The second half of this year's hunt got off to a sluggish start Monday with hunters killing 27 bruins. Nearly all were killed in Sussex County.
The firearms-only hunt started in foggy conditions with about 2 inches of snow in the higher-elevation areas.
Hunters killed 562 bears during October's six-day hunt, which was limited to bows and arrows and muzzle-loading guns. With Monday's kills, hunters have bagged 589 bears.
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The hunt is scheduled to last through Saturday, but officials say it will be suspended once the cumulative harvest rate of tagged bears reaches 30 percent. The season total is currently 23 percent.