Hilltop, Fairview Closed For Deer Hunt Today

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Apologies, but we forgot to remind you that the Hilltop Reservation and a stretch of Fairview Avenue will be closed today, January 31, for Essex County’s deer hunt.

Fairview Avenue is closed from Durrell Street in Verona north to Myrtle Avenue in Cedar Grove. Detour signs have been posted. The Hilltop and Fairview will also be closed on two other hunt days: Tuesday, February 5 and Thursday, February 7.

The goal this year is to cull 80 deer from the Hilltop. The 2012 removed a total of 274 adult and unborn deer from the three county parks–the Hilltop and South Mountain and Eagle Rock reservations. Over the five years from 2008 through 2012, the county said that 1,363 deer had been killed.

County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. said that the hunts have been a necessity to both reduce the number of deer-vehicle collisions and to restore the parks’ ecosystems. The number of deer killed by cars and trucks fell to 201 last year from 363 in 2008. DiVincenzo said that the county would be working with the Hilltop Conservancy, the non-profit group that maintains the park, to create a plant restoration program similar to the ones that have been enacted at South Mountain and Eagle Rock.

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