DEP: 68 black bears culled during second phase of hunt
New Jersey wildlife officials say that 68 bears were killed on the first day of the second phase of the state’s black bear hunt.
Segment B of the hunting season kicked off Monday and runs through Saturday. Only firearms are permitted to be used. October’s Segment A hunt permitted the use of bow hunting.
The hunt could be extended into next week depending on home many bears are killed.
Monday’s numbers bring the total number of bears culled during the 2017 hunt to 312, according to officials. Eighteen of those bears were tagged.
This could be the last bear hunt in New Jersey for the time being. Gov.-Elect Phil Murphy has promised to impose a moratorium on bear hunting when he takes office in January. He is leaning toward non-lethal controls, such as trash can management.
Under Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey has seen eight consecutive years of bear hunting, and data shows a dramatic decrease in the number of bear complaints, according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.
New Jersey resumed state-regulated bear hunting in 2003 after a ban that lasted more than 30 years.
The Associated Press news wire service contributed to this report.