2018 Deer Management Program for
Cushing Road Detention Basin
Plainfield, New Jersey
Final 2018 Results
- 8 days of hunting
- 10 deer removed
- This program is now concluded
- The City of Plainfield owns a forested green space on Block 922, Lot 10, in the eastern corner of the City, roughly bordered by Terrill Road and Cushing Road. The subject property encompasses 31.26 acres (0.05 sq. mi.), and is in close proximity to the Township of Scotch Plains and the Borough of Fanwood.
- Block 922, Lot 10 is also known as the Cushing Road Detention Basin
- Forest ecologists recommend that white-tailed deer populations in Northeast hardwood forests should not exceed an overwintering density of 20 per square mile in order for deer browse to not impair forest health.
- A spotlight count around the Cushing Road Detention Basin on May 12, 2016 resulted in the observation of 14 deer, which equates to a density of between 40 and 84 deer per square mile. More recently, 37 deer were observed at one time within that same area. At 20 per square mile, this area should only support 1 deer.
- Area residents have complained to City of Plainfield and County of Union officials about the impacts typical to deer overpopulation – destructive browsing of residential landscaping, a high incidence of deer-related motor vehicle accidents, fear of Lyme disease, and fecal droppings on lawn areas.
- The County of Union will utilize the assistance of the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association to reduce the population of white-tailed deer in the Cushing Road Detention Basin in the hopes of achieving a reduced deer density and lesser impacts to the surrounding community.
General Description of Program
- The County of Union will initiate an effort to reduce the density of deer in the Cushing Road Detention Basin during the winter of 2018.
- Such reduction will be accomplished through the efforts of licensed hunters who are members of the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, shooting archery equipment over baited sites.
- Given the number of days of hunting available and the number of hunters that can be utilized, the goal of this initial program will be to remove 15 deer.
Legal Authority and Insurance
- The Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association will be authorized by the City of Plainfield to hunt deer in the Cushing Road Detention Basin during the Winter Bow Season that runs from January 1 to February 17, 2018.
- Members of the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association who are selected and approved for participation in this program will be required to purchase a Winter Bow permit for Zone 36.
- If a hunter wishes to hunt for an antlered buck, then the hunter must also purchase a Winter Bow buck tag.
- Hunters must adhere to the 2018 Winter Bow Season regulations, as well as all other statutes, rules and regulations as promulgated and administered by the State of New Jersey through the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
- The Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association will provide the City of Plainfield with a Certificate of Liability Insurance in the amount of $5 million, naming the City as an additional insured.
- Each hunter will also be required to possess $1 million of general liability insurance, and to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement.
Program Length and Hours
- The Winter Bow Season extends from January 1 to February 17, 2018. Hunting may occur on all weekdays within that period. There will be no hunting on Saturdays and Sundays.
- The Cushing Road Detention Basin is otherwise closed to hunting at all times.
- Shooting may occur between noon and ½ hour after sunset. Hunters may be in the park before and after those hours to set up their tree stands or to remove deer carcasses.
Selection and Qualification of Hunters
- Participants must be members of the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association and must meet the following qualifications:
- be at least 21 years old;
- be able to speak and understand the English language;
- possess a valid NJ Bow Hunting or All-Around Sportsman License;
- have not been convicted of any firearms violation, in any state, in the last 10 years or of any fish and game code violation in the last 5 years;
- have at least 5 years successful experience in hunting white-tailed deer with a bow;
- be able to demonstrate an expertise in marksmanship; and
- possess and be comfortable with using a portable tree stand at a height of 20 feet or more.
- Baiting stations will be set up in several locations throughout the Cushing Road Detention Basin, carefully selected to provide the shooter with a clear and open view of the deer.
- Hunters must utilize a crossbow. Crossbows are chosen for their surgical precision and accuracy during the frigid Winter Bow season.
- All shooting will occur from tree stands, shooting near or over bait, at a height of at least 20 feet.
- No shots may be taken from ground level.
- Hunting may not take place within 150 feet of any structure.
- Shots are limited to 20 yards.
- Hunters must provide their own climbing-type tree stands.
- Safety harnesses must be worn.
- Up to 3 hunters may be deployed into the Cushing Road Detention Basin at any one time.
- Hunters will not be restricted as to the number of antlerless deer each individual can harvest.
- The hunter must report any deer killed to the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife through its Automated Harvest Report System, and must be authorized by that system before killing more than two deer.
- The Cushing Road Detention Basin is completely undeveloped, and will not be closed during deer management activities.
- The County will provide notification to adjoining homeowners and the community-at-large through signage, a press release, and printed literature.
- The Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association will be responsible for all costs, including licenses, permits, insurance, equipment, and butchering.
- The County of Union will provide 30 bags of whole corn for bait.
- If the deer carcasses are donated to a food bank through a State-approved butcher, the cost of butchering will be paid by the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program.
Disposition of Deer
- Each harvested deer will be transported to a secure site where the hunter will eviscerate the deer.
- If a hunter wants to keep the deer carcass, he may do so. He can butcher the carcass himself or have it butchered professionally, at his own expense.
- If no hunter wants to keep the carcass, he may donate it to the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program through a State-approved butcher.
- On a daily basis, the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association will provide a report to the County that summarizes the results of deer management activity on the previous day, including, at a minimum, the number of Association members who hunted, the hours that they hunted, the number of deer killed, the sex of those deer, and the disposition of the carcasses.