Are You OK With Hunting on Town Land?

Municipality may lease property to hunting clubs.

Each week Long Valley Patch poses a question to its readers about topics in town that affect residents, and asks for their opinions on the matter.

This week, we want to know your thoughts on deer hunting in town. .

Are you in favor of the township putting out to bid it's municipally-owned land to hunters? Why, or why not? Does this make you worry for your safety, or do you feel that controlled hunting is a smart move?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and thanks for participating.

MaryLynn Schiavi July 18, 2011 at 12:04 PM
I absolutely hate the idea that my taxes are supporting hunting - which I don't believe in at all. This is a major step backward for our town.
Bill Leavens July 18, 2011 at 02:31 PM
I applaud the Washington Township Committee's decision to finally come to terms with the burgeoning deer population that has ravaged much of our private and public open space. I am not a deer hunter and have no interest in hunting.   It is all too obvious that by the complete lack of any undergrowth in much of the Township that the deer are overgrazing the region and literally killing our forests.  That understory provides the habitat that would support other species of animals and birds and permit them to exist in Washington Township.  The presence of a protected habitat in on municipal land has allowed the deer a safe haven from which they can invade and destroy the forest understory in other parts of the town with impunity.   Historically, deer had successful predators in the form of wolves, large cats and humans.  Their population was naturally checked.  This is no longer the case.   I support an on going and aggressive hunt to reduce the current deer population and maintain deer population numbers at a small fraction of the current herd.   Further, I suggest that any deer slaughtered should be available as high quality meat protein for homeless shelters, prisons or any other state or non-government institution that needs it.
Kathlyn Carter July 18, 2011 at 04:36 PM
The control of the deer population in Long Valley is a difficult dilemma to solve. Do we have the right to kill off a specific population of animal just because there are too many of them? We certainly don't have the right to do this to humans where the population is overcrowded. Is there a more humane way to deal with the problem other than hunting? I don't know and I wish that I had the answer. Two years ago I encountered a disturbing and sad scene in my back yard. It was a dead deer that had been ravaged by coyote or wolves overnight. There is land up the street that is leased to a hunting club. I subsequently found out that the day before I found the ravaged deer in our back yard, a hunter had shot a deer but the deer had run off. I cringe when I think of how much that deer must have suffered. But a more pressing issue to me, is the ordinance that allows people to shoot guns if it is at least 100 feet away from your property line. We have a neighbor diagonally behind our house who has a shooting range in their back yard. The direction of their shooting is toward our house and the noise is deafening. When they do shoot, it goes on for hours at a time, often up to 6 hours. with abouty 20 shots per minute. However, there is nothing that the police can do about it because of the free reign provided by the ordinance. We have a beautiful backyard with a pool, but when the shooting goes on we are forced to abandon the outdoors and confine ourselves inside the house.
MaryLynn Schiavi July 18, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Each time we choose to use guns to solve our problems, a piece of the human spirit dies. We are supposed to be the most innovative and intelligent creatures on the planet. When we choose to employ violence and destruction as a solution, we are demonstrating neither innovation or intelligence.
cv July 18, 2011 at 09:43 PM
we need to come up with a soloution. Hitting them with our cars is not enough. I do not hate any creature but these deer are so destructive to our landscape.
jay July 19, 2011 at 12:50 AM
they didnt invade our habitat ..we invaded theirs..to the point where they have nowhere to go ..now due to hunting and car crashes our kids kids may not know what deer are or look like in the wild... which is our back yards now.. they'll either migrate away or get killed off!!
Bill Leavens July 19, 2011 at 01:30 AM
Unless we want to install tall (and very expensive) deer fencing on all Township property, hunting is the the only practical solution at present. Especially when you consider that venison is high quality protein that can be consumed by those that need it. I don't hunt and I don't intend to take it up so I'm not coming from there. But why should deer be 'protected' so that they can quite literally destroy the habitat that other creatures depend on? Thirty years ago - before there was a deer 'problem - there was real undergrowth in the forest. But as humans moved in, the deer predators moved out. We humans are to blame for the deer overpopulation. And we humans are the ones to resolve it. There aren't enough coyotes or mountain lions around. Sadly, chemical 'birth control' for deer has not proven to be feasible. They are in estrus nearly year round and often drop two fawns at a time. They are breeding up to the limit of available food and their food is what used to cover the forest floor. If we have any regard for the rest of the natural world, we will take steps ti limit the deer population. And, sad to say, until somebody comes up with a better solution, hunting is the only way to effect a control.
einaphets July 19, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Mr. Leavewns, I respectfully assume you do not live in one of the neighborhoods that border on either of these plots of land. My concern is how we safeguard our property and our children. One of these plots borders on the Wooded Valley neighborhood, the largest neighborhood in the township. To me, the safety issues far outweigh the monetary benefits of this plan.If there's any residential area within any distance from the plot of land than we should be reconsidering this plan.
jmwk July 19, 2011 at 02:55 PM
To einaphets - There is hunting going on in other spots of town - what do they do to protect the residential areas around there? They could do the same thing with this area.
WTHeck July 20, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Coming from a family of deer hunters, there are many issues that are not being brought up. I live near the area in question, but not close enough that it would affect my home. In fact, before my home was built, my grandfather used to actively hunt on this property in the 1970's which bordered residential homes. If I did live in the immediate vicinity, I would not be as concerned. Most hunters (at least in my family) begin their hunts early in the morning - when most people are still asleep! Not when children are playing in the back yard. Also, there are "hunting seasons". Again, this is for limited weeks in the fall and beginning of winter. Hunting when children are in school and people are at work. I think we need to compare statistics - What are the chances you would hit a deer with your vehicle, causing extensive damage or costly repairs? What are the chances of you contracting Lyme disease from the ticks these deer carry? The cost to repair damage to your property from the destruction the deer have caused? What are the chances a hunter would hit your house with a bullet? Bear in mind too, that the one area approved (Reservoir Rd) is already hunted. How many incidents have occurred in the areas already being hunted? I see both sides on this issue, but we are at a point where we need to start to control their population. Their natural predator can no longer control it; now we have to.
Bruce Kreeger July 25, 2011 at 12:48 AM
We need to cull the heard and we may as well do it and allow the community to financially benefit. People have been hunting in Long Valley forever. This is a way of life her. I am not a hunter but I have no problem supporting hunting.


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