RANDOLPH, NJ- The Wildlife Management Advisory Committee had a meeting on Wednesday, Mar. 26. to discuss matters such as corresponding letters, safety, and the year’s Deer hunt report.
The year ending results received a few negative corresponding letters from the public. Some hunters thought this was the worst year for the hunt and commented that a hunter should get their required goal of three deer. If not, they should not come back.
Sue Grassmeyer received a letter that claimed the deer problem was still as bad as ever. Photos were attached to the letter illustrating the problem. The correspondent claimed to have seen 14 deer in a single day.
Another letter claimed seeing a herd of at least 12 deer coming down the rear of Pinnacle Point. The correspondent reported that the deer were destroying yards, and asked "Has the township has completely forgotten the majority" in that area of Randolph.
"We have to address this next year," said Grassmeyer.
Pinnacle Point is a challenging issue because there is a mix of emotions over the deer in the neighborhood. Last year, the advisory committee received a letter from the neighborhood stating they were against the hunt. The neighborhood also has a feeding area that attracts the deer.
The committee is going to handle the situation. They believe if they find the way the deer are getting there then they will be able to cut them off entirely from the area.
Earlier in the year, a hunter fell out of a deer stand. A member of the public favored the idea of a zoning manager because of the incident. A zoning manager’s responsibility would be to know where hunters are stationed in case a situation like this happens, and then they will be able to help.
Mandatory signs are required to go up before any deer hunt begins for safety. Deer stands cannot be up outside of the deer-hunting season. It is a liability since people can easily climb up and fall out of the stands.
"We voted on it and said no tree stands stay up,” said committee member, Greg Mohr. “After the end of the season within two weeks the stands come out. We extended it because of the bad weather. But we as a committee had a meeting and said no tree stands stay up.”
There are 14 hunters that will not be returning to next year's hunt. Randolph residents that are on the waiting list will be able to fill these available spots.
An issue came up this season when a resident blew their air horn on a hunter during a hunt in progress, which is illegal in the State’s eyes. Mohr believes that should be followed up on.
"It is interfering with the hunter," said Mohr, "And that is harassment and an offense that can be prosecuted by state law. We're trying to do something good here for the town, which is reduce the herd size that has become so unmanageable."
The fifth year deer hunt reported 92 doe and 17 fox. The state land report had 375 deer from Randolph Township. Each hunter has a goal of three deer per hunter. An estimated 10 hunters reached that goal and about 30 hunters got two.
"We didn't get as many last year, which as we went through the season we kind of anticipated was going to happen,” said Russ Newman. “But also from the first two years of the hunt you got as many this year as the first two years combined."
The committee wants to look at hunters’ past records for their annual deer kill report. If the hunter has not reached their goal, and has secured no deer, or only one deer in the last few years, then there will be some reevaluation on whether that individual will be asked to come back. However, the committee will take a few things in consideration. The difficulties that have increased over the years such as unbeneficial zoning areas, and the increase in the total number of hunters, will all be considered before making any final decisions.