TRENTON, N.J. (WABC) -- New Jersey's black bear hunt could be reinstated as early as December as the state is seeing a rise in reports of bear-human interactions, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday.
Murphy announced that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council will discuss the approval of the State's Comprehensive Bear Management Policy (CBBMP) and consider amendments to the Game Code at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, November 15.
The amendments include measures to reintroduce a regulated black bear hunt beginning in December.
"From the data we have analyzed to the stories we have heard from families across the state, it is clear that New Jersey's black bear population is growing significantly, and nonlethal bear management strategies alone are not enough to mitigate this trend," Murphy said in a news release.
The announcement, which comes a day after the midterm elections, angered animal rights activists and conservationists who say the governor back out of a promise to ban the hunt.
New Jersey Department of Envorinmental Protection reports show that there are around 3,000 black bears in Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Warren counties.
Reports of encounters are up 237 percent over last year with 62 aggressive encounters against humans, 12 dog attacks, 12 home entries and 52 livestock attacks.
Earlier this week, officials in Connecticut put out a warning about black bears, alerting people to be aware as bears are very active seeking out more food in the Fall to add fat reserves needed to help them survive winter.
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