I doubt we'll hit half what the numbers were last year. IMO, the weather is the cause - hunters stayed home due to the rain, and the bears stayed home due to the heat. I also still think the large harvest last year helped thin out the numbers. I think this year's hunt just shows what a success the management hunt last year was. I bet the number of reported bear encounters was lower than years past, too.
The N.J. bear hunt enters a third day Wednesday well behind last year's record-setting pace and is on track to become one of the least successful of the eight hunts held under Gov. Chris Christie.
Another 56 bears were killed on Tuesday, bringing the two-day total to 82, the state Department of Environmental Protection said.
By comparison, during the first two days last year, hunters killed 306 bears -- including 206 on opening day. That was nearly half of the final total of 636, for a 12-day hunt that concluded with a second, six-day season in December.
The two-day total this year is by far the lowest of the eight bear hunts held annually starting in 2010, during Christie's first year in office.
In 2013, hunters killed 132 bears in the first two days, en route to a record low final tally of 251.
Until Monday, when only 26 bears were killed, the previous lowest opening day total was 93 in 2013, according to DEP records.