. Unfortunately, however, Murphy reportedly now plans to terminate the bans and once again allow these beautiful animals to be gunned down. And the slaughtered bears won’t be the only victims, as wild families will be torn apart and orphaned cubs left vulnerable to starvation and predation. Black bears are excellent mothers—affectionate, devoted, and attentive to their babies—and cubs’ chances of surviving hibernation without their mothers are slim.
In addition, allowing hunters to massacre bears won’t achieve the goal of reducing or resolving human-bear conflicts. Wild-animal populations are directly linked to the availability of food: Countless studies show that as long as food sources remain available, wild species, including bears, will breed at an accelerated rate to replace lost family members. Communitywide initiatives to reduce attractants, such as providing bear-resistant trash cans, enclosing compost piles, keeping barbecue grills clean of drippings, and never feeding wildlife (even birds), are far more effective at reducing bear encounters.
New Jersey’s bears urgently need your help. Please take a moment to fill out this contact form. Thank Murphy for having staunchly advocated for bears, and politely urge him not to turn his back on these regal wild animals now. Then follow up with a call to the governor’s office at 609-292-6000 and respectfully ask him to keep bears protected. Finally, please forward this alert to all your contacts!