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WOW NJ is waking up!

Old 11-08-2004, 05:42 AM
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http://www.dailyrecord.com/news/articles/news1-deer.htm

Deer in towns' sights
Heavier herds propel hunts

By Rob Seman, Daily Record

Two Morris County towns that held special deer hunts last winter are repeating the programs this season, and a third is considering whether alternatives to killing can be used.

The county park commission will hold a hunt in Tourne Park, coordinating it with the second annual hunt in MountainLakes.

And a large lake community in Sussex County also is considering a special hunt or non-lethal alternatives.

All have said they are overrun with deer, and they have cited concerns over increasing numbers of car accidents and destruction of landscape and forest plants as reasons for reducing local deer herds.

The hunts are conducted outside regular hunting seasons, with special permits from the state under its Community Based Deer Management Program.

Under that program, communities can hire companies to kill, trap, or deter deer or call sportsmen to reduce their populations.

In Mountain Lakes, bow hunters approved by the state were allowed to begin hunting last month. That will continue until next Monday, when they will hand the task off to Deer Management Systems, a company of sharpshooters hired by the borough last winter.

Harding received permission from the state to begin its annual shotgun hunting season for deer four days early, Nov. 17-20, when the township traditionally had not been allowed to hold the hunt because of a deer hunt in the nearby Great Swamp.

In Hanover, the township committee plans to invite Deer Management Systems to a Thursday meeting to discuss culling. The committee also plans to invite the Humane Society to talk about non-lethal alternatives.

"Once we hear the two alternatives, then we'll make a decision," said Hanover township committeeman Len Fariello.

Nina Austenberg of Mount Olive, executive director of the Humane Society, said she is unsure what effective alternatives the organization can offer.

"For the immediate (time) we haven't been as much help to the citizens or the deer as we wish we could be," Austenberg said.

"I don't think the science has advanced as rapidly as we had hoped."

Austenberg said the Humane Society favors taking no action to control deer populations, and debates whether there is such a need. The organization prefers sterilization as a second choice, but that has not been very effective, she said.

Austenberg said that although the Humane Society supports not killing the animals, she would prefer sharpshooters instead of amateur and hobby hunters, in order to ensure the animals a quicker, less painful death.

"I don't like the way they (towns doing hunts) are going," Austenberg said. "But I think it has to be a statewide situation because what we're doing is a Band-Aid approach to the situation."

Hanover surveyed 5,000 residents in August, asking whether the township committee should consider lethal or non-lethal control methods, or simply do nothing. Of the 1,610 responses, 46 percent supported non-lethal methods, 20 percent supported lethal methods and 34 percent supported taking no action.

The survey also determined that the Trailwood and Countrywoods housing developments, near the border of Morris Plains, reported the most vegetation damage and likely would be targeted for control techniques.

"We decided we would not target the entire township," Fariello said. "We would pick one or two sections of the township to see how the program runs."

In Sussex County, the Lake Mohawk Country Club also has begun to consider a special bow hunt, general manager Frances Smith said.

Smith said deer have caused undergrowth problems in forested areas and car accidents for residents in the 2,600-home lake community. She said the club will educate residents on bow hunting for their safety and also will explore alternatives such as sterilization, but she has her doubts about that option because it hasn't been successful in other areas.

"There's nothing done to cut the herds except for the regular hunting season," Smith said. "It doesn't seem to be effective enough."

In Mountain Lakes, the borough council approved DMS' second culling program for the borough last week, at a cost of up to $18,000. Although the company was contracted last winter for $25,000, the borough only spent $17,000, because only 72 deer were taken.

Borough officials intended to reduce the deer population in Mountain Lakes last winter from about 180 to 45. The hunt reduced the population from a ratio of 85 deer per square mile to 63 per square mile.

Borough manager Gary Webb said the borough intends to reduce the ratio to 25 deer per square mile. He estimated that the borough's deer population remains between 180 and 200.

"Our woodlands in the borough have been browsed so heavily that the younger tree stock is not replacing the older tree stock," Webb said.

The ongoing hunt is on borough-owned woodlands in Wilcox Park, Halsey Frederick Memorial Park, along Pocono Road and in an area between Intervale Road and the NJ Transit railroad tracks. Bow hunters have been allowed on some private property with homeowners' permission, Webb said.

The borough is allowing the bow hunting to be done exclusively by about eight members of the United Bow Hunters of New Jersey, a hunting association. So far the hunters have taken five deer, including two on private property, Webb said.

Jack Spoto, president of United Bow Hunters, said the 3,000-member organization has conducted similar programs in Princeton for two years, at a federal building in Pomona for eight years and at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant in Salem County for two years.

"Most of the towns are happy with it, because we get hunters who are insured, proficient, and get background checks," Spoto said.

Mountain Lakes resident Frank Kelleher jumped at the chance to have a bow hunter on his 2-acre property on the Boulevard.

"I cannot plant a vegetable garden, I can't plant flowers," Kelleher said.

"I cannot enjoy nature. The deer destroy everything."

Kelleher said the bow hunters have been safe and have not caused a nuisance to his family.

The Mountain Lakes hunts have spurred the Morris County Park Commission to begin a deer hunt in The Tourne, a park bordering the borough.

Rob Jennings, the commission's superintendent of environmental education, said the county has received numerous complaints about deer from residents near The Tourne for about a decade.

"We've always kind of let it go," Jennings said. "Now, with Mountain Lakes having a formal program, it's our time to step up to address the issue."

Jennings said The Tourne is suffering from the loss of new vegetation.

"It's pretty apparent how the floral diversity has decreased," Jennings said.

"The forest cannot sustain the number of deer that are there. We need to reduce that number if we want to preserve our forests."

The county has received permission from the state to begin hunts in the Tourne similar to hunts that have taken place in other county parks. The Tourne will be closed to the public from Dec. 6-10 and from Dec. 15-17 to allow hunters with shotguns to hunt female deer.

Jennings said some hunting likely would be needed regularly to control the deer population in county parks.

He said Morris County has seen an increase in the animals because of the clearing of forests to build homes with large, grassy areas and shrubbery, which attracts them.

"The deer are just adjusting to the landscape alterations we're making and they're benefiting from it. It's not really a deer problem, it's a human problem," Jennings said.

Kelleher has planted plants that deer supposedly are less likely to eat, but argues that even those don't work.

"You give them a cold winter, they'll eat anything," Kelleher said.

Harding also is seeking to persuade more residents to permit hunters onto their property. Karl Meister, chairman of Harding's Wildlife Management Committee, said that of the 86 hunters currently registered, 50 have found a place to hunt. The police department keeps a list of residents who allow hunters onto their properties.

Meister said that although some residents are opposed to the hunting, "they are generally cooperative, but it is a question of raising public awareness of what the solution is."

The township's application for a community-based hunt estimated that there are about 2,000 deer in the 20.5-square-mile township, giving it a density of 104 deer per square mile. The application says the township seeks to reduce that population to about 400 deer, or 15-20 per square mile





These towns have finally woken up and recognized a real problem. I also think is funny that Nina Austenberg, that satanic evil liberal, is admitting that her and the humane socities control measures arent as effective as they thought.
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:14 AM
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:30 AM
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The UBNJ is one of the first NJ hunter's organizations who have learned how to deal with the press. Other organizations should follow their lead.
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Old 11-08-2004, 02:16 PM
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Makes me proud to be a UBNJ Council Member!

What's that, 4 news articles featuring the UBNJ in some fashion in the last month!?!
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:43 PM
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Default RE: WOW NJ is waking up!

I am a proud member of UBNJ!

I wish that more towns would wake up.

Bob
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:55 PM
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:19 AM
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Default RE: WOW NJ is waking up!

It would have been nice if the HOME NEWS TRIBUNE ran the story to go with the picture! Hats off to the UBNJ.
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Old 11-09-2004, 12:43 PM
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Default RE: WOW NJ is waking up!

By the way, this was a front page top fold story. Wow!
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