Eco-group files suit challenging Watchung deer hunt
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  1. #1
    Dominant Buck mpemt24's Avatar
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    Eco-group files suit challenging Watchung deer hunt
    Thursday, February 02, 2006
    BY MATTHEW J. DOWLING
    Star-Ledger Staff

    The community-based deer hunt in Watchung adopted two years ago is once again under fire -- this time from a self-proclaimed "planet-focused environmental news and information organization" from Hunterdon County.

    Save Our Resources Today, or SORT, filed a lawsuit last week in Superior Court in Somerville, claiming the borough improperly approved this year's deer management plan during a meeting in December by failing to provide public notice.

    SORT President Raymond Povalski and Watchung resident Martha Halmo are seeking to overturn the resolution passed at that meeting to pay Deer Management Systems of Hampton $40,000 to kill more than 100 deer during a hunt this year.

    Watchung Mayor Albert Ellis, who is named as a defendant, said he had not seen the lawsuit, but noted that the borough followed all the necessary steps to approve the deer hunt, now in its third year.

    "Everything in the borough is done with the proper procedures," Ellis said. "I'm confident with the procedures we've followed."

    The borough of roughly 5,600 residents had an estimated deer population of 1,600 when the deer hunt was approved in 2003. The borough's deer management plan called for killing 100 each year until the population was brought under control. The estimated deer population was based on an aerial infrared scan of the borough.

    "We've reduced the herd each year," Ellis said. "I think it's a rational approach. I think it's been successful."

    The hunt conducted by sharpshooters from Deer Management Systems killed 120 deer in its first year and 144 last year, according to the borough resolution approving this year's hunt.

    Ellis said a second aerial scan to estimate the current deer population is scheduled to occur in the next several weeks. The borough set a goal of a 240-deer population when the hunt was approved amid protests by some residents and animal rights groups.

    Lawsuits were filed at the time to oppose the hunt, but Ellis said the suit filed last week was the first he had seen since the initial challenges.

    Prior to approving the deer hunt, a mail survey of 1,800 borough residents was conducted to gauge response to culling the herd. About 73 percent said they believed there was an overpopulation of deer and the majority supported measures to reduce the herd.

    In addition, 22 percent of those surveyed said they had had at least one car accident involving a deer, while 58 percent reported close calls.

    Pavloski did not return a phone call seeking comment. His organization, SORT, filed a lawsuit in 2003 seeking to block New Jersey's black bear hunt on state parklands.
    It isn't the catch or the kill that makes for a great outdoor experience but enjoying all that God has created for us.

  2. #2
    BOWHUNTERCOP
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    I don't support this group SORT, but I'm glad someone has sued these towns that hire so called professionals to do the job at $40,000, that we can & willing to do for FREE

  3. #3
    Dominant Buck mpemt24's Avatar
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    I'm glad someone has sued these towns that hire so called professionals to do the job at $40,000, that we can & willing to do for FREE
    Exactly.
    It isn't the catch or the kill that makes for a great outdoor experience but enjoying all that God has created for us.

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  5. #4
    Non Typical buckrun's Avatar
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    im kinda bothered by the fact that they are calling what this company is doing a "hunt"

    bhc, id be glad if they sued them for those reasons. but they are just sueing cuz they think reducing the herd is wrong.

  6. #5
    BOWHUNTERCOP
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    but they are just sueing cuz they think reducing the herd is wrong.
    Oh yeah I do agree

  7. #6
    Non Typical buckrun's Avatar
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    look at those numbers, 1600 deer population, kill 120 and 144 deer each year. attempting to get down to a 240 deer population. am i the only one who thinks this doesnt add up?

    even if only 5% of the population are does that get pregnant, the birth rate will exceed the number of deer shot each year. (if i did my math right)
    man, that is brilliant. town officials are so smart.

  8. #7
    Typical nick's Avatar
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    what can be done for us to hunt there? and open it up to a state hunting season?

  9. #8
    Non Typical bob825's Avatar
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    what can be done for us to hunt there? and open it up to a state hunting season?
    that would be nice

  10. #9
    Monster Buck MarkMartinFan's Avatar
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    am i the only one who thinks this doesnt add up?

    What adds up is a lot of $$$$ for a company to be around for a while.

    How about we form a company called NEWJERSEYHUNTER, INC. and someone from here can set a schedule for each piece of property to be hunted from OUR members. Drag can use the $$$ to keep the website running and we all get to hunt prime property.

  11. #10
    Dominant Buck pla930's Avatar
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    UBNJ should be all over this.
    "...but to protest against all hunting of game is a sign of softness of head, not soundness of heart."
    TR
    Help the Governor: keep pressure on the Legislature!

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