NJ approves bear hunt to thin growing population

The News Leader

July 21, 2010 9:44:40 AM PDT
New Jersey will get its first bear hunt in five years in December.

The head of state's Environmental Protection Department on Wednesday approved the six-day hunt as part of the state's bear management policy to thin the growing population.

A similar hunt in 2005 killed 297 black bears. That was down from 328 bears killed during a hunt in 2003.

DEP Commissioner Bob Martin's approval follows a unanimous recommendation by the state's Fish and Game Council. The plan includes education and bear habitat analysis.

The bear population in northern New Jersey has grown from an estimated 500 in 1992 to more than 3,400 today.

Wildlife officials say 13 aggressive black bears have been euthanized this year.