Two parcels of municipal-owned land will be put out to bid to hunting clubs for the purposes of culling the deer population, as long as a resolution is passed by the Washington Township Committee on Monday, July 18.
At its work session on Wednesday, July 13, the governing body discussed the possibility of leasing two parcels of land in the township to hunting clubs. The first parcel, approximately 55 acres, is located on Spring Lane, across the street from . The second piece of land, approximately 131 acres, is between Reservoir Road and Rt. 46.
The committee originally discussed five different parcels of land throughout the township that would be suitable for hunting clubs, , the committee backed away from the possibility after hearing many complaints from residents.
Residents in the two areas discussed have not brought forth complaints, according to Mayor Ken Short, who also said those pieces of land in question are currently being hunted anyway.
Putting the land out to bid to local hunting clubs will also bring in revenue to the township, but more importantly, according to Short, is that the clubs will basically become stewards of that land, help to keep the deer population from growing, and will be responsible for any wrongdoing.
But the decision to add the resolution to Monday night’s agenda was not unanimous. Committeeman Dave Kennedy voiced concern over the two areas of land that were chosen, saying they’re still too close to residential neighborhoods.
“People who bought homes in those areas a few years ago probably didn’t invest in their property thinking deer hunting would be going on,” Kennedy said. The committeeman, a former police captain in Roxbury, cited numerous times he dealt with calls regarding stray shots from hunters hitting homes in that township.
“I also don’t think it’s fair,” Kennedy said, “to have both of the chosen pieces of land on the same side of town. Now you’ll have hunting clubs all over that area.”
The resolution will include both shotgun and bow hunting capabilities before the township puts the land lease out to bid.
Mayor Short and committeemen Bill Roehrich, James Harmon, and Jim LiaBraaten were all in favor of going forward with the resolution.
The committee’s regular meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 18 at the municipal building.