Amid uncertainty of its future, New Jersey bear hunt resumes

TRENTON, N.J. — Sunrise Monday marked the start of New Jersey’s gun bear hunt, which could be the last bear hunt of any kind in the state for some time.

The firearm-only season takes place from Monday to Saturday, although state officials can extend the hunt to the following week if there aren’t enough bears killed.

The hunt comes just weeks after 243 bears were killed during a six-day hunt staged mostly in northern New Jersey. The first three days of the last hunt were reserved for bowhunting, with bows and muzzleloaders allowed in the final three days.

The hunt’s future is in doubt after Democrat Phil Murphy won the governor’s race in November. Murphy has called for a moratorium on the hunts.

New Jersey resumed state-regulated bear hunting in 2003 after a ban that lasted more than 30 years.

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