New Jersey’s latest bear hunt may also be last for a while

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s next black bear hunt may also be the last one it holds for some time.

State officials have touted the annual hunts as an important part of controlling the bear population and minimizing run-ins with humans. Critics say they are inhumane and unnecessary. Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has said he would impose a moratorium on the hunts so officials can test the effectiveness of nonlethal means of bear control. The firearm-only season is scheduled for Dec. 4 to 9. It comes just weeks after 243 bears were killed during another six-day hunt staged mostly in northern Jersey. New Jersey resumed state-regulated bear hunting in 2003 after a ban that lasted more than 30 years. Another hunt was held in 2005, and in 2010 the state instituted an annual hunt.