Deer Hunting Proposed on Borough Public Lands
Ordinance would set rules for bow hunting and ban feeding deer.
With residents pleading Wednesday for action, the Borough Council introduced a deer management ordinance that would ban the feeding of white tail deer and allow bow hunting on certain borough-owned properties.
The council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance at its Sept. 19 meeting, when representatives from the state Division of Fish and Wildlife will present information relating to state laws and deer management.
Resident Edgar Owen said the borough needed to take swift action because deer hunting season starts next Monday.
“I know this ordinance would not be in effect then, but it will help out in the community,” Owen said.
He said he hears illegal hunting taking place at 3 a.m. on private property near his home.
Joe Bonjourno, a resident of the Elba Point neighborhood, said the borough has to act to reduce the number of deer in his lakefront area, but Mayor Sylvia Petillo said the borough cannot authorize a hunt on private property.
She said the homeowners association should meet to determine what it wants done. She said the residents should attend the next meeting when the state wildlife officials will be present.
Bonjourno said there have been 145 car-deer accidents in the borough and his small yard has an average of five deer a day.
The concern is that incidents of Lyme disease, spread by deer ticks, is increasing.
Councilman Michael Francis said with deer “ you can interrupt the birth cycle or the death cycle.”
Contraception, which has been tried in New Jersey towns, can cost $2,000 to $2,500 a deer and has not been effective. Some towns contract with companies that provide professional hunters to cull herds, he said.
Francis said the deer management ordinance is one of the steps the borough is planning as its tries to balance the environmental impact to the borough.
The proposed ordinance would only allow bow hunting on certain borough properties according to a schedule based on the state hunting season for the areas. Petillo said the hunting sites would be outlined at the Sept. 19 meeting.
Borough permits would be needed to hunt, and no rifles or shotguns would be permitted.
The ordinance said that the borough’s deer management task force would inform the council on about June 15 of each year whether a hunt is needed, and the areas where it should take place.
The ordinance set out rules for the use of deer fencing, and bans the feeding of deer on public or private lands of less than five acres. A fine of $100 would be imposed.
The distinction was made to avoid conflict with state laws that allow deer feeding for hunting purposes on lands over five acres.