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Outdoors Column: Municipalities pay price of hunting

Deer hunting’s a bargain.

Just ask the municipalities who don’t permit it.

They’re the ones with deer eating gardens and landscaping, destroying the natural forest ecosystem, the ones who risked human lives with motor vehicle-deer accidents and the ones with Lyme disease.

New York statewide deer hunting is winding up Sunday, Pennsylvania opens tomorrow and New Jersey’s six-day popular season starts on Dec. 8.

White tailed deer are the North America’s most popular big-game animal, the most researched. Scientists and even hunters know about them.

In New Jersey, the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Community-Based Deer Management program offers municipalities plans what to do about too many deer. More towns were taking advantage of the service.

Bernards Township is one. Since the recommended culling 14 years, Lyme cases declined, motor vehicle-deer collisions are down two-thirds and two local hunting clubs combined culled 243 deer in 2013-14 from public and private lands. Other hunters killed deer on private land.

Princeton Township has spent more than $500,000 for a pay-to-slay company to kill deer over bait with a silencer-equipped rifle at night. Shotgun hunters were banned years ago, although the township since now permitted archers to hunt.

Millburn bans hunting, and as a result they pay a private company with rifles to kill them and also drop-netted deer and killed them captive bolts. The Division Fish and Wildlife said fees to remove deer ranged $200 to $500 per deer.

Hunters do the job, and pay to hunt.

Birth control drugs were tried in New Jersey in 1997 at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township, in 2003 in Princeton Township, at the Duke Farms in Hillsborough and 2005 Giralda Farms in Madison, and failed.

Eastern Long Island’s spent $250,000 and hoped to kill 3,000 deer last winter, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture killed only 300 deer. And now East Hampton raised $110,000 and hopes to sterilize 1,000 deer from a herd of 32,000 herd in Suffolk County.

Cornell University had a five-year pilot program doe sterilization for $1,200 a deer, but does went into heat anyway and attracted more bucks in the rut, and by 2013 the total deer count was the same as five years ago. Volunteer archers later controlled the population.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania hunters will have good visibility with the snow cover tomorrow, unless rain interferes. But the first day already will be the most productive with greatest number hunters out.

Calendar

Dec. 1: Lake trout season reopens

Dec. 1: Pennsylvania’s statewide general firearms deer season opens

Dec. 8: Six-day deer season opens; black bear season by special permits in four zones

Article source: http://www.dailyrecord.com/story/sports/columnists/jim-stabile/2014/11/29/outdoors-column-municipalities-pay-price-hunting/19679685/