Bernardsville Borough Council to Continue Hearing on Deer Hunt Ordinance

A fence at Garret Mountain Reservation is being planned by Passaic County officials in order to keep deer out of certain areas to allow vegetation regrowth. Credits: TAPinto Somerset Hills

BERNARDSVILLE NJ - The proposed controlled deer hunt on Bernardsville public lands may move one step closer to reality at the November 9, 2015 meeting of the Bernardsville Borough Council.  On the agenda is the continued public hearing of an ordinance that would allow hunting on lands owned by the borough.  The ordinance on the books prohibits all hunting on borough-owned lands.

The borough's Green Team, Environmental Commission and Shade Tree Commission have all recommended to the borough council that the borough retain a private hunting club to perform a controlled deer hunt on the Borough Springs/Laurelwood, Whitenacht, Charlotte's Hill and Peter's Tract properties owned by the borough.

The borough council heard reports from the state and from a licensed hunt club at its August 10, 2015 public meeting.  During that meeting, Borough Attorney Jack Pidgeon advised the council that the borough ordinances prohibit the discharge of weapons and hunting on borough lands.  At the conlcusion of the public hearing, the council decided to move ahead with preparations for the hunt, and with the drafting of an amendment to the borough ordinances.

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The amendment was introduced at the October 26, 2015 borough council meeting.  The proposed amendment would amend subsection 3-12.2 of the borough code to make an exception to the borough's ban on hunting on borough-owned lands.  The new ordinance would allow hunting on borough-owned lands as part of "a deer managment hunt authorized by the Borough Council."

The borough council started the public hearing on October 26.  After a report from the borough attorney, the council voted unanimously to adjourn the hearing to November 9.

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