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Nice to get some positive coverage every once and a while!

Sunday bow hunting would have many merits
Friday, March 04, 2005


With deer populations at record levels in the states along the East Coast, fish and wildlife departments are looking for ways to control the burgeoning deer herds.

In recent years, one of the most effective methods has been bow hunting, especially in areas where firearm hunting is not permitted.

I recently interviewed the directors of fish and wildlife in Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey on the hunting in their respective states.

One thing they all agree on is that bow hunting has become one of the most useful deer management tools in their respective states, especially in urban areas. Another thing that all three directors agreed on is that their community-based deer-management programs are having an effect on deer populations in populated areas, and this type of program (which uses bow hunters and bow hunting clubs and organizations) is the wave of the future.

In New Jersey, the United Bowhunters of New Jersey (UBNJ) enjoyed another successful year during the 2004-05 season. The UBNJ has seen its membership rise to the highest levels since 1997, with more than 3,000 members in its ranks. Likewise, its community-based deer-management program is getting bigger and better every year and has four programs in effect throughout New Jersey. Some 200 bow hunters are enrolled in the programs, which are hunting in places like the FAA Technical Center in Pomona, the Salem Nuclear Power Plant in Salem County, Princeton in Mercer County and Mountain Lakes in Morris County.

The UBNJ Deer Management Plan has been used as a model for community-based deer-management programs around the country. The organization also has made contacts with several more municipalities to institute their program in their communities.

The organization has been instrumental in opening lands for bow hunting throughout New Jersey. In particular, almost 5,500 acres in Atlantic and Salem counties have been opened to bow hunters in the last few years. In 2004, the UBNJ was very active in opening the Monmouth County Park System, with it's 4,000-plus acres, for hunting, and is petitioning the state to open more state parks and land to hunting.

One of the things that the UBNJ supports is the opening of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and private lands to Sunday bow hunting.

WMAs are designated fishing and hunting lands, and while you can fish on the WMAs on Sunday, hunting is not permitted. It only makes sense that, since these lands are set aside for hunting and fishing, they should be open to hunting on Sundays, when more bow hunters could take advantage of the lands.

Likewise, there is no reason to keep private property closed to bow hunters on Sundays. Many states have opened public and private lands to hunting on Sundays and it's time New Jersey does the same.

The UBNJ Council is requesting sportsmen to contact, by letter or phone, the following Assembly and Natural Resources Committee Members and thank them for supporting this initiative, which is Bill A-3736. In addition, they are asking sportsmen to contact their individual legislators and assembly speaker Albio Sires to post A-3736 for a full vote by the assembly. His e-mail address is [email protected] To contact him by letter, write to Assemblyman Albio Sires, 303 58th St., West New York, NJ, 07093. His office phone number is (201) 854-0900).

Sportsmen also should contact State Sen. Stephen M. Sweeney and ask him to sponsor a companion bill for A-3736 in the senate. He can be reached by phone at (856) 455-1011 or by writing State Sen. Stephen M. Sweeney, 14 East Commerce St., 3rd floor, Bridgeton, NJ 08302. NOTE: You can reach us with your fishing or hunting reports, comments or questions by e-mail at [email protected] or [email protected]; or by mail at J.B. Kasper c/o The Times, 500 Perry St., Trenton, NJ 08605.
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