A 165-pound male was the first black bear to be killed as New Jersey’s six-day hunt got under way at sunrise Monday.
Environmental Department officials report that a Boonton man killed the bear in Jefferson Township, Morris County, shortly after morning fog lifted.
The second bear to be taken was a 124-pound male in Sparta, Sussex County.
The hunt aims to control the state’s black bear population, now estimated at about 2,900.
State environmental officials say New Jersey’s two-year-old black bear management program, which includes a hunt, trash management and education, has reduced the bear population and the number of bear-human interactions.
The hunt runs until sunset Saturday, concurrent with the firearm deer hunting season.
Hunting is allowed north of Interstate 78 and west of Interstate 287.