BY BOB HOLT
New Jersey’s controversial six-day bear hunt began just before sunrise on Monday, and saw large numbers participating.
Officials from the bear hunt say it was designed to manage north Jersey’s bear population, while animal rights organizations have protested.
New Jersey Herald reports that according to the Department of Environmental Protection, 124 bears were killed in the hunt’s first day, up from 93 bears taken on day one in 2013. Seventy-two bears were harvested in Sussex County on Monday, while 24 were killed in Warren County, 13 from Morris, 10 in Passaic, 3 in Hunterdon, and 2 from Bergen County.
The biggest bear taken during the day checked in at nearly 700 pounds. NJ.com reported that 39-year old Hopatcong man Steven Polanish killed a 693-pound black bear Monday afternoon. The largest bear shooting on record from New Jersey weighed 829 pounds, and was killed during the 2011 hunt.