If you want to comment on a proposed black bear hunt in New Jersey, you will have to do it in person.
The New Jersey Fish and Game Council will meet Tuesday, Nov. 14, to approve an emergency hunt. They are expecting a large turnout from the public.
Typically, the council will meet at the office complex inside the Assunpink Wildlife Management area in Monmouth County. They are moving that meeting to the State Museum in Trenton.
Since the meeting will not be live streamed on the internet, the only opportunity for the public to comment before the hunt is authorized is at the meeting itself.
The meeting agenda lists the start-time of the meeting as 10 a.m. The public comment period should begin shortly after the meeting begins.
It is not clear if members of the public will be limited to how long they can speak.
Gov. Phil Murphy went back on promises he has made about ending the hunting of black bear in New Jersey when he announced he would support a hunt in December.
Murphy says with a rise in the number of bear-human encounters, a hunt is the only way to keep people safe.
The Game Council is likely to approve a six-day bear hunt in December that would coincide with the state's shotgun deer season. If the number of bear killed does not meet the state's management goals, the hunt could be extended for another six days.
Changes to rules about the hunt will also be discussed, including: a ban on shooting juvenile bear under 75 pounds; a ban on shooting a female bear with cubs; and a limit to baiting bear before and during the hunt.
If you wish to attend the meeting to make a public comment, you will need to be at the State Museum in Trenton before the start of the meeting.
The Museum is located at: 205 W State St., Trenton, NJ 08608. You can get detailed directions by clicking this link.
In addition, you can make your feelings know about the hunt to the Department of Environmental Protection by clicking this link.
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:
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How much does the average NJ home cost? Median prices by county
Everything is costing more these days — and housing is certainly no exception in New Jersey.
Data for 2022 from January through August, compiled by New Jersey Realtors, shows that South Jersey has been seeing homes hit the market and sell in less than a month, on average.
Median prices for single-family homes have reached $500,000 and above in nine counties in North and Central Jersey.
All but two counties have seen houses go for more than the list price, on average, this year.