In action taken by the Borough Council last week, the northern New Jersey community of Hopatcong approved an ordinance to allow bowhunting on designated property to help reduce the growing number of auto accidents involving deer as well as to address an increase of Lyme disease in the region.
At the Sept. 19 Borough Council meeting, wildlife biologists for the state Division of Fish and Wildlife gave presentations on deer overpopulation and management methods, and answered residents” questions primarily concerning trespassing and overall safety, according to the New Jersey Herald newspaper.
Under the ordinance was approved last week, specific properties to be included in the bow-and-arrow hunt will be reviewed be the Deer Management Task Force and recommendations will be made to the council at one of the upcoming October meetings, Mayor Sylvia Petillo said.
Petillo said concerns of the growing deer herd included destroyed gardens, foraged by deer, as well as the increase of Lyme disease, which can be linked to ticks carried by deer. In addition, the number of deer-related auto accidents has risen steadily, with 45 in 2009, 53 in 2010 and 114 in 2011.
“If we don’t do something now…if we can’t find a way to work this out together, next year is going to be much, much worse,” Petillo said.