New Jersey to hold bear hunting season


TRENTON, N.J. With the help of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation's (USSAF) Sportsmen's Legal Defense Fund (SLDF), New Jersey sportsmen are on track to have a bear hunting season in 2005.

Judges Mary Catherine Cuff, Anthony J. Parillo and William P. Gilroy today refused to grant an injunction to postpone the bear hunting season scheduled to be held on Dec. 5.

The decision comes after two anti-hunting groups filed a last-minute lawsuit contending that the six-day season should not be held because the black bear management plan composed by the New Jersey Fish and Game Commission and approved by Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley Campbell is flawed and invalid. A date has not been set for the hearing of the full case.

On Dec. 1, the SLDF intervened on behalf of hunters to join in the defense. Safari Club International also intervened.

The Attorney General and the SLDF argued that the bear hunting season is part of a comprehensive bear management strategy that is necessary to control the growing population of bears in the state.

"The plaintiffs attempted to exploit the system at the last minute in an attempt to stop the hunt," stated Rob Sexton, vice president for government affairs for the USSAF. "Unfortunately for them, the court ruled on the side of sound scientific data and good conservation."

The U.S. Sportsmen's Legal Defense Fund is the nation's only litigation force that exclusively represents sportsmen's interests in the courts. It defends wildlife management and sportsmen's rights in local, state and federal courts. The SLDF represents the interests of sportsmen and assists government lawyers who have little or no background in wildlife law.