Town Wants More Deer Culled To Protect Public Health

Deer hunt continues in spite of angry opposition

| Saddle River, NJ – United Bow Hunters has culled 90 deer since Oct. 4 under a contract with the borough to thin the local herd, said Administrator Jerry Giaimis.

It is the only municipality-sponsored culling operation in the county, but not everyone is in favor of it.

“There are over 200 properties that have either allowed culling or allowed participants to retrieve wounded deer from their properties,” Giaimis said “The implementation of the program is a success, and no significant difficulties have occurred.”

The “overwhelming majority” of calls to Borough Hall “have been supportive of our efforts,” Giaimis said. No injuries were reported, he said.

Not everyone is happy.

Animal rights activists returned to the Saddle River Borough Council meeting last week to seek an end to the hunt.

Two deer-related motor vehicle accidents per week

“This hunt is not based on science or population control,” said Kim Nagelhout of the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, which attempted to block the hunt in September with an unsuccessful complaint.

“It’s just do whatever you want,” she said of the hunting plan. [Note: the hunt is limited to licensed hunters, who must abide by a substantial number of state game laws, including a requirement to complete and pass hunter safety education. – Editor]

Deer have been the subject of increasing concern as Bergen County has morphed from a rural farming area into more populated suburbia.

As far back as 2004, then-Mayor Conrad Caruso called on the state Department of Environmental Protection to work with the Department of Transportation to address the burgeoning deer population and resulting motor vehicle accidents.

Then-Police Chief Timothy McWilliams estimated that officers were handling two deer-related accidents a week. Driver Swerves To Avoid Deer, Guilty Of Manslaughter

In 2014, the Board of Health and the Environmental Commission held a joint meeting to discuss deer management, said then-Councilman Jerry DeCrosta.

Board of Health President Duncan Carpenter urged that the ordinance prohibiting hunting in the borough be changed to allow bow hunting during the state-specified hunting season and off-season with a special state-issued permit. Read more.

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