RANDOLPH, NJ-Randolph’s Wildlife Management Advisory Committee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, Jan. 22 at the community center. The committee serves as an advisory board to the township council on deer control programs and proposals, and provides general information on wildlife management within the community. The committee discussed their goal to decrease the deer population in Randolph.

“Get out there and hunt those deer,” Council Liaison, Mike Guadagno, said offering words of encouragement.

Each committee hunter gets a zone where they can spot and hunt deer. Committee member Marc Perez reported hunting six doe and one buck since the last meeting in November, which totaled up at 14 doe and three buck for the whole hunting season. Vice Chair, John Spano, reported 24 deer from the last meeting up to Jan. 17 during a private hunt. Alternate, Joe Speer, reported 15 doe and seven bucks for the entire season.

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The goal for the township’s open space park manhunt was three deer for every hunter. With 75 hunters, it was expected to total at 225, which the committee fell short of. However, there was still a big difference in the amount of deer seen. Last year there was an estimated 600 deer taken out from hunts and car accidents, which helped to lower their population.

“That is a lot of deer, so you’re definitely going to see less and less deer and that’s what we’re trying to achieve,” said Vice Chairman, John Spano.

Disease has also played a role in eliminating some of the deer population as have coyotes and bears helped do away with fawns. Hunters have begun to worry about whether they would be able to reach their required deer kill number. Spano remembered seeing 15-20 deer at one time during his hunts. Now there have been as little as seven or eight. The alternate deer kills have wiped out a good portion of the population that has left less for the hunters.

Nevertheless, the committee sees the decrease in deer population already benefiting the community. Accident reports from this year show a lot less deer being hit by cars. A few years ago, Sussex Avenue was known for its deer invasion.

“There would be a dead deer every day. This year I didn’t see that,” said Spano. “Every day, there would be one at night and one in the morning. Not anymore.”

Meetings for Randolph’s Wildlife Management Advisory Committee are held every fourth Wednesday at 7 p.m. of each month except in November, which is held on the third Wednesday of the month.