Category: Hunting

Round Valley Reservoir Project Seeks Permanent Closure Of CR-629 Due To “Security Concerns”

July 19, 2022

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (HUNTERDON)–According to the Clinton Township website discussions are underway to close County Road 629 permanently in the area of the Round Valley Reservoir by the request of the New Jersey Water Supply Authority due to security concerns of “bad actors”

From the Clinton Township website:

As you probably already know, County Road 629 in Clinton Township, Hunterdon County has been closed since April 8, 2020, from the corner of Cherry Street and Old Mountain Road to just east of the driveway to the NJDEP “fishlabs”. The fish labs are located just east of the parking lot access to the Round Valley Fish and Wildlife Boat Ramp. This was originally proposed as a temporary closure during the construction project on the Round Valley embankments. This temporary closing was allowed by Hunterdon County Engineering at the request of the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.

Recently, the Authority has had informal conversations with the Hunterdon County Engineering Department, the Borough of Lebanon, and Clinton Township about making the existing temporary closure of County Road 629 permanent. Following our informal discussions, a specific request to close the road permanently has been asked of the mayors of Lebanon Borough and Clinton Township in advance of a formal similar request to Hunterdon County. If the closing is allowed, it is our intent, after all construction is complete, to continue to allow public access on the road for pedestrians and bicycles only. Keys to the vehicular access gates would be provided to Lebanon Borough, Clinton Township, and Hunterdon County emergency staff for vehicular access. This is not out of the ordinary as keys have already been provided to the same emergency services groups for to access other Authority-owned secure areas.

The purpose of this change is to improve dam safety. We cannot share specifics, but I can tell you that a very serious threat to earthen dams by bad actors would be facilitated by vehicular access to the structure. County Road 629 is the crest of the Round Valley Dike. Be aware that failure of any of the three Round Valley dams would have catastrophic impacts on downstream residents and water supply to over one million people in central New Jersey.

It is also noted that the Authority has received verbal support of this proposal from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Dam Safety. The Round Valley Dike is the only one of the three embankments (at Round Valley) with unrestricted vehicular access to the crest. To my knowledge, there are no earthen embankments of this size in the state of New Jersey that allows public vehicular access.

I hope this helps you understand the situation. We do plan to add this information along with updates to our website in the future. The link to our project-specific webpage follows.


According to the website:

The Round Valley reservoir was formed in the 1960s in the Township of Clinton, New Jersey after the State constructed three large earthen embankments and flooded a large valley. The reservoir was named after the ring shaped Cushetunk Mountain that surrounds the area.

While the large valley was caused by the erosion of soft sedimentary rock, the surrounding mountain ridges endured due to the dense and durable underlay of volcanic rock.

Reaching depths of 180 feet, this 2,350-acre reservoir is known for its clear blue waters. At full capacity, the reservoir contains 55 billion gallons of water for use in central New Jersey, making it the largest water supply reservoir by volume in the state. Its water is primarily released to the nearby South Branch of the Rockaway Creek, which feeds the North Branch of the Raritan River.

The Round Valley reservoir is an “off-stream pump storage” reservoir, which means that it is filled primarily by pumping water into it. The New Jersey Water Supply Authority operates a pumping station in the Hamden section of Clinton Township to move water from the South Branch of the Raritan River into the reservoir via a large underground pipeline. Round Valley reservoir is part of a larger water supply system supply called the Raritan Basin system, which also includes the Spruce Run Reservoir. Additional information about the Raritan Basin system can be found on the Authority’s website.

Round Valley reservoir was designed for water supply purposes, but is also managed for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, swimming and camping. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) Division of Fish and Wildlife manages the fishery and game resources at Round Valley Reservoir and the NJDEP State Park Service manages the other recreational aspects of the reservoir.


Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, August 11-14, 2022, is Cancelled Due To Industry Supply Chain And Labor Issues

Next show in NJ will be: Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, Winter Show January 12-15, 2023

July 14, 2022

EDISON, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The Outdoor Sports Group (OSG) each January is proud to produce The Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, bringing together the outdoor community to experience a fishing & hunting spectacular.   Due to COVID 19 and health concerns we were unable to produce the 2022 January event and were forced to re-scheduled it to August 11-14,2022.

We had high hopes that an August event on the verge of hunting season would provide a forum for outdoor enthusiast to shop for amazing deals, meet the experts and create enjoyable family memories. While we would prefer to be giving you an update today on joining us at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center in Edison, NJ; we unfortunately must cancel the August event.

As events are assembling around the country and we recover from the effects of COVID 19, we find the outdoor industry in a peculiar situation. Our industry has never been so alive with individuals participating in outdoor activities, purchasing hunting & fishing licenses, taking part in conservation awareness, having a desire to travel and much more. The challenge currently is the outdoor industry is still suffering from supply chain and labor shortages making it hard to book a trip, purchase fishing tackle, boats, ATV’s and many of the products that complement the perfect outdoor adventure.

We are passionate about delivering sports shows that showcase the latest products, services, travel destination, ATV’s, RV’s, boats, powersports, fishing tackle, outfitters, wildlife art, hunting supplies, charters, paddle boards, knives and much more. Based on the supply chain and labor issue we would not be able to deliver the quality of show that the outdoor community deserves. As disappointing as it is to cancel an event is in the

best interest of our loyal vendors and attendees Outdoor Sports Group is going to focus its efforts on producing a successful show January 12-15, 2023, that showcases 150-200 + exhibitor booths and delivers 12,500-15,000 + attendees.

The January 2023 show will feature the New Jersey Deer Classic with an impressive display of trophy heads from the previous three hunting seasons, the 9th Annual Garden State 3D Archery Tournament, The Hawg Trough, Fishing & Hunting Seminars and co-located with Safe Con, New Jersey 2nd Amendment Firearms Education Conference. Outdoor enthusiast will have the opportunity to book future fishing trips, buy a boat or RV, and gear up for hunting season, plus much more.

The Outdoor Sports Group staff will be connecting directly with exhibiting companies with more information regarding the postponing of the event, including options to receive a full refund or apply booth deposit to the 2023 events.

Our exhibitor profiles, guest speaker announcements and other information will be available at www.gsoss.com Outdoor Sports Group is schedule to hold these future events:

2023 Show Schedule:

  • Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, Winter Show January 12-15, 2023
  • Northern Illinois Sports Show, January 19-22, 2023
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, March 9-12, 2023

About Outdoor Sports Group

Outdoor Sports Group (OSG) is the producer of the finest outdoor sports show on the East Coast and in the Midwest dedicated to the consumer sports enthusiast. The Outdoor Sports Group team is dedicated to producing sports shows with quality exhibitors, seminars and attractions that speak to sportsmen and women of all ages with a focus on activities that the whole family will enjoy.



Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, January 6-9, 2022 is Postponed Due to Coronavirus Related Health and Safety Concerns

Garden State Outdoor Sports Show Moves to August 11 – 14, 2022


Postponed Show Dates – January 2021:
Garden State Outdoor Sports Show
New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center, Edison, NJ
January 6-9, 2022 – POSTPONED
http://www.gsoss.com

December 22, 2021

EDISON, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The Outdoor Sports Group (OSG) each January is proud to produce The Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, bringing together the outdoor community to experience a fishing & hunting spectacular.

We assemble at this annual show to celebrate the outdoor industry and provide a platform for the outdoor enthusiast to shop for amazing deals, meet the experts and create enjoyable family memories. We are passionate about delivering sports shows that showcase the latest products, services, travel destination, ATV’s, RV’s, boats, powersports, fishing tackle, outfitters, wildlife art, hunting supplies, charters, paddle boards, knives and much more.

While we would prefer to be giving you an update today on joining us at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center in Edison, NJ; set to take place in January 2022, the show will be postponed and is now schedule, to take place August 11-14, 2022. Outdoor Sports Group in conjunction with its show partners have made the decision to postpone the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show due to coronavirus related health and safety concerns for its exhibitors, speakers, staff, and the many outdoor enthusiasts that passionately attend these events each year.

Postponing this event is incredibly disappointing for everyone involved but based on the current health and safety guidelines we are unable to hold our traditional sports show that showcases 150-200 + exhibitor booths and delivers 10,000-15,000 + attendees. More importantly the decision was made to ensure the continued health and safety of our community.

The Outdoor Sports Group staff will be connecting directly with exhibiting companies with more information regarding the postponing of the event, including options to receive a full refund or apply booth deposit to the scheduled 2022 or 2023 events.

The outdoor industry does not stop for the COVID-19 pandemic, we are happy to announce we will be holding a summer edition of the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, August 11-14, 2022. The summer show will feature the New Jersey Deer Classic, the 9th Annual Garden State 3D Archery Tournament Summer Classic and co-locate with Safe Con, New Jersey 2nd Amendment Firearms Education Conference. Outdoor enthusiast will have the opportunity to book last minute summer and fall fishing trips, buy a boat or RV and gear up for hunting season, plus much more.

Our exhibitor profiles, guest speaker announcements and other information will be available at www.gsoss.com Outdoor Sports Group is schedule to hold these future events:

2022- 2023 Show Schedule:

  • Northern Illinois Sports Show, January 13-16, 2022
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, March 10-13, 2022
  • Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, Summer Show August 11-14,2022
  • Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, Winter Show January 12-15, 2023
  • Northern Illinois Sports Show, January 19-22, 2023
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, March 9-12, 2023

Help Keep New Jersey CWD Free

October 29, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–As permit seasons begin, and out of state hunting trips are planned, hunters are reminded of New Jersey’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Whole Deer Carcass Ban and the Deer-Derived Scent and Lure Ban.

Whole Deer Carcass Ban

  • Hunters are banned from bringing a whole carcass from any member of the Cervid family (including but not limited to white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, wapiti, caribou, reindeer, roe deer, red deer, sika deer) into New Jersey from ANY other state or country.
  • Hunters are banned from bringing a non-taxidermied head of any member of the Cervid family harvested into New Jersey from ANY other state or country.
  • ONLY completely boned-out meat (meat with all bones removed), cleaned skullcaps and hides, shed antlers, and clean upper canine teeth of any member of the Cervid family may be brought into New Jersey.

Deer-Derived Scent and Lure Ban

  • Lures and scents made from any member of the Cervid family are banned for sale, possession, and use while hunting in New Jersey, including deer urine and deer glandular secretions, as infectious prions that cause CWD can be found in these fluids.
  • ONLY synthetic scents or natural lures made from species not in the deer family are legal for deer hunting in New Jersey.
  • Many synthetic products are readily available at sporting goods stores and online retailers. Hunters must use these products as part of New Jersey’s effort to keep CWD out of the state.

One of the most important ways of slowing the spread of CWD is early detection. The Division of Fish and Wildlife tests hunter-harvested deer every year, along with symptomatic wild or captive deer. Please report deer that appear sick, weak, or starving to Dr. Nicole Lewis, Wildlife Veterinarian at (908) 735-6398 or nicole.lewis@dep.nj.gov

Thank you for helping keep New Jersey CWD free!


Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Found in 1 Deer in Burlington County

Public Asked to Contact DEP, Report Deer With Possible Symptoms

August 21, 2021

BURLINGTON, NJ –The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in a deer recently sampled in Burlington County. The sample was also tested for Blue Tongue, another virus that can cause hemorrhagic disease in deer, and it was negative. Neither disease is a threat to public health.

EHD and Bluetongue are contracted from the bite of insects called midges (Culicoides sp.). They cannot be transmitted to people, and humans are not at risk by handling infected deer, being bitten by infected midges or eating infected deer meat.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife always advises against consuming meat from any game animal that appears ill.

EHD outbreaks typically begin in late summer. Symptoms in deer may include difficulty standing, drooling, and emitting foam from the mouth or nose. Since the disease causes a fever, sick or dead deer are often seen in or near water. Disease transmission ends when the first hard frost kills midges.

The clinical signs of disease caused by the EHD and Bluetongue viruses are identical and can only be differentiated by testing and virus isolation.

There have been multiple outbreaks of EHD in New Jersey deer since 1955. Bluetongue virus was isolated from one deer that died in Basking Ridge, Somerset County and another that died in Stirling, Morris County in 2014.

The public is strongly encouraged to report deer with any of the symptoms described above to the Division of Fish and Wildlife at one of the following contacts:

Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensic
Dr. Nicole Lewis, Wildlife Veterinarian, (908) 735-6398 or nicole.lewis@dep.nj.gov

Bureau of Wildlife Management
Jodi Powers, (609) 223-6073 or jodi.powers@dep.nj.gov

Bluetongue and EHD are reportable diseases to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health, but only Bluetongue is a significant concern in livestock.

Livestock issues should be directed to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health at (609) 671-6400.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory can assist in diagnosing suspected Bluetongue cases in livestock by offering testing and necropsy services. Call the lab at (609) 406-6999 or email jerseyvetlab@ag.state.nj.us.

More information about the tests offered can be found at www.jerseyvetlab.nj.gov

For information about white-tailed deer in New Jersey, visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/deer.htm


Be Alert For Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease In Deer

August 4, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Division of Fish and Wildlife is asking the public to be alert for deer that may be affected by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and to report any suspected cases. Symptoms include: difficulty standing, drooling, lethargy, respiratory distress, foam from the mouth or nose, and swelling of the face, tongue, and neck. Sick or dead deer are often seen in or near water. Reports can be made as follows:

Division Deer Biologist: 609-259-6965
Division Veterinarian: 908-735-6398 or nicole.lewis@dep.nj.gov


Visit NJ State Parks Free With NJ Parks Vax Pass, And Other Vaccination Incentives Announced

May 19, 2021

BERKLEY TOWNSHIP – ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK, NJ (OCEAN)–Governor Phil Murphy today announced several new vaccination incentives as part of “Operation Jersey Summer”, the statewide public awareness campaign aimed at vaccinating all eligible individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey against COVID-19. The new incentives include a State Parks Vax Pass, providing free access to New Jersey’s 51 state parks and facilities including Island Beach State Park; a free glass of wine at participating New Jersey wineries; and dinner with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy.

“Millions of New Jerseyans have rolled up their sleeves and received a vaccination to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19, but there is still much work to be done in order to reach our goal of 4.7 million fully vaccinated New Jersey adults by June 30,” said Governor Murphy. “In partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Garden State Wine Growers Association, we are giving New Jerseyans more reasons to step up and visit one of our 1,700 vaccination sites to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. We are determined to reach our vaccination goals and make this the best Jersey summer yet.”

“With continually improving public health indicators, we want every New Jersey resident to get a State Parks Vax Pass and get out to enjoy our incredible State Parks with their families and friends,” said Shawn LaTourette, Acting Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “From High Point in the northwest to Cape May Point in the southeast, our state parks provide a great place for New Jerseyans to connect with one another and with nature. A free State Parks Vax Pass is just one small way that we can thank our fellow residents for taking good care of themselves and each other by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.”

“New Jersey state parks are second to none and offer a great diversity of outdoors recreational experiences,” said New Jersey Parks and Forestry Director John Cecil. “We look forward to welcoming everyone this summer and truly hope many people take advantage of this opportunity to save money while doing the right thing to help end the pandemic.”

“The Garden State Wine Growers Association is proud to have nine of our member wineries join in raising awareness for the Covid-19 vaccination program by offering a free glass of wine to all those of age that show they’ve received their first vaccination dose this May,” said Tom Cosentino, Executive Director, Garden State Wine Growers Association. “We encourage all New Jersey residents to get vaccinated so they can come out this summer to our vineyards and enjoy the award-winning wines New Jersey vintners are producing.”



Vax and Visit with the State Parks Vax Pass

Beginning Thursday, May 27, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a free State Parks Vax Pass under the new “Vax and Visit” campaign to all New Jersey residents who receive at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccination by July 4, 2021. The State Parks Vax Pass, which will be of the same value as the Annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to all of New Jersey’s 51 State parks and forest facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees, from Thursday, May 27 through December 31, 2021. New Jersey residents who have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to request a State Parks Vax Pass upon entry at any one of the state’s 51 parks, including Island Beach State Park. The Department of Environmental Protection will also provide refunds to residents who already purchased Annual State Park Passes this year and have been fully vaccinated.


Vax and Visit with the State Parks Vax Pass

Beginning Thursday, May 27, 2021, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a free State Parks Vax Pass under the new “Vax and Visit” campaign to all New Jersey residents who receive at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccination by July 4, 2021.

The State Parks Vax Pass, which will be of the same value as the Annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to New Jersey’s 51 State parks and forest facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees, from Thursday, May 28 through December 31, 2021. New Jersey residents who have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to request a State Parks Vax Pass upon entry at any one of the state’s 51 parks, including Island Beach State Park. The Department of Environmental Protection will also provide refunds to residents who already purchased Annual State Park Passes this year and have been fully vaccinated.


Uncork the Vaccination

In partnership with the Garden State Wine Growers Association, New Jerseyans ages 21 and over who receive their first COVID-19 vaccination in the month of May can visit one of New Jersey’s participating wineries and receive a free glass of wine. Participating wineries include Amalthea Cellars, Auburn Road Vineyards, Bellview Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Salem Oak Vineyards, Terhune Orchards, Tomasello Winery, Villa Milagro Vineyards in Pohatcong, and White Horse Winery. 



Dinner with the Governor and First Lady

Beginning May 19, individuals age 18 or older who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination in New Jersey since the roll-out of the state’s program in December, can enter to win dinner along with a guest with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy. The winner will have the choice between dinner at Drumthwacket, the official Governor’s residence located in Princeton, or the Governor’s residence in Island Beach State Park. Entries must be submitted by May 31. To enter, visit covid19.nj.gov




Road Repair And Paving Scheduled For Assunpink WMA

May 6, 2021

UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–There will be road repair/paving activity at the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area Tuesday, May 11 through Wednesday, May 19, 2021. There will be no road closures but traffic may be reduced to one lane. The Conservation Center parking lot will be closed one day for paving during the work period.



Hunting Regulation Change – Deer Urine Lure Ban

April 30, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Effective May 10, 2021, a change in state hunting regulations will ban the possession, sale and use of all natural, deer-derived hunting lures (urine and glandular secretions) in New Jersey to help safeguard the health of the state’s deer herd from the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). All natural, deer-derived hunting lures must be disposed of in your household trash.

The ban has been put in place to strengthen safeguards against CWD entering New Jersey. These scents and lures are derived from captive deer where the risk of CWD is greatest. The production of deer urine is not regulated; there is no federal or state agency that can certify deer urine-based products as CWD-free, and no level of exposure is acceptable.

Synthetic lures and lures not made from any deer fluid or tissue are legal to possess, sell and use.

CWD is a progressive and always fatal neurologic disease affecting members of the Cervid family such as deer, elk, moose and reindeer, and is caused by an infectious protein called a prion. It results in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death, and is readily spread from deer to deer. While CWD has not yet been documented in New Jersey, it poses a real and significant risk to deer herds and New Jersey’s deer hunting tradition if it arrives here.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife is doing everything in its power to prevent CWD from entering New Jersey and to protect the long-term health of our deer herd and our deer hunting heritage.

More information about Chronic Wasting Disease can be found at www.njfishandwildlife.com/cwdinfo.htm

Water Lowered For Dam Repairs At Two Assunpink WMA Lakes

Dam repairs to take place at Stone Tavern Lake and Rising Sun Lake though December 1, 2020.

October 23, 2020


UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP-MILLSTONE TOWNSHP, NJ (MONMOUTH) –The Division is currently working on two dam repair projects on the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area. Stone Tavern and Rising Sun Lakes have been lowered approximately four feet to provide construction crews access to the dam and water control structures. Concrete work will be completed on the spillways and repairs to trash gates.

Both projects should be completed around December 1, at which time the lakes will be returned to their normal water levels. Access is currently open to these locations, however, it may be impacted by construction activities during the project. The Division will provide updates on the website should any changes regarding the completion date or access occur.

Both lakes have adequate depths to fully support the fish population during the duration of the project.



Governor Phil Murphy Tweets That 2020 Bear Hunt Will Be The Last

October 5, 2020 – Updated to include press release

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Murphy announced today that the NJ Fish and Game Council has proposed an amendment to end the bear hunt after the 2020 season.

The 2020 bear hunt will be the LAST. The New Jersey Fish and Game Council has proposed an amendment to the Game Code that will:

☑️SUSPEND the bear hunt following the conclusion of the 2020 season

☑️Remove the current Comprehensive Black Bear Management Police from the Game Code


Bear attacks in NJ:


July 24, 2020 West Milford a black bear attacked an 82 year old man in his garage after the bear took several swipes at the man. The man required over 30 stiches to his face.


September 2014: Darsh Patel, 22 was a Rutgers University Student hiking with friends in the Apshawa Preserve was killed by a 4 year old, 300 pound black bear. Wildlife officials stated that the last prior death from a black bear in NJ was in 1852

The video below explains the September 2014 attack:



Press release from the Governor’s Office:

Governor Murphy Announces Proposed Changes to New Jersey Fish and Game Code to End Bear Hunt in 2021

TRENTON – Today, Governor Phil Murphy announced that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council has proposed changes to the state’s Game Code that would end bear hunting in New Jersey after 2020. 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.

These changes enable the Council and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to engage in a thorough review of the current scientific data to develop a new policy that promotes public safety and welfare while protecting New Jersey’s wildlife, with a focus on non-lethal bear-management techniques.

“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. “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 DEP’s Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW), in coordination with the independent Fish & Game Council, is committed to protecting public safety and wildlife,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “As DFW and the Council embark upon the data and policy analysis necessary to develop a new Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy, we will rely on the best available science, engage often with the public, and work to achieve the best balance. We look forward to continuing our productive dialogue with the Council on this and other important natural resource management priorities.”“New Jersey’s Bear Hunt has had the reputation of being one of the cruelest bear hunts in the country,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “I am very thankful to Governor Murphy for making 2020’s Bear Hunt the last one ever in the state of New Jersey. This inhumane practice has gone on far too long, and it is time to eliminate it in its entirety on public and private lands.”

The rules proposed in today’s 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. The Murphy Administration will prioritize non-lethal bear management strategies in any future Policy. Bear hunting will not proceed after the 2020 season under the Murphy Administration.

In August 2018, Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order directing the DEP to close all public lands under the Department’s jurisdiction to bear hunting for the 2018 season. That order prohibited bear hunting in all State forests, State parks, State recreation areas, State historic sites, State Wildlife Management Areas and State natural areas.

NJ Div of Fish and Wildlife and USDA Remove Plastic Container From Baby Deer’s Head

August 13, 2020

BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife reports that the USDA Wildlife Services a (NJDFW partner) removed a plastic pretzel container stuck on a baby deer’s head on Monday, August 10. Technicians carefully immobilized the fawn deer, removed the container, and released the deer on site.