Western New Jersey

Annual NJ bear hunt under way despite protesters

NJ bear hunt

TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey hunters are harvesting black bears once again.

The state's third annual black bear hunt got under way Monday morning in northwestern New Jersey. It will last six days.

The hunt aims to control the the state's black bear population, now estimated at about 2,900.

The number of black bears fell by about 500 this year, state officials said. Sightings are down by one-third and dangerous bear-related incidents are down 43 percent.

Some animal rights advocates said if the hunts have already achieved their purpose, they shouldn't continue.

More than 6,500 bear hunting permits have been issued. Biologists predict hunt results similar to last year, when more than 9,000 permits were issued and 469 bears were harvested.

Hunting is allowed north of Interstate 78 and west of Interstate 287.

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