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.

Henry King, Getty Images

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.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)