Hunting Bear or Barely Hunting?

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Tabular Results
Survey Details

New Jersey voters split over approval of a bear-hunting season in the Garden State. According recent results from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, 41% of likely voters approve, in general, of allowing a bear hunting season. But 44% say they disapprove.

Results from men and women are mirror opposites: nearly half of men (48%) approve of a bear-hunting season while nearly half of women (48%) disapprove. But disagreement is also reflected in partisanship: a majority of Republicans (57%) say they approve but a majority of Democrats (56%) say they disapprove.  Results vary little by geography except in the state’s more rural northwest corner where a majority (52%) approves of a bear hunting season.

In response to the poll, Pete Furey, executive director the New Jersey Farm Bureau, said "while respecting the sensibilities of all New Jersey residents on hunting issues, state policies should adhere to the recommendations of wildlife biologists. In this instance, the majority of those biologists say that we should use controlled hunting to keep the bear population in line with available habitat."

The question of allowing a bear hunt has been asked in different ways with varying results. A year ago, PublicMind asked a question about a hunt made conditional on scientific advice that bears were exceeding their habitat limits and destroying property. In that case, 58% would agree to a hunt with 32% still disagreeing.  “As with any complex policy issue, voters’ attitudes will depend to a large degree on the information they have,” said Peter Woolley a political scientist and director of the poll. “Information with scientific authority impacts people’s attitudes. In the absence of more information, most New Jerseyans don’t know quite what to make of bears and bear-hunting.”

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind poll of 701 likely voters statewide was conducted from September 17 through September 23 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.


Contact: Peter Woolley 973.670.3239

For more information, please call (973) 443-8661.

Copyright © 2007, Fairleigh Dickinson University. All rights reserved. FDU PublicMind Poll [Latest update 071008]