TRENTON, N.J. (AP/WCBS 880) — A judge on New Jersey’s highest court has refused to block a black bear hunt scheduled to begin Monday.
The Animal Protection League of New Jersey and the Bear Education and Resource Group had asked the court to issue a stay that would have stopped the six-day hunt before it started.
But Supreme Court Justice Edwin Stern turned down that request in an emergent order issued Saturday afternoon. It came a day after an appeals court refused to block the hunt, saying the groups’ claims lacked merit.
As hunters geared up at Mastodon Ammo & Camo, they talked to WCBS 880′s Sean Adams about the bear hunt’s necessity.
Kevin Emdy told Adams that his property is overrun.
“I moved up here 25 years ago and we had zero bears,” Emdy said.
Emdy said someone must attend to the problem.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s rats on a garbage dump or whether it’s bears in a populated area. You can only sustain so many of them without them becoming an absolute nuisance and a health hazard,” Emdy said.
Environmental regulators also insist the hunt, the state’s first in five years, is needed to control a growing bear population now estimated at 3,400.
A hunt in seven northwestern counties is expected to reduce the number by 300 to 700 bears.
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