Hunters have killed 135 bears so far during New Jersey’s latest black bear hunt.
The state’s Division of Fish & Wildlife says 73 bruins were culled on Tuesday, a day after 62 were killed on the hunt’s opening day.
The six-day hunt is restricted to Sussex, Warren, Passaic, Morris, Bergen, Hunterdon, Somerset and Mercer counties. The first three days are restricted to hunters using archery, but starting Thursday they also will be allowed to use muzzleloading rifles.
Hunting is prohibited in state parks, forests and wildlife management areas.
The second segment of the hunt, for firearms only, is scheduled to begin on Dec. 7.
Gov. Phil Murphy has said this year could be the last for the bear hunt, which the Democrat pledged to end when he ran for governor in 2017. Murphy cited a new bear management plan that the state Fish and Game Council was studying.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no bear check stations are available. Hunters must tag their kills and call a number for instructions.
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Hunters bagged 315 bears during the 2019 hunt. Most were killed in Sussex County.