Nearly 70 bears killed in first day of New Jersey’s latest hunt

TRENTON, N.J. — Hunters killed 68 black bears during the start of the second phase of New Jersey’s bear hunt.

Monday’s total along with the 244 bears killed in October brings the number of bears harvested to 312. That’s below the 583 killed during the same period in 2016.

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

This may be the last hunt for some time as Gov.-elect Phil Murphy is planning a moratorium. In a statement to the New Jersey Herald, the Democrat said “before authorizing another hunt, we need a fuller understanding and proof it works better than non-lethal (management) options.”

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

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