Stop the New Jersey Black Bear Hunt

  • by: cathy kocienda
  • recipient: NJ Governor Chris Christie, NJ Senators, Representatives


Please sign this petition and also call Governor Christie's office at 609-292-6000 to express your outrage over the bear hunt. Ask him to STOP pandering to the violent minority calling for a bear hunt; they represent less than 0.07% of New Jersey’s population.

Senator Raymond Lesniak’s (D-20) BEAR SMART legislation (S687) corrects the state’s failure to organize, implement, and enforce non-lethal solutions preferred by 74% of New Jersey registered voters. Senator Lesniak’s legislation incorporates the best science as recommended by leading biologists.

Peer-reviewed studies show that hunts do not reduce human-bear complaints. The only way to reduce conflicts is to secure human-derived foods and trash.

Former Governor Corzine’s staff reviewed the science and came down squarely on the side of non-lethal, trash containment. Thus, there were no bear hunts from 2006-2009.

Under Governor Christie, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin simply does the bidding of the state hunting agency, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the political action committee that backed Christie during the election.

Bear hunting does not reduce complaints unless of course every bear in the state is killed. Regulated hunting from 1958–1970 almost did that.

At the March 7, 2003, meeting of the Fish and Game Council: The Council all agreed that the killing of a child by a bear in NY was extremely rare. Councilman George Howard said, "All the hunts in the world will not address that…"
Garbage containment is extremely important not only for keeping bears away from homes, but it also reduces their population growth rate. Bears without access to unnatural food sources will not gain as much weight. Weight is a major factor in their reproductive cycle.

A bear’s diet typically consists of berries, fruit, and seeds. They are primarily vegetarian. Bears are timid animals who often act like prey. Scaring bears, even bears who are used to seeing people can be easily scared off with hoses, umbrellas, broom sticks, and loud noises.

Education reduces unwarranted fears and allows the public to enjoy these beautiful animals and their place in our state. Modifying your behavior will modify the bear’s behavior. When you know what to do, how to properly act and react, the bear will learn from you.

Case studies prove that when food was unavailable, bears were capable of living in close proximity to humans without conflict. (Wildlife Conservation Society, 2008) The vast majority of bear incidents in New Jersey involve unsecured trash bins and dumpsters as well as bird feeders. New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s enforcement of an existing, loophole-ridden state feeding ban is poor to non-existent. It’s time New Jersey passes, and enforces, a meaningful ban.

Hunting, killing and destroying our bears is not the answer. Co-existing and learning about living together in peace is the answer.

Update #17 years ago
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