Township Approves Deer Hunting Tactics
For the second year in a row, Princeton Township has approved the use of limited bowhunting as a method of deer control in Township-owned properties.
The resolution, which was approved in a 4-1 vote, also signals the next step in a deer fertility control program carried out by the Connecticut-based White Buffalo Inc., the deer management firm hired by the Township. The approval allows the use of $27,720 for the program that is now in its second full year.
The lone dissenting vote came from Committeeman Bernard Miller, who said he felt the measure did not reflect the views of residents.
"I feel this resolution as it exists is in the interest of the bowhunters and not the Township," he said.
Specifically, Mr. Miller said he was concerned that allowing bowhunting for two-hour periods at sunrise and sunset on Saturdays and Sundays could potentially pose a danger for people who use the parks as recreation.
Township Mayor Phyllis Marchand said that there have not been any bowhunting-related accidents since the program was installed.
She also said that employing various hunting tactics now would avert the possibility of appropriating more Township monies in the future.
"One of things we are trying to do is find a way that we can look at managing the deer herd at no cost to the community when we get back to having a manageable herd," she said.
However, the mayor did say that not as many deer were culled through its bowhunting program as the Township had hoped. To date, nine deer have been culled, according to James Pascale, Township administrator.
Deputy Mayor Bill Enslin also expressed disappointment in the low number of deer culled through bowhunting.
"We have subjected our citizens to inconveniences for very trivial results," he said, adding that he would not vote in favor next year for similar measures unless the results are improved.
Mr. Miller was also alone in casting a dissenting vote last September, when Committee first approved bowhunting methods of deer control. At that time, Mr. Miller said that he had been happy with the direction of the baiting methods employed by the Township for deer management. The Township allows a limited number of bow hunters in four areas in the Township. Those areas are the Woodfield Reservation; Autumn Hill Reservation; Fieldwood; and Stony Brook at Puritan Court.
Hunting schedules and coordinates will, like last year, be arranged between the Township and selected members of the United Bowhunters of New Jersey (UBNJ). Robert Barrett of UBNJ was present at Monday night's hearing to receive Committee's comments.