New Jersey will hold another bear hunt this year, much to the chagrin of environmental groups and animal-rights activists.

Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Ragonese said Wednesday the hunt was planned for Dec. 5-10. Because the hunt is a component of the state black bear management plan adopted last year, it doesn't need to go through a separate approval process.

Nearly 600 bears were killed during last year's six-day hunt, New Jersey's first since 2005.

Wildlife officials have said the hunts are needed to reduce a black bear population now thought to number about 3,400. Opponents contend the management policy was improperly developed and say nonlethal population-control measures should be used. - AP