Bear Hunt Will Occur December 5 to 10, 2022

November 16, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Yesterday, November 15, the Fish and Game Council voted to approve emergency regulations amending the Game Code and adopting a new Comprehensive Black Bear Management Plan (CBBMP) to control the black bear population and reduce the threat of dangerous encounters between bears and humans through regulated hunting and non-lethal management measures.

Following the Council’s vote, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved the new CBBMP and agreed with the Council’s finding that a hunt is necessary this December to protect the safety of New Jersey residents. Governor Murphy then concurred with the Council’s finding and signed Executive Order No. 310, which rescinds a prior executive order (No. 34) from 2018 instructing the Commissioner to take action to protect black bears on State-owned land.

In accordance with Executive Order No. 310, the Commissioner then rescinded the Department’s own prior Administrative Order (No. 2018-24), which prohibited the hunting of black bears on all State-owned land.

“The facts on the ground have shown that we cannot rely on nonlethal methods alone to protect New Jersey residents from a growing black bear population,” said Governor Murphy. “Today’s actions will facilitate the reinstatement of a regulated black bear hunt this year to help limit dangerous interactions between people and bears to protect public safety.”

This action is being taken in response to an increase in the black bear population and a rise in black bear incidents of 237% from January through October this year as compared to the same time period in 2021. These incidents include 62 aggressive encounters with humans, 89 instances of property damage, and attacks on both livestock and pets.

For additional information about bear hunting season this year, visit…/bear-hunting-season-information/.

2022 Black Bear Season Dates

Season Dates: December 5 -10, 2022 (Segment B), Shotgun/Muzzleloader ONLY

Hunting Hours: Legal hunting hours for black bears shall be ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.

Season Bag limit is one bear over 75 pounds live weight, or 50 pounds dressed, per hunter, regardless of the number of permits the hunter holds.

Season Changes: Following the start of the black bear season, the Assistant Commissioner of NJDEP Fish and Wildlife may announce closure of the entire season or extension of Segment B of the season based upon harvest data.

If the cumulative harvest rate reaches 30% of bears tagged in 2022 the season will be closed. In the event of a season closure, notification will be on our website and via the NJ Hunting E-mail list. A season closure, if announced, will become effective 24 hours from the daily legal closing time of the day on which the decision is made.

If the harvest rate does not reach 20% during this period, the hunt will be extended to Wednesday, December 14th through Saturday, December 17th, 2022. Hunting regulations for the season extension will be the same as those during the regular part of Segment B. Only those permit holders with a valid permit(s) for Segment B who did not harvest a bear during the regular part of Segment B may hunt during the Segment B extension. The notification number for season closure will be announced by news release, radio and Fish and Wildlife’s website

Complete Bear Hunting Information Here file photos of a black bear in a residential neighborhood