WESTFIELD, NJ — Union County’s annual deer hunts are coming to two parks in Westfield, following the town’s council’s approval of the hunt zones earlier this week.

The council on Tuesday approved the bow hunts for wooded areas of Westfield’s Brightwood Park and a “small section” of Tamaques Park. It is the second year that Westfield is participating in Union County’s annual deer hunt.

Councilman David Contract said the hunts would not take place where any trails are. Council members unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the hunts.

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“The overpopulation of white-tailed deer in Brightwood Park and a small section of Tamaques Park identified by Union County has resulted in over-browsing of native vegetation in this area, damage to greens and ornamental vegetation and created safety hazards for the public,” the resolution says.

Last year, Westfield officials cited a surfeit of vehicular crashes involving deer as the prime reason for authorizing the hunts.

Earlier this year, the Union County Freeholders had approved this year’s hunts in numerous towns county-wide, allocating $19,515 to fund the bait and costs for butchering the deer.

The town council’s Tuesday approval designated the specific areas where the hunts happen in Westfield. It says that licensed crossbow hunters will conduct the cull.

Hunters last year bagged 20 deer in Westfield, including 16 in Brightwood Park and another four in an area just off of Lamberts Mill Road. This year's hunt will not include the Lamberts Mill Road area.

The winter bow hunts will run 36 days, from Jan. 1 to Feb. 19, according to the freeholders’ approval.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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