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Governor Phil Murphy announced on Monday (October 5) that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council has proposed changes to make the 2020 bear hunt the very last in the state.

The Fish and Game Council, which has authority over the hunt, has proposed an amendment to the New Jersey Game Code that suspends the hunt and removes the current Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy from the Game Code.

“With today’s announcement, we will end the bear hunt under my Administration and develop a new black bear policy that keeps public safety at the forefront of our concerns while protecting wildlife in the State,” said Governor Murphy in a press statement. “I am grateful to the Fish and Game Council for their commitment to working with the Department of Environmental Protection to address this issue and chart a better way forward.”

The rules proposed in the New Jersey Register are subject to a 60-day comment period. Pending the public comment process, the current Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy will be removed from the Game Code, which means that no bear hunt may proceed unless and until a new Policy is adopted.