Hunters kill fewer bears in this year's hunt

Hunters killed 251 bears during New Jersey's annual black bear hunt this year, 36 fewer than in 2012. Hunters faced freezing rain on the first

TRENTON - Hunters killed 251 bears during New Jersey's annual black bear hunt this year, 36 fewer than in 2012.

Hunters faced freezing rain on the first day of the six-day hunt, which ended with snow on Saturday.

The hunt took place in four designated areas in parts of Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergen, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

State officials say the most bears, 145, were killed in Sussex County.

State officials say they need the hunt to control the black bear population, which grew to about 3,000 in the hunting area in 2012.

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