RIDGEWOOD - A state bear hunt has been approved in response to bear sightings in all 21 New Jersey counties this year.

Many New Jersey residents say they are shocked that the number of bear sightings is on the rise across northwestern New Jersey, including Bergen County.

The Ridgewood Police Department is taking action against the bears, including having officers trained in bear-response school.

According to a new poll, nearly half of New Jersey's residents agree with the state's decision.

The hunt will be held Dec. 6 - Dec. 11, but not without protest. "Save New Jersey Bears" says it plans on holding a rally to protest the bear hunt. The group says it has 1,000 members across the state and will hold its first protest in Mendham.