RINGWOOD — An unlicensed hunter faces a long list of summonses in the death of four bear cubs in Ringwood State Park Sunday.

A hiker called State Park Police after coming across three dead bears around 4 PM. Responding Ringwood police and State police troopers located the fourth bear and determined they had all been shot, according to DEP spokesman Larry Hajna.

The death of the bears was mentioned by DEP Assistant Commissioner David Golden at Tuesday’s bear hunt hearing, according to NJ.com. Golden said the bear cubs death was under investigation. The hearing was not live-streamed and a recording or transcript was not available Wednesday morning.

Matthew Ligus, 22, of Ringwood was issued summons Tuesday for:

  • Hunting with firearm without a firearm license
  • 4 counts of hunting/taking of bear during a closed season
  • 5 counts of careless discharge (of firearm)
  • 6 counts of hunt/Discharge firearm within 450 feet of occupied dwelling
  • 2 counts of possessing/using illegal ammunition
  • Hunting/taking bear with and illegal weapon (rifle)

Residents of Ringwood told News 12 New Jersey they are concerned the bears were the same that people frequently took pictures of roaming the area, sometimes accompanied by an adult bear, and posted them to social media.

Things took a gruesome turn when a recent picture showed their mother standing over the cubs who appeared to be dead.

Residents told NorthJersey.com the cubs were found near the Ryerson Middle School amidst rumors of unregulated hunters in the borough which borders the state park.

Fall striper fishing on the Manasquan River

More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM