New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is Andrew Cuomo lite. He’s every bit as hostile to civilian firearm ownership and Second Amendment rights, he just lacks the ability of his neighbor to the north to project that anti-gun animus beyond his state’s borders. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t dead set on making Garden State gun owners’ and hunters’ lives more difficult.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday ordered the closure of state lands to black bear hunting this year.
The first-year Democratic governor announced the decision with an executive order, but stopped short of unilaterally ending the hunt altogether, saying he doesn’t have the authority.“I am fulfilling my commitment to stop the bear hunt to the greatest extent of my authority by ordering the Department of Environmental Protection to prevent bear hunting on all public lands under the DEP’s jurisdiction,” Murphy said in a statement. He also called on lawmakers to take action.
Never mind that hunting is a proven, effective and humane way of managing wildlife populations. But it usually involves guns and the deplorables who tend to own and shoot them. Therefore it’s uncouth, déclassé, beneath the dignity of all the really good people in the state and must be prevented by any means necessary.
Cody McLaughlin, a trustee with the nonprofit New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, which opposes efforts to stop the hunt, estimated that about three-fifths of hunters use public lands when hunting various quarry.
State officials have estimated around 3,500 bears live in northern New Jersey, and McLaughlin estimated that New Jersey has the densest bear populations on the continent.
He said Murphy’s decision ignored scientific studies that show hunting is an effective means of population control, particularly in densely populated New Jersey.
Who would possibly be so deluded as to think the bear hunt is part of responsible wildlife management?
State officials have said the annual hunt is a key part of controlling the bear population, and it cuts back confrontations with humans.
But officials also say there are concerns some bears go hungry because of high population density.
Critics say the hunts are inhumane.
Of course they do.