- Associated Press - Sunday, December 14, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Hunters killed 267 bears during New Jersey’s annual black bear hunt this year, an increase of 16 from last year.

The six-day hunt concluded on Saturday.

The state Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website showed that more than half of the bears were shot in Sussex County, where hunters harvested 146 bruins. Fifty-eight were killed in Warren County, while 29 were killed in Morris County and 27 in Passaic County.

Proponents say the hunt is needed to thin the state’s bear population. But critics say those goals can be attained through nonlethal methods.

The overall number of bears in the northern portion of the state is estimated to have dropped by more than a quarter since the hunt began. But reports of aggressive bears have risen this year.

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