Wildlife officials: Far fewer bears killed in latest hunt

Posted: Updated:

TRENTON (AP) -- State wildlife officials say far fewer black bears were culled during this year's hunt, compared to last year's event.

Data released Monday shows 243 bruins were culled during the six-day hunt staged last week in eight northern counties. That includes two kills that were officially counted Sunday.

The kill total is a sharp decrease from last year's hunt, when 562 bears were culled.

Officials say the annual hunts help control the bear population and minimize run-ins with humans. But opponents say the hunts are inhumane and unnecessary.

This year's hunts could be the last for a while if Phil Murphy, the Democrat running to replace Republican Gov. Chris Christie, wins next month's election.

Murphy plans a moratorium on the hunts. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful, says they should continue.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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