TRENTON - As the fourth day of New Jersey’s extended black bear hunt comes to an end, there is push in Trenton to put a stop to the hunt.
Legislation advanced through the New Jersey Assembly Thursday to remove black bears from the list of gaming animals. If passed, it would no longer be legal to hunt bears in the Garden State.
The legislation also calls for tougher refuse management, which would eliminate easy access to food for bears who eat trash.
Over 400 black bears have been killed in the first four days of the six-day hunt.
At least 44 bears were killed by hunters Thursday, a number that is expected to go up overnight. This brings the total of bears hunted to around 412.
The first three days of the hunt only bow hunting was allowed. This is a new rule for this year. Muzzle-loading guns were also allowed Thursday.
The hunt was enacted to cull the state’s bear population. The goal is to diminish the population by 20 percent of tagged bears.
Over 500 bears were killed in last year’s hunt.