Deer Hunt Results Tallied

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MyVeronaNJ-Deer-HuntEssex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced yesterday that 154 deer were culled from Essex County South Mountain Reservation and Essex County Hilltop Reservation during the county’s deer management program this winter. The county began the hunt in 2008 to restore the forests in the county parks and reduce deer-car collisions on area roads.

During this year’s 10-day hunt, which was carried out by expert volunteer marksmen, 154 deer and 86 unborn deer were culled from the two parks, the majority of which from the Hilltop park on Verona’s western ridge: 79 deer and 53 unborn deer were taken in the Verona hunt.

“We have been very successful in reducing the deer population in our reservations to a manageable level, which has enabled us to transition our program from aggressively removing deer to maintaining the population,” DiVincenzo said in a prepared statement. “While we have made tremendous progress, it is important to continue this maintenance mode to preserve the forest habitat and maintain our reservations as viable resources for recreation and open space. Since we started in 2008, we have removed over 1,000 deer from our reservations, started a program to accelerate the re-growth of our forests and introduced a pilot program to reduce traffic accidents involving deer. The overabundance of deer affects all of our communities, and our program provides a comprehensive approach to address the problem.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. During this year’s 10-day hunt, which was carried out by expert volunteer marksmen, 154 deer and 86 unborn deer were culled from the two parks, the majority of which from the Hilltop park on Verona’s western ridge: 79 deer and 53 unborn deer were taken in the Verona hunt.
    HOW CRUEL.
    WHAT WAS DONE WITH RHE DEAR?
    WAS THE MEAT USED TO FEED THE HUNGRY AT LEAST?
    OR WERE THE HUNTERS JUST PLAIN KILLERS?

  2. Unfortunately MJ, given the problems facing and caused by deer in our area, Essex County began a program to thin the herds in county parks seven years ago. With few natural predators remaining, the deer population had outstripped the food supply in the parks. Their over-browsing was destroying the habitats of other animals as well as native trees and plants. There were frequent collisions between deer and motorists on roads in and near the parks.

    For that first hunt, and all subsequent hunts, the county recruited expert marksmen who volunteered their time. While each hunter could take a small amount of venison for their service, most of the meat was donated to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, where it has helped to feed thousands of people. The county has also begun a program to restore the habitats damaged by the deer: If you take a walk through South Mountain and Eagle Rock reservations you can see fenced-off enclosures where the woods are beginning to heal.

    This year’s hunt was the smallest ever.

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