Bear Group

Time is Running Out for the Bears! Please Act!

The bowhunt portion of the 2020 bear hunt is scheduled to begin October 12, 2020, but Governor Murphy has two important tools he can use to stop the hunt: an executive order and our rule-making petition.

He can issue an executive order, especially with the pandemic emergency that we are still in the middle of, to cancel the hunt immediately, on all public and private lands in New Jersey.

Murphy can also grant the rule-making petition filed by APLNJ/Bear Group and a coalition of organizations to repeal the bear policy, to stop future bear hunts. Please call 609-292-6000 and ask Governor Murphy to do two things:

  1. Cancel this year’s bear hunt on all lands with an executive order.
  1. Cancel future hunts by granting the rule-making petition to repeal the bear policy.

Other ways to reach Governor Murphy:

If you are unable to get through on the phone, please use this webform:

Twitter: @GovMurphy #SaveNJBears

  1. Tweet: @GovMurphy  #SaveNJBears
  2. Sign and share former Senator Lesniak’s new Petition
  3. You can also comment on his Facebook page:

Governor Murphy promised the Bear Group in 2016 that if he were elected, he would stop the bear hunt. Yet the hunts continue…including a recently added bow hunt.

The governor is the ONLY person in the state right now with the authority
to stop the hunt.

Write pro-bear letters to the editor

Letters have a huge impact on policy makers. For every person who writes a letter, they know that thousands of other people feel the same way. Letters are also free advertising for black bear protection in New Jersey!

When you are published, we will also post your letter to the Bear Group Facebook page!

  1. Asbury Park Press [Neptune]:
  2. Burlington County Times:
  3. Courier News:
  4. Courier Post:
  5. The Daily Journal:
  6. Daily Record:
  7. Gloucester County Times:
  8. Hammonton Gazette:
  9. Herald News:
  10. Home News Tribune:
  11. Jersey Journal:
  12. New Jersey Herald:
  13. Newark Star Ledger:
  14. Philadelphia Inquirer: or
  15. Press of Atlantic City:
  16. The Record:
  17. Salem Sunbeam:
  18. South Jersey Times:
  19. The Times of Trenton:
  20. The Trentonian:

Follow the Bear Group on Facebook!

Follow us here to stay up-to-date on everything that is happening with our bears, the hunt, and most importantly, important actions we will ask you to take.

Can Governor Murphy stop the New Jersey bear hunt?

Yes! Doris Lin, Esq., staff attorney for Animal Protection League of New Jersey has answered questions many of us have right now about this issue:

Q: So why does Murphy’s press release say that he can’t stop it?
Doris Lin: The press release INCORRECTLY states that the governor is limited by a 2005 State Supreme Court decision. However, that court decision applies only to the commissioner who approves a bear policy. The 2005 Supreme Court decision does not apply to the governor. The decision also says nothing about a new incoming commissioner who was not involved with the previous administration’s bear policy. U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation v. NJDEP, 182 N.J. 461 (2005).

Q: Why is the governor’s executive order about state lands only?
DL: Since the state is the owner of the state lands, the state can decide whether to allow hunting, just as any private landowner can decide whether to allow hunting on their land. Safari Club Int’l v. NJDEP, 373 N.J. Super. 515 (App. Div 2004).

Q: How can Governor Murphy stop the bear hunt?
DL: The governor has broad powers to issue executive orders, and Murphy could issue an executive order. Kenny v. Byrne, 144 N.J.Super. 243 (App. Div., 1976).

Q: How did Governor Whitman and Governor Corzine stop the bear hunt during their administrations?
DL: Governor Whitman asked the Fish & Game Council to cancel the bear hunt in 2000, which put political pressure on them, and they canceled it. During the Corzine administration, the DEP Commissioner canceled the bear hunt in 2006, and the lawsuit by NJ Animal Rights Alliance and the BEAR Group canceled the bear hunt in 2007. That same 2007 court decision held that the 2005 bear hunt was illegal. After the 2007 court decision, the Fish & Game Council dropped their attempt to get a bear hunt approved by the Corzine administration. NJ Animal Rights Alliance v. NJDEP, 396 N.J. Super. 358 (App. Div. 2007).

Q: Did you give this information to the governor?
DL: Yes, we had a conference call with the governor’s policy advisor and his attorneys. Despite the plain words from the court, they disagreed with us.

Q: If he can stop the hunt, and he promised to stop the hunt, why doesn’t he?
DL: We can only guess at the many political forces that may be at work here, but the law in this area is not the reason.