Court Ruling: The Hunt Is On

Photo taken on June 4, 2011 in Hope, NJ. Flickr/anaxolotl.

By Michelle Sartor

The Appellate Division of the State Superior Court decided Thursday that the black bear hunt will happen as scheduled. Animal rights groups and two women had filed an appeal to stop the six-day hunt on the grounds that the data justifying it was flawed.

The Animal Protection League of New Jersey, the Bear Education and Resource Group, Theresa Fritzges and Angela Metler had filed the appeal, claiming the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP) was not valid and therefore the hunt should be canceled. The same group tried to stop the hunt last year, unsuccessfully.

The court decision Thursday states that the “appellants have failed to demonstrate that respondents acted arbitrarily or capriciously or in bad faith. We further conclude that appellants have failed to demonstrate any procedural deficiencies supporting invalidation of the CBBMP.”

The black bear hunt is scheduled to take place Dec. 5-10 in four designated zones in sections of Bergen, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties.

Related: Scheduled Black Bear Hunt Faces Opposition; Animal Rights Group Opposes Bear Hunt