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Deer Hunting OK on Natural Preserve in Hopatcong

Residents can sign up starting on Monday for bow hunting on the Natural Preserve.

The Hopatcong Borough Council approved bow hunting on the Natural Preserve for the 2012-13 white tail deer hunting season at Wednesday night's meeting.

It was the first parcel of borough owned property to be opened for hunting since the council passed a deer hunting ordinance last summer.

The council also approved a bow hunting application form for those seeking borough permits to participate in the hunt.

Mayor Sylvia Petillo said the application would be available on the borough’s website starting Monday. There is no fee for the application, she said.

Petillo said the council had intended to start the hunt earlier, but Hurricane Sandy interfered with the planning of the event. The deer hunt task force, set up to monitor the hunt, was unable to meet because of the storm.

Councilman Michael Francis said the goal had been to open up several parcels of borough owned property to bow hunters, but they settled on the Natural Preserve so the hunt could start.

The ordinance, passed in September, established bow hunting on certain borough properties and banned the feeding of deer.

The ordinance was needed,  Petillo said, in September to address the problem of deer herd management in the borough.

The borough had 40 car-deer accidents in 2009 and 93 in 2011, a state wildlife biologist reported in September.

New Jersey had recorded the fifth highest number of Lyme disease cases, and in 2009 and 2010, Sussex County had the second highest total in the state, the council was told.

The ordinance only addresses hunting on public lands; the council can not control hunting on private property.

The ordinance says that the borough’s deer management  task force would inform  the council on around June 15 of each year whether a hunt is needed, and the areas where it should take place.

In other business, the council accepted a $4,400 grant for the borough’s participation in a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program that will run from Friday to Jan. 2.

The council also accepted $16,633 to be placed in the 2012 budget, earnings from the sale of recycled materials.

Mikey December 06, 2012 at 01:04 PM
preserve (noun): 1. to keep alive or in existence; make lasting. 2. to keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare. So much for our "preserve". How about renaming it "The Killing Fields"? Oh wait, that's taken. Maybe "The Exsanguination Station"? That's catchy!
ss December 06, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Where is a "nationals preserve" in Hopatcong? We have a state park, is that where you are talking? Nothing comes up in google about a national preserve on our town.
STATE PARK December 06, 2012 at 01:55 PM
LOL Sandy interfered with the Mayor planning the event. Like she was busy worrying about the people in town without power. PRICELESS
Laker December 06, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Where is the "National Preserve" in Hopatcong ?
Cheryl Ostman December 06, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I have the same question as everyone else ... where is the preserve located?
Michele Guttenberger December 06, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Laker - I would like to know more about this "National Preserve" is it the same property that is managed by a private sports club that is registered in Bermuda and also does not pay Borough taxes? If it is a "National Preserve" why have I not seen National Park Rangers on it with Smoky the Bear uniforms just like National parks, & forests in Morristown. Where can I get a map of this "National Preserve" which I assume all citizens have the right to tresspass on. Do I need to get a hunting license to be informed of this "National" Preserve location right here in Hopatcong? Why is this "National Preserve" in Hopatcong not well marked with a large sign like other federal lands to let people know that there is a National recreational resource available to all for our recreational use? Should there not be a big road sign "National Preserve Area" funded by Your Federal Tax dollars and a public parking area for people to be able to drive to it?
BeachBum December 06, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Revitalize "Lower River Styx" "Lakeside Blvd."
Chris Nowell December 06, 2012 at 06:35 PM
If you go on Google maps and type in Lucas Road, Hopatcong, NJ, you'll see a large wooded area that goes from behind Durban Avenue School all the way up to Firehouse #2. That's the preserve. It is not a National Preserve - it's a Natural Preserve. Google shows roads back there and even a small park (Wolf's Head Park that do not exist but I guess were planned. Also note that "Devil's Footprint" is back there - supposedly a big rock with an indentation that looks like what you might imagine a footprint made by the Devil would look like. I've never seen it, but back in middle school, it was a very hot topic.
Chris Nowell December 06, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Oh, but apparently it is OK to ride ATVs back there as they are always tearing around and the police do not do anything about it. Maybe one of those guys will get shot by a hunter. There was a family that lived in that neat house on Vassar that had an ATV or dirt bike for every member. They would go right from their backyard into the preserve. Fortunately they are gone now. Speaking of ATVs, has anyone noticed that pack of riders that rides through the neighborhood, on the streets, on occasion? They come up Brown Trail and head for the preserve. I was wondering if the police were going to do anything about them.
Laura December 06, 2012 at 07:14 PM
It's a "Natural" Preserve, not "national". http://ecode360.com/9569249 This lists the lots and blocks, but no "address".
Michele Guttenberger December 06, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Here is a possible location of this "National" preserve “Harvest Shoot & Taste of Autumn Gourmet Gathering” to benefit Project Self-Sufficiency. The event will feature a 100 sporting clay shoot on the 3,800 acre HUNTING PRESERVE.." This was taken from a Patch article from PSS http://hopatcong-sparta.patch.com/blog_posts/hudson-farm-club-hosts-sporting-clay-shoot-to-benefit-project-self-sufficiency Also our Town Attorney is featured in this Photo. I wonder if he knows if this is a "National" Preserve and for which country - Bermuda or the US? Nice charity event - too bad they did not hold one for the residents of Hopatcong impacted by hurricane Sandy. They could of brought down the price on the dinner plate and hunting segment so locals could participate in their own hunting charity to benefit their neighbors and community.
Mikey December 06, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Re "National Preserve" - the article says "Natural Preserve". Whoever typed the headline fat-fingered it.
Lauren Mennen (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments. We apologize for the mistake and have fixed "national" to "natural" in the headline. Sorry for the confusion.
In The Woods December 07, 2012 at 12:50 AM
First, deer overpopulation is a serious problem. Not just because of you petunias either. It leads to an increase in car accidents (not just deer strikes but people hitting other people and objects trying to avoid them) and devastation to gardens and farms. When food sources run low, the deer literally starve to death or nature takes over and they get things like Chronic Wasting Disease to thin the herd which causes an agonizing death for the animal. For some of us, myself included, we live off the meat the animals provide us and by Hopatcong opening this hunt to residents, it greatly assists us to fill our freezer for the winter. One deer will feed my family for an entire month or more. And yes, I agree, something needs to be done about the ATVs and motorbikes in that area. They not only pose a danger to the habitat but also to themselves now that hunting is allowed there.
Chris Nowell December 07, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Well, now that hunting is allowed, everyone who goes there is in danger. I often hike in there when I come home to visit my parents. I have encountered teenagers hanging around and seen people walking dogs back there.
Baumerjet December 07, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Sparta Stanhope Road from beyond the Railroad bridge to the Sparta Border (industrial zone)
Chris Nowell December 07, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Those definitions are verbs, not nouns. One definition of the noun is: "an area restricted for the protection and preservation of natural resources (as animals or plants) <a game preserve for regulated hunting or fishing>" - m-w.com The Nature Preserve is not a game preserve per se, but in order to preserve nature, the ecosystem has to be stabilized. Hunting is a way to do that.
cameron December 07, 2012 at 04:40 PM
You are allowed to bow hunt, unless you piss off someone in a tree you are safe. I wouldn't suggest putting on a deer outfit and testing an eager hunter. I wish they would allow it in the whole town considering the amount of deer in my neighborhood.
The Watcher December 07, 2012 at 06:53 PM
@Baumerjet Isn't that Kellogg property on both sides of the road?
ss December 08, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Is the town picking up the dead deer anymore? There's been one on Maxim for 2 weeks. Good thing it 's cold out . It is giving the crows and vultures something to eat though. Thanks for clearing up natural vs national.
JOE HOPATCONGITE December 09, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Get those unnatural deer out of the nature preserve! They are way to artificial!
Musey CouldbeWendy Muse December 10, 2012 at 03:21 AM


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