TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey’s first expanded black bear hunt in more than 30 years has ended, just days after lawmakers advanced a measure that would remove the animals from a list of game species.
Hunters killed 549 bears during the six-day hunt that ended Saturday.
The majority of the bears were killed within the first two days of the hunt, where only bows were allowed. There were 100 killed by arrows on Tuesday and 206 were killed on Monday. Most were in Sussex County.
Some fear that among the harvested is Pedals, a bipedal bear that has drawn national attention, after videos taken of it ambling on hind legs surfaced.
Rumors surfaced online that a hunter had killed Pedals but the state has said there’s no way to prove that.
Bear hunting had resumed in 2010 as a way to curb what the state said was a growing population. A bear education group has said the hunt instead causes additional problems. Groups and lawmakers are pressing to ban the hunts.
The firearm-only season for bear hunting this year will take place from Dec. 5 to 10. Officials have the option to extend the bear hunt if the harvest objectives are not met.
New Jersey officials extended the 2015 hunt by four days after not reaching their target number during the regular season.