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He’s One Of 472 Who Died In A Matter Of Days

It was the plan from the beginning.

If the death toll remained below 700 black bears after six days of hunting, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would decide whether an ongoing bear hunt in the state of New Jersey should be extended by several additional days.

The first day of the hunt resulted in the deaths of an astonishing 216 bears, and if this year's hunt is like previous years, that number includes mothers, yearlings and cubs.

The hunt ended as scheduled, 30 minutes after sundown on Saturday. It was then time to tally the deaths.

In the course of only six days, 472 black bears were legally shot and killed in New Jersey.

For the bears, Sunday through Tuesday were days of rest and mourning while the DEP made its decision to extend the hunt an additional four days.

On Wednesday morning, shots returned to bear country.

A DEP spokesperson told The Dodo last week that the hunt curbs the growing bear population and prevents the number of human conflicts in residential areas. However, for the most part, these "conflicts" have been harmless.

Out of 2,776 incidents of bear activity reported to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife in 2014, only one of them was categorized as a "human attack." The most commonly reported bear-related incidents were sightings (874 reports), followed by "garbage" (553) and "nuisance" (473).

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The good weather is one reason this year's "harvest" had a greater turnout than in past years, according to the DEP spokesperson.

With four full days still remaining in the hunt, this year's death toll has already surpassed last year's 272 bears legally killed and the previous year's 251.

To the hunters, this year can already be called a success at reducing the conflict between humans and bears. But to others, the bloody hunt seems to be an extreme and violent measure for the sake of protecting garbage and avoiding the occasional "nuisance."