TRENTON - The New Jersey Fish and Game Council voted to expand bear hunting season in an effort to better control the state's large population of the animal.

NJ.com reports the policy, which adds a six-day hunt beginning in Oct. 2016, will be passed on to Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Martin for his signature.

The policy also broadens hunting territories that will now include most of New Jersey's northern forests.

A December hunt was launched in 2010 as a response to the state's growing bear population.

Officials say hunters are allowed to kill one bear in each of the two annual seasons.

DEP officials say establishing the October season is necessary because December hunts are often hampered by bad weather and "a more wary bear population."