21 bears have been killed as of early this afternoon; a state official anticipates about the same number of bear kills as last year Watch video
FRANKLIN — Police and media members outnumber protesters as this year's bear hunt gets under way.
Four protesters are gathered at a weigh station in Franklin. Police instructed them to cross the street as hunters began to check in with bears that have been shot.
There are about a dozen police officers on hand, some from Franklin and others from the New Jersey State Park Police.
One protester carried a sign that says, "Mother nature is crying."
Kennethy Mowery, 54, of Franklin shot a female bear that weighed 181.5 pounds.
"If I had a choice, I'd rather be shot than freeze to death over several months," said Mowery who owns a tree service.
Mowery shot his bear at Bear Swamp Wildlife management Area in Branchville. It died in less than two minutes, he added.
Mowery has killed six bears in other states but this was his first in New Jersey.
"It's really the only way to reduce population," he said.
Joe Guerino of Nutley shot a 78-pound female bear with a black powder muddle ...