264 bears killed so far in hunt

The Morning Call - - Local News -

Hunters have killed 264 bears so far dur­ing New Jersey’s lat­est black bear hunt, which con­cludes Satur­day.

New Jersey’s Di­vi­sion of Fish & Wildlife said 63 bru­ins were culled Thurs­day, the fourth day of the six-day hunt. Hunters were re­stricted to us­ing archery for the first three days, but start­ing Thurs­day were also al­lowed to use muz­zle-load­ing ri­fles.

The hunt is re­stricted to War­ren, Sus­sex, Pas­saic, Mor­ris, Ber­gen, Hun­ter­don, Som­er­set and Mercer coun­ties. Hunt­ing is pro­hib­ited in state parks, forests and wildlife man­age­ment ar­eas.

The sec­ond seg­ment of the hunt, for firearms only, is sched­uled to be­gin Dec. 7.

Gov. Phil Murphy has said this year could be the last for the bear hunt, which the Demo­crat pledged to end when he ran for gov­er­nor in 2017. Murphy cited a new bear man­age­ment plan that the state Fish and Game Coun­cil was study­ing.

Due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, no bear check sta­tions are avail­able. Hunters must tag their kills and call a num­ber for instructio­ns.

Hunters bagged 315 bears dur­ing the 2019 hunt. Most were killed in Sus­sex County.

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