Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

Fish and Game Causes Deer/Car Collisions

Sent to the Press of Atlantic City on January 21, 2004

letters@pressofac.com  

Ms. Cathy Dixon of Mays Landing expressed her frustration with the number of deer killed on Rt. 40 and one can easily understand why. What we must remember is that the hunting programs put in place by the Division of Fish and Wildlife plays a very big part in the number of deer/car collisions statewide.

A spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said "the presence of hunters in the woods puts animals, including deer and bear, on the run and often causes them to leave wooded areas." (Trenton Times, 12/8/98) In 2001, the Erie Insurance Company had 384 deer claims on hunting season’s opening day and the first Saturday of Pennsylvania's hunting season. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reported that most deer/car collisions happen during hunting season.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife is responsible for increasing the deer herd to the level that it is today, and the increasing the number of deer/car collisions is a byproduct of their “deer management” plans. The Union County (NJ) Parks Department report titled "Deer Management Program for Watchung Reservation" concluded that before being hunted, female deer living in the Reservation gave birth to only one fawn. Afterwards, the birthrate doubled or tripled. The Division manipulates the deer herd in order to collect over $10 million in hunting license fees, and excise taxes on weapons and ammunition, which is needed in order to cover their budget. The Division uses their carefully engineered hunting seasons as a means to increase the herd, so as to ensure that hunters have a never ending supply of "targets" to kill.

There are many ways to reduce the number of deer/car accidents on the roads. One very good way is to drive more slowly and alertly. Another is for towns and counties to install reflectors on the sides of roads to scare the deer away from dangerous areas. But perhaps the best way would be to abolish the Fish and Game Council and take from them the stranglehold they have on New Jersey's wildlife. When the day comes that the deer herd is managed in a humane and responsible manner, the number of car accidents involving deer will plummet.

Joe Miele, Vice President
New Jersey Field Office
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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