SCOTCH PLAINS – The Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal has released details of the Ash Brook Reservation Deer Management Program, which will begin on Thursday, January 19 and continue through Saturday, February 11.
This program is intended to reduce the white-tailed deer population in the Ash Brook Reservation and Golf Course in an attempt to minimize overbrowsing of the forested parkland, reduce browse damage on the landscape plantings of surrounding homes, reduce the incidence of deer-related motor vehicle accidents, and lessen the occurrence of Lyme disease.
A wildlife management contractor hired by the Township of Scotch Plains removed 241 deer from the Ash Brook Reservation between 2006 and 2009. In 2010, licensed hunters from the Cranford Rod & Gun Club removed eight deer, and in 2011 they harvested 22 deer.
This year, seven members of the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association have been authorized to participate in this program and have completed a marksmanship test. Those hunters, using shotguns at baited sites, will remove deer from various areas of the park, including the Golf Course. The venison that is processed from some of the harvested deer will be distributed to the needy and homeless through the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Weather permitting, hunters may be in the Ash Brook Reservation every day except Sunday. Shooting may only occur during daylight hours.
Participation in this program is limited to the seven members of the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association. Anyone else found hunting on this Union County park property outside the terms of this program will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Citizens observing any illegal activity at any time are urged to immediately contact the Union County Police at 908-654-9800.
The public should note that the Ash Brook Reservation and the Ash Brook Golf Course will not be closed during the deer management program. Park users and neighbors are encouraged to stay out of the wooded areas during that time period and to keep pets restrained on a leash.
Click here to view the program guidelines.
For further information, contact the Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal at (908) 789-3682.
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