NEWTON -- Hunters are heading out across parts of New Jersey for the second half of this year's bear hunt.

The firearm-only hunt starts Monday morning and is scheduled to last through Saturday, but could end early depending on how many bears are culled.

Hunters killed 549 bears during October's six-day hunt, which was limited to bows and arrows and muzzle-loading guns.

New Jersey approved resuming the bear hunt in 2003 after more than 30 years as a way to curb a growing population that was increasingly crossing paths with humans.

Animal rights' groups and lawmakers say the hunt causes more problems and is "inhumane."

Opponents are rallying behind the apparent death of Pedals, a bipedal bear and internet celebrity believed to be killed in October's hunt.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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