TRENTON — State wildlife officials say far fewer black bears were culled during this year's hunt compared to last year's event.

Preliminary data shows 241 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.
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