HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A heated online debate is brewing about the morality of hunting on a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection web page.

Hundreds of comments have been posted since Dec. 17 to the web forum, created by the agency to collect public feedback about hunting, sport shooting and trapping.

The so-called town hall forum will run through Jan. 8.

It’s part of a state-funded study that will eventually become part of a five-year plan being developed for the department’s wildlife division.

While some commenters suggested more public shooting ranges and bear and bobcat hunting seasons, much of the debate has focused on the ethics of hunting.

Animal rights activists say the forum is a chance to let officials know people oppose hunting. Hunters counter that they help control wildlife populations.

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