Far fewer black bears were culled in New Jersey's hunt compared to last year, state wildlife officials said.
Preliminary data shows 243 bruins were killed during the six-day hunt that concluded Saturday, including 52 that were culled on the final day. The hunt was staged in eight counties, but more than half of the overall kills occurred in Sussex County.
Officials say the number of bears culled could increase slightly on Sunday because some hunters may not have been able to bring their bears to the check-in stations before they closed Saturday night
Hunters killed 562 bears during last year's hunt.
Officials say the annual hunts help control the black bear population and minimize run-ins with humans.
Opponents say the hunts are inhumane and unnecessary.
A second segment of the bear hunting season takes place Dec. 4-9.