Branchburg planning a controlled hunt to thin growing deer population

(09/05/04) BRANCHBURG - Town officials in Branchburg say the deer population has tripled during the past 20 years, with roughly 80 deer per square mile. There are new concerns about property damage and car accidents, so the town is planning a controlled hunt to try and decrease the numbers.

Mayor Jim Leonard says after a two-year study by the town's wildlife committee, they plan to implement a controlled harvest during the next five years. The town would open up certain areas of the community for hunt clubs to come and to hunt deer. The deer would be baited to those areas located outside of residential neighborhoods.

There does not appear to be much opposition to the plan. Hunting is already allowed in the town. The people to whom News 12 New Jersey spoke realize the problem and desire a speedier solution.

There will be other meetings before the plan is implemented, and council members will have to vote on it. Mayor Leonard says he hopes to have it in place by the fall.

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