A New Jersey appeals court on Tuesday heard arguments from opponents of the state's upcoming black bear hunt and the wildlife management policy that allows it.

Animal protection groups argued the hunt kills too many pregnant females and is based on faulty research.

The state says the hunt is needed to keep the black bear population in check.  A decision is expected soon because the six-day hunt is due to start Monday.

The Animal Protection League of New Jersey and The Bear Education Resource Group failed to stop last year's hunt, but a judge allowed their lawsuit to continue.

Hunters killed 592 black bears last year. It was New Jersey's first bear hunt in five years.

Bears have been spotted in 19 of 21 counties this year.

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