New Jersey's black bear hunting season got underway Monday.
Fewer permits have been issued this year. State fish and wildlife officials said 6,445 bear permits, out of a maximum of 10,000 permits, have been issued for this hunt.
That's a decrease from the 6,700 permits issued last year.
The six-day hunt will take place in four designated areas in parts of Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic Bergen, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.
Hunters, who must have permits, are limited to only one bear for the season.
State wildlife officials said it is part of a plan to control the state's black bear population, which grew to about 3,000 in the hunting area in 2012.
Animal rights groups are planning to protest.