- Associated Press - Monday, October 16, 2017

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey wildlife officials have updated the number of black bears killed during the state’s latest hunt.

Data released Monday shows 243 bruins were culled during the six-day hunt staged last week in eight northern counties. That includes two kills that were officially counted Sunday.

The kill total is a sharp decrease from last year’s hunt, when 562 bears were culled.

Officials say the annual hunts help control the bear population and minimize run-ins with humans. But opponents say the hunts are inhumane and unnecessary.

This year’s hunts could be the last for a while if Phil Murphy, the Democrat running to replace Republican Gov. Chris Christie, wins next month’s election.

Murphy plans a moratorium on the hunts. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful, says they should continue.

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