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RANDOLPH — The township will open some of its land around the Clyde Potts Reservoir to deer hunters this coming winter in coordination with neighboring Mendham Township.


Randolph has permitted bow hunting within its borders in the past, but this upcoming hunt will be the first of its kind involving shotguns, township Manager John Lovell said this past week.
Clyde Potts Reservoir runs through both townships, and Lovell said the hunt will encompass around 700 acres in Randolph.
The council approved the Clyde Potts hunt in May and still is mulling changes to a bow hunt in James Andrews County Park.
While the hunt dates haven't been set, hunts usually occur at the end of fall and beginning of winter.
Lovell said he anticipates the hunt will last 12 days.
"As soon as the dates are set, we will notify adjacent property owners and post the trails with signs closing them on specific dates," Lovell said.
Randolph sought guidance from neighboring Mendham Township. Mendham Township Administrator Stephen Mountain said a committee of volunteers has organized deer hunts there for the last five years.
"They work closely with the township police department and essentially have organized it so that we have had times in the fall and winter when the township parks are closed," Mountain said this past week in a phone interview.
Mountain said the volunteer group is responsible for making sure hunters who participate are certified to do so — for example, they must have a license — and this information is double-checked by township police.
"The program has been very successful," Mountain said, adding that volunteers have met with Randolph officials to explain the logistics of the Mendham Township hunt.
During last winter's hunt Mendham's volunteer group harvested 56 deer, 50 of which were without antlers.
Lovell said the hunters used shotguns and fired from tree stands near the reservoir.
Other hunters drive deer across the watershed property to the tree stands for harvest, Lovell said.
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Specific hunting days will be designated, such as Wednesdays and Saturdays, well in advance for posting purposes. Roughly 10 to 12 dates will be picked so as to allow for bad weather.


"The hunters personally benefit from the venison, and excess is provided to an area soup kitchen," Lovell wrote in a memo to Randolph council members.
"I believe that this program holds real promise for reducing deer herds in the southwest corner of the township," he wrote.
Still unresolved is a modification to a bow hunt at James Andrews County Park, sponsored and managed by the Morris County Park Commission Natural Resource Office.
Lovell said the CMCPC doesn't close parkland to other park visitors during bow hunts. The hunters work from tree stands.
"We have in the past taken the extra cautionary step of closing our trails in James Andrews much to the dismay of several regular hikers," Lovell wrote. "For the upcoming season, I propose that the trails remain open with advisory signage concerning bow hunting."
The James Andrews County Park hunt is limited to bow and runs continuously for approximately six weeks, although in the past it was held only on weekdays.
 

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They need to open up some land. Many parts of that town have no undergrowth at all. Very good to hear[up]
 

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There are a LOT of deer back there too.

The res. land is not going to be opened to everyone to just walk in though.
They will be management hunts run through the Wildlife Committee from Mendham Township.
The 2 biggest reasons for this are: Safety and productivity.
The people participating want to know where all the hunters are so no accidents occur and the object of the hunts are for culling purposes. So we like to see deer taken. Does included or especially.

Last year of the 50 antlerless deer taken, I believe about 45 were adult does or very large yearlings.
All the deer taken were taken on organized drives during management hunts.

Oh yea, and 2 people that thought it was OK to just wonder in were escorted out by authorities. [up]
 

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Last year of the 50 antlerless deer taken, I believe about 45 were adult does or very large yearlings.
All the deer taken were taken on organized drives during management hunts.
[up]

Sounds good TJC
 

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good luck to all[up]
 

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Outstanding [up][up]
 
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