New Jersey lawmakers seek solution to excessive deer population
Advocates and lawmakers at the State House in Trenton are looking for a solution to curb the excessive deer problem in the state.
A recent Rutgers study of selected areas of the state found an average of between 60 and 200 deer per square mile. Experts say that to avoid traffic accidents and destroying crops, that number should average 10 deer per square mile.
Assemblyman Joe Danielsen said, "Maybe we're overthinking this. Why don't we just open up hunting season? Why don't we just allow different hunting tools?"
Wildlife advocates say hunting has not lessened the problem.
"I do recognize there is a deer problem. I just would approach it in a different way. At least there are different ways to approach it....and those include non lethal methods like fences or surgical sterilization, said former State Sen. Ray Lesniak.
According to Joseph Pullen, of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the answer is "about trying to find balance. We're talking about deer today. Most people don't want to see the deer eradicated."
Residents are split between lethal and non-lethal methods of dealing with the large deer population.
The Assembly committee is also considering a multi-species hunting permit that would allow farmers to hunt more than one type of animal endangering their crops or livestock.
There are an estimated 102,000 deer currently roaming through the state.