The Results are in and the recent culling of the deer herd in Union County produced disappointing results.  

We need to push for more hunts until the herd is brought to a manageable level

See results from Union County Parks and Recreation:
The final harvest totals for the 2014 Deer Management Program were as follows:
Watchung Reservation - 58
Nomahegan Park - 23
Lenape Park - 6
Ash Brook Reservation - 9
Passaic River Park - 0
Hawk Rise Sanctuary - 23

Unfortunately, the snow and ice had a significant effect on the results.  

The harvests would certainly have been larger if the deer had not been so restricted in their movements by the thick ice crust on the snow.
Pat Marcella February 20, 2014 at 05:17 PM
Yay for the deer!
angel38 February 21, 2014 at 06:17 AM
I'm with you Pat!
Jax February 21, 2014 at 08:17 AM
Guess there aren't as many as studies would suggest, give me a break. I hardly see them, sitting or standing as I used to. This IS the result the ones who call for the hunt want because they want to say we need a hunt and have them as often as possible. Until there are none. Shame on you who call for these slaughters.
Steve February 21, 2014 at 08:31 AM
DEER HUNTS URGED LAST MONTH IN PRESS RELEASE BY LEADING NJ CONSERVATION GROUP (reproduced in Cranford Chronicle several weeks ago): “When a forest is overgrazed by deer a number of things happen – none of them are good. When storms come through, trees get knocked down and new ones don’t take their place. The invasive species benefit because deer don’t eat them. Deer like native plants – particularly young ones. Birds that migrate from South and Central America looking for food have less to eat because many of the native insects don’t eat the invasive species. With diminishing food supply, songbirds start to disappear. “Native plants also provide food and shelter for native reptiles and amphibians. All the little turtles, salamanders, toads and friendly creatures that you rarely see anywhere else all breed in the forest. Without the trees and native shrubs, they also start to disappear. “One small creature that is prospering, unfortunately, is the deer tick. The other creature you don’t often see in the woods in the summer is people. The ticks are winning that battle thanks to their carriers, the deer. “What can we do? Two things can help. First, we can plant more young native trees. “Second, we can enable hunters to keep the deer population at a level that will sustain the forests. There is a strong case to be made that deer meat is local, organic, free range and tasty. If we can find ways to use deer meat as part of the local diet, benefits include less Lyme disease and fewer car and cycling accidents. For more information on preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at info@njconservation.org.
Steve February 21, 2014 at 08:37 AM
Cranford's deer hunts were urged by the professionals and experts in town, including by the Cranford Environmental Commission. And I still have several herds of them grazing on my property near Nomahegan Park. The weather, as well as other factors, hindered this year's hunt.
Jax February 21, 2014 at 08:42 AM
Last post on this patch article, not gonna go back and forth as I previously did discussing all of the reasons the powers that be say we have to slaughter the deer and why that is not all the truth or cite other things that can be done instead of slaughter. I just want to say I did read the article cited and is anyone really avoiding walking in Nomahegan due to ticks? I'm certainly not, I avoid walking there on slaughter days though for a few reasons. And if you want to walk in the woods, wear socks and shoes as advised for many reasons.
Linda February 21, 2014 at 08:51 AM
Steve February 21, 2014 at 09:09 AM
Deer ticks carrying Lyme disease will enter the skin around the arms, neck and face. They also collect on pets (such as dogs) and enter our homes and bodies in that way. In any event, young children and infants -- with much exposed skin -- are often in the park, including at the various playgrounds, such as near Union County College. I know people whose cars were totaled by deer. Deer have eaten thousands of dollars of plantings on my property, even those that are said to be deer resistant. Numerous reports by wildlife experts, including at Rutgers, our State University, have urged deer management by the use of hunts as the most cost effective, practical and socially beneficial way to hold down the dangerous overpopulation of deer now infesting many suburban regions, including here in Union County. And studies done have shown that few people are injured during deer-management hunts, and those few are almost always the hunters themselves. The same studies have shown that the injury rate is greater for such recreational activities as swimming, fishing and baseball, than for deer-control hunts.
07016 February 21, 2014 at 09:14 AM
So tranquiler the overpopulated deer and arrange to transport them to a better place. Your deer, tick and plant concerns can be remedied, you don't kill them.
Steve February 21, 2014 at 09:29 AM
And just where would this "deer concentration camp" be established? In any event, studies have shown that it costs between $1,000 and $2,000 to tranquilize a single deer by the use of darts, WITHOUT transporting it anywhere. The cost would at least double -- probably more -- if the cost of transporting it somewhere were included. That would cost hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars (maybe millions) to effectively handle the problem in that way. In any event, the whole scheme is not practical, and even the organizations and serious (non-anonymous) individuals who oppose deer-management hunts do not suggest moving hundreds (if not thousands) of deer to some distant location. And virtually ALL professional wildlife experts and scientists who have studies the issues have found that THE most effective and practical solution to curb dangerous deer overpopulation is the use of deer-management hunts. There are no other equivalent remedies according to numerous peer-reviewed studies.
CatDanJoel February 21, 2014 at 10:39 AM
The townships, county(ies), and the region should be abiding by Local, County, and State legislation, BMPs, and, overall, sustainable practices that build resiliency to what's left of our ecologies. For instance, in Union County, most if not all of the townships disregard State stormwater management rules and regs for all new and redeveloped properties (Birchwood; dah!). Rather, approvals promote more and more stormwater runoff to our subsurfaces, including roads, parklands and other open spaces, streams, lakes, and rivers. These are areas that usually support wildlife, in addition to those lands of conscientious homeowners who manage their stormwater on their own property (also in accordance with State laws) and plant native species for food and habitat for some of our native fauna, especially for the songbirds and other shrub layer dependent species. Other BMPs would include no mow zones, wide buffers of native grasses and fruit/nut bearing trees to all riparian areas to support seasonal foods for all fauna. In this way, we would all experience less flooding and we would realize more of the animals, including the deer, actually staying on the connected greenways and other open spaces that we have been blessed with throughout Union County. But, well, most of the citizenry tolerate governments that bulldoze the lowlands, wetlands, and other forests throughout the county, rather than insist on management of them with sound stewardship practices. In short order the deer will likely be disease ridden from overpopulation and not enough nutrition, perhaps self-destructing. We've ignored the smaller biomarkers in our indifference to stewardship and in failing to hold those accountable who should be insisting on it, environmental commisions included (if not especially).
Steve February 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM
And let's not forget global climate change, too, about which I hear very little from our town's environmental commission.
Kathy February 21, 2014 at 11:17 AM
I HATE this deer hunt every year. Did you ever think that the deer population might actually be less because this has been done for serveral years, now. NO MORE DEER HUNTS!!!!!
Kathy February 21, 2014 at 11:25 AM
Climate change has been taking place as long as the Earth has been in existance. We should all know that by now. Maybe if we didn't need to build on every postage stamp of land available, wildlife would have more and better places to live. We spend more time manipulating nature to suit our needs. That's not stewardship...that's selfishness. As far as ticks...deer are not the only animals that carry deer ticks. We need to truly love our planet and everything that comes with it instead of trying to manipulate it to make it more comfortable for us. Man is more dangerous than any deer will ever be.
Steve February 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM
Kudos to the county and state officials who have heeded the consensus wisdom of bona fide wildlife experts and scientists, relying on objective studies and data, and who completely discounted the primarily emotion-based counsel of non-experts. I look forward to the continued harvesting of deer in our region. And as far as the existential threat posed by climate change and human-induced global warming, I take my guidance from the consensus findings of such organizations as the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Meteorological Society, as well as hundreds of other worldwide scientific organizations.
Michele February 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Well Steve (is that what you are calling yourself now? It's really DAN isn't it). In regards to this remark you made: "And just where would this "deer concentration camp" be established? In any event, studies have shown that it costs between $1,000 and $2,000 to tranquilize a single deer by the use of darts, WITHOUT transporting it anywhere." LET ME TELL YOU how stupid, ignorant, out of touch and totally wrong all those studies and many idiots can be in particular in NJ. Some years ago, in the Essex county area, a man DID indeed round up approx. 200 deer and he released them at his farm in PA. Didn't cost a nickel. Seems like a good idea and a decent thing to do right? 200 deer gone from NJ and not harmed. Well some "experts" in the state of NJ told him he had to bring them back because he did not have permits to remove them. PLEASE! As far as expert data goes always remember "numbers are like people...torture them and they'll say anything". Stop being so naïve and relying on so-called experts. They often twist data to suit the cause of the moment. Now go ahead and have the last word. I KNOW you will not rest till you do. It's like a sickness with you.
Steve February 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM
That's some (undocumented) anecdote, Michele. Pennsylvania now has the same deer overpopulation problem that New Jersey has and is also employing the same deer hunts our state uses. If your anecdote has any truth, I am sure Pennsylvania -- not to mention the federal government -- would have also prohibited the action, just as New Jersey. In any event, I am certainly not in favor of unregulated "vigilante deer roundups" on public lands throughout the state, even if that was a viable solution to a public health and welfare problem, which it is not. And your vitriolic attacks on posters and scientists are certainly no substitute for longstanding, sound scientific consensus.
phil February 21, 2014 at 02:37 PM
The professionals at Union County Parks and Recreation have a clear reason for organizing the hunts. They are acting to arrest the destruction of our precious parks, save people from death or serious injury from deer running out onto busy streets and smashing into automobiles, and stop the aggressive spread of deer tics that cause serious problems for um yes humans. Remember them? Two of the above points are obvious and the third point addresses the destruction of the vegetation in our parks by a plant predator whose appetite clear cuts vegetation in our parks. Where is the outcry for the innocent vegetation being decimated by these hooved overgrown overpopulated rats.
Boris Chechev February 21, 2014 at 10:45 PM
Better drive carefully. The deer population can't grow much more, which means that cars, not hunters, will be doing the killing.
Steve February 23, 2014 at 07:27 AM
For those folks who care about the objective facts, what follows is an abridged excerpt from the definitive deer-management guide jointly written by state, federal and academic wildlife scientists throughout the United States and Canada, including at our own Rutgers, regarding relocation of deer: "Trap-and-transfer efforts are complex and expensive operations. Attempts to capture deer require substantial financial and logistic commitments in trained personnel and equipment to ensure safety of people and deer. Capture and relocation programs have recorded costs ranging from $400 to $3200 per deer (5, 12, 17). Deer are susceptible to traumatic injury during handling. Trauma losses average approximately four percent during trap-and-transfer efforts. Capture myopathy, a stress-related disease that results in delayed mortality of captured deer, is thought to be an important (and often overlooked) mortality factor. Delayed mortality as high as 26 percent has been reported (39). Survival rates of relocated deer are frequently low. The poor physical condition of deer from an overpopulated range predisposes them to starvation. Trap-and-transfer efforts in California, New Mexico and Florida resulted in losses of 85, 55 and 58 percent, respectively, from 4 to 15 months following relocation (36). A six-year study of translocated deer from the Chicago metropolitan area showed a higher annual survival rate of resident adults than for those translocated deer. Deer-vehicle accidents were the largest source of mortality among the translocated does and presumably resulted from unfamiliarity with the release site (18). An additional concern associated with relocation of deer, especially from an overpopulated range, is the potential for spreading disease. The presence of Chronic Wasting Disease, Lyme Disease, Tuberculosis and other communicable diseases in some areas of North America makes this an important consideration (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahps/cwd/) and possibly an illegal activity depending on state or provincial regulations. In conclusion, trap-and-transfer options are generally impractical and prohibitively expensive and have limited value in management of free-ranging deer."
Doug Kabak February 23, 2014 at 10:32 PM
I have to agree with Phil. As a jogger, I see more & more deer each year. They come out earlier each day & generally have no fear of humans. The likelihood of serious injury or death from automobile collisions grows with the increase in the number of deer. I have seen at least one deer lying on the side of the road in obvious agony after begin hit by a car. A good friend of mine was involved in such a crash while driving her infant son. The deer went right through the driver's side window near decapitating itself. My friend, though safe, was a bloody mess and frightened out of her mind. These types of incidents could be and should be drastically reduced


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