The December segment of the black bear hunting season will be extended by four days to achieve management and bear population objectives. The next phase of Segment B of the season (Segment A was October 14-19) will begin a half-hour prior to sunrise on Wednesday, December 18 and will continue until a half-hour after sunset on Saturday, December 21.
New Jersey’s Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy, which has been integrated into the Game Code, mandates that the Division of Fish and Wildlife extend the bear hunting season by four days should the harvest rate not achieve a 20 percent threshold. That harvest rate is deemed necessary to provide better ecological balance to the bear population and reduce the potential for bear-human encounters. The harvest rate for the season stands at 14.7%.
The total number of bears harvested in October was 265. The preliminary total for the number of bears harvested in December to date is 37 for a season total of 302.
Hunters must register their bears at the nearest check stations between noon and 7:00 p.m. Check stations include those at the Whittingham, Greenpond, and Pequest Wildlife Management Areas.