TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Hunters have killed a record 607 bears in New Jersey.
The number was reached Tuesday when hunters bagged 18 bruins during the second day of the second part of this year’s hunt. The previous record was 592 bears killed in 2010.
The firearms-only hunt, which began Monday, followed October’s six-day hunt, which was limited to bows and arrows and muzzle-loading guns. In October, hunters killed 562 bears.
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 24 percent.
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Animal rights’ groups and lawmakers say the hunt causes more problems and is “inhumane.”
Opponents are rallying behind the apparent death of Pedals, a bipedal bear and internet celebrity believed to be killed in October’s hunt.