TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey’s third state-sanctioned bear hunt has come to an end, and authorities have announced this year’s hunt resulted in fewer kills than last year.
State environmental officials said 285 bears were killed during the six-day hunt that ended on Saturday.
Most of the bears in this year’s hunt were killed in Sussex County, according to state officials.
Preliminary data show 188 bears were killed in Sussex, 42 were harvested in Morris County, 32 were killed in Warren County and 23 in Passaic County.
The hunt aims to control the state’s black bear population, now estimated at about 2,900 in the hunting area, about 500 fewer than in 2010. It took place in an area north of Interstate 78 and west of Interstate 287.
About 6,400 hunters participated in this year’s hunt, which is about 1,000 less than in 2011.
Protesters said their larger point is that the state is sponsoring what they call a recreational trophy hunt.
But state officials said the hunt is allowed as a way to thin the bear population, which cannot be done by other means.
State officials said complaints have dropped along with bear-related incidents, and the hunt must continue for several years to control the bear population.
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