New Jersey 1 step closer to bear hunt

New Jersey Fish and Game officials voted in favor Tuesday of holding the state's first bear hunt in five years.

The hunt, which would be held in December, comes after non-lethal measures supported by former Gov. Jon Corzine failed to control the population.

Acting Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says several studies show that the bear population and complaints against the bears continue to grow. Martin will hold a series of public hearings around the state to determine if the hunt will occur.

State biologists say estimates showed a 62 percent rise in the number of bears in Sussex and Passaic counties between 2002 and 2007.

The proposal comes after a bear killed a dog last week in Wayne. The bear was euthanized by state officials Friday.

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