407 bears killed during extended 2017 New Jersey bear hunt

TRENTON, N.J. — State environmental officials say a total of 407 bears were killed during New Jersey’s extended bear hunt this year.

NJ.com reports that this year’s 16-day hunt was the longest of the 10 hunts held since 2003, when the state ended a three-decade moratorium on bear hunting.

Hunters bagged 382 black bears overall during both segments of the scheduled 12-day hunt in October and December. But only 21 of the 135 bruins culled had been “tagged,” or documented prior to the hunt, so it was extended for four days and ended Saturday.

A record 636 black bears were killed during the 2016 hunt.

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, who takes office next month, has said he will halt the hunt pending research into other methods for managing the state’s bear population.