Hunters last week killed 280 black bears in a six-day hunt to thin out New Jerseys growing bear population. Black bears were once near extinction in the state, but have bounced back since laws were enacted to protect them. Now wildlife officers are fielding a growing number of complaints of bears wandering through backyards and rummaging through garbage. There are no alternatives to manage the bear population next to a hunt, a wildlife official said. A hundred protesters waved signs reading, Id take a bullet for a bear, as hunters showed up at Wawayanda State Park in Vernon, where dead bears were inspected. This is strictly a trophy hunt, said Lynda Smith of the Bear Education and Resource Group.