It’s mating season for white-tailed deer, and Princeton Township’s deer management program is underway for the twelfth consecutive year. Mark Johnson, the Township’s Animal Control Officer, said that United Bowhunters of New Jersey are culling the deer population in six of the 12 Township parks. Once they complete their hunting, White Buffalo Sharpshooters come in to “net and bolt,” or net the deer and pick them up.
All of the carcasses are donated to Norwescap, the community action partnership that fights poverty and hunger, Mr. Johnson added. The hunting began around November 5, while no date has been set so far for the next part of the process.
The deer population has been steadily increasing, creating problems and dangerous situations on local roadways. “This is the busiest roadkill time of year, and the roadkill number has been steadily rising,” Mr. Johnson said. “For the past three or four years, we’ve had between 60 to 80 a year. But this year, we’re already at 90, which means it will probably go over 100. We’d like to keep it in the double digits.”
While there used to be certain “hot spots” where deer could be counted on to appear, the situation has changed. “I really can’t say that anymore,” Mr. Johnson said. “They’re scattered all over.”