Would-Be Participants Have Until Monday To Apply For Permits

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey was gearing up this weekend for its fourth state-sanctioned bear hunt.

Those looking to participate in the hunt have until Monday to apply for bear season permits. Leftover permits will be put on sale Nov. 14.

This year’s hunt is scheduled for Dec. 9 through Dec. 14.

State environmental officials said the annual hunt aims to control the state’s black bear population, which was nearing 3,000 in the hunting area last year.

A total of 285 bears were killed during the six-day hunt last year – most of them in Sussex County, state officials said.

Most of the bears in last year’s hunt were killed in Sussex County, according to state officials. Data showed that 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 in 2011 yielded 469 kills, while the 2010 hunt ended with 592 bears killed.

The hunt always draws protesters opposed to the practice, with many complaining that the state is sponsoring what they call a recreational trophy hunt.

About 6,400 hunters participated in the 2012 hunt.

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