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Looks like pretty good results for NJ first ever early bear season


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only a few bears behind NJ best ever season. and crushing the remaining seasons to date.

Having bears out foraging  surely allowed for much better chances at harvesting a bear.

I know I learned alot in the last few months, that hopefully get to utilize next fall.

was the most fun I have had hunting here in NJ in a long time.

Congrats to everyone successful or not in harvesting a bear as we all got to do something NEW her, and added to NJ hunting history.




Captain Dan Bias


50# Striper live release club.




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I did not kill a bear but I had an awesome time. I bought my NJ non resident bear tag on a whim and came down the saturday in advance. Spent a couple days scouting,camping and started a bait. I couldn't get over how rural parts of northwest nj are. Well, i finished out the season with 6 bears on my bait , sow with 3 cubs and 2 other juvenile boars. Best part was I didnt have one other hunter in my area. Learned alot, and can'twait until next year. Bait will go out well in advance. Cant wait to get back to NJ.

Edited by Bannock-pt.
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I really thought that the kill number was going to be a little higher. It was a great season and a lot of fun but I guess a lot of people experienced what I seen. I had 13 baited areas with 4-10 different bears on each bait for myself and friends I was running. Bears activity really dropped off the weekend prior to the opening day. Many of the areas we killed bears in went completely dry by Wednesday of the season. I did have a little pressure in my areas but a ton of new natural foods dropping which I'm sure contributed to the drop in activity. I was seeing the same difference on my private properties with no known pressure around. All I know is that there are a lot of bears still running wild in the woods!!

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Black Bear Harvest by Bear Hunting Zone

Bear Hunting Zone Bears Harvested in 2016

10/10 10/11 10/12 10/13 10/14 10/15 Total

Zone 1 46 20 7 17 16 12 118

Zone 2 64 37 24 25 14 29 193

Zone 3 74 32 22 19 19 15 181

Zone 4 21 10 9 3 6 6 55

Zone 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 2

Total 206 100 62 64 55 62 549

Harvested Bears

Tagged This Year 16 7 1 5 9 6 44

Cumulative Harvest Rate*

8.1% 11.7% 12.2% 14.7% 19.3% 22.3% 22.3%

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The harvest rate for bow hunters reflects selectiveity. Lots of guys passed on smaller bears and sows with cubs holding out for Mr Big which never came. So they had tag soup. Their choice. But I'm certain that 80% plus bow hunters had the opportunity to take at least 1 bear. Of my group only 1 guy got skunked and it's because he missed 1 on the opener and could only hunt the Monday and Tuesday. I still had daylight bear activity at most locations right through Saturday.


Harvest numbers were amended Monday morning. 562 Bears were the final total for the combo bow/muzzy season

Edited by MTH
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