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New Jersey Planning to “Thin the Herd”

January 26th, 2008

Well, it seems like every time we turn around, New Jersey is making some controversial decision about hunting or fishing. This time, they are making plans to “thin the deer herd” by allowing what the AP calls “sharpshooters” to come into a public park, the South Mountain Reservation. The deer herd is evidently ridiculously out of kilter with the carrying capacity of the land. The park is some 2000 acres, but wildlife managers believe the herd size should be limited to about 60 animals. However, there are somewhere between 300 and 400 animals present.New Jersey’s solution is to allow 15 volunteer “hunters” to come in and shoot the deer every Tuesday and Thursday from January 29th through February 28th. Bait has already been placed near “tree perches” (I guess those are what we educated hunters call tree stands). You can go and read the article from the AP to get some more of the details.

Reading this article, I had a couple of questions. I am wondering if the article is simply slanted as most media reports are, or if it accurately depicts what is about to happen in New Jersey. This article does not make it sound like this is hunting, even though we are told that “hunters” are going to be shooting the deer. These hunters are also referred to as “sharpshooters”, which leaves me with the impression of a sniper, rather than a true hunter. That bothers me because it leaves a bad impression with non-hunters, and anti-hunters about hunters in general. If we are looked on as nothing more than snipers, picking off animals at will, we will never gain favor with the general public. It won’t take much of this type of writing to turn those non-hunters into the anti-hunters.Now, you all know that I am not against hunting. I am not against extra regulations to thin out a herd of deer when it is overpopulated. What bothers me is the perception of hunters in this hunt. This article may completely misrepresent what is happening over in New Jersey. Judging from what I have read recently in the news, it wouldn’t surprise me. But, if all that is going to happen is that sharpshooters are going to bait in tame deer to a corn pile, and then shoot them indiscriminately, I as a hunter don’t want to be associated with it. That is not what I do as a hunter, and I don’t want people thinking that it is.

So, you all tell me what you think. Is this something that is good for hunting? If you don’t mind, vote on the poll, and let me know what you think. Leave me a comment if you want to elaborate on your answer!

2 Responses to “New Jersey Planning to “Thin the Herd””

  1. I would tend to agree with you Kris. I don’t like the idea of sharpshooters being associated with us hunters. I tend to think that they are not hunters at all. If they are the “sharpshooters” that have been used around my area they are hired!!!!! Paid to hunt by taxpayers whereas if they were hunters like us we would PAY TO HUNT!

    I think it is BS and definitely a move to try and have some politically correctness. Why hire people to hunt when us hunters would gladly pay to take care of the problem:)

  2. I am not out to offend any New Jersey folks but when it comes to hunting that states troubles me deeply. Barely a week goes by that we’re not confronted with some controversy about hunting and wildlife management in New Jersey.

    Could that be because New Jersey is one of the hot spots of the animal rights activists?

    The “sharpshooter” solution seems to be a typical reaction to appease anti hunters. With that very expensive solution the government actually takes hunting opportunities away – appeasing the antis – while at the same time trying to control an ever growing deer herd. It stands to hope that the NJ hunters stand up to that lunatic policy and fight for their rights.


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