The ban on hunting bears is classic virtue signaling from politicians in New Jersey.

New Jersey politicians like Gov. Murphy and his clear ambition for higher office are getting in the way of progress for the human population in the Garden State.

Bears are being seen in counties across the state and in one tragic incident, a woman was mauled while getting her mail from the curbside box.


We've come a long way since the DEP actually expanded the bear hunt in 2015 in order to stay ahead of a growing population. There's even a link to a bear cookbook on the DEP website. Say what you will about Chris Christie, but for certain things he didn't play politics and let the experts make practical decisions that helped people.

The push from the far Left in Jersey to end the hunt got on my radar in 2015 when then-Sen. Ray Lesniak started aggressively pushing to end the practice.

Raymond J. Lesniak
New Jersey Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak, D- Elizabeth (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Animal rights activists are way more interested in animal welfare as a priority over human welfare. The governor among them is proposing millions in spending through the NJ DEP to "reduce the encounters between bears and people."

Here's the pull quote from the governor's office responding to an inquiry from writer Paul Mulshine:

Governor Murphy is committed to a black bear management policy that prioritizes public safety, maintains nonlethal practices as an operational baseline, and does not rely on recreational hunting as a population control measure. Governor Murphy included an additional $1.5 million in his FY 2022 budget for nonlethal strategies to reduce encounters between bears and people. The money is used to fund the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s new BEAR (Bear Education, Assistance and Response) Management program that will add more biologists, wildlife technicians and conservation police officers to advance public awareness and law enforcement response initiatives.

We don't need to spend money on bringing biologists into New Jersey to tell us about how we should be coexisting with an overpopulation of bears.

Without the hunt, the bear population and complaints from the human population continue to grow to levels that create a true safety concern for everyone in the Garden State.

It's time to reopen and expand the hunt. We need to elect a new majority in 2023 and a new governor in 2025 who prioritizes people, not wild animals. Period.

Call the DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette and tell him to get the bear hunt going! 609-292-2885

But don't let the wildlife in New Jersey defer you from being outdoors like these hiking spots in the Garden State.

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Maybe the bears should start paying taxes too.

2021 NJ property taxes: See how your town compares

Find your municipality in this alphabetical list to see how its average property tax bill for 2021 compares to others. You can also see how much the average bill changed from 2020. For an interactive map version, click here. And for the full analysis by New Jersey 101.5, read this story.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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