Thursday, June 25, 2009

SPECIAL REPORT: All You Need to Know About Deer Exclosure Construction

The website has just posted an excellent report entitled "Deer Exclosures: A Comprehensive Practical Guide." The report has excellent photos and drawings, and provides five levels of cost and quality for different types of fencing. I highly recommend the report.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

NEW JERSEY NEWS: Park Employee-Only Hunt Shot Down

A plan to allow only Monmouth County Park System employees to participate in a special "culling" deer hunt next winter at Tatum Park is dead, although hunts open to the public will continue.

A storm of complaints from excluded sportsmen as well as opposition from the anti-hunting community led the county Board of Recreation Commissioners to defeat the employee-only hunt resolution in a split vote Monday night.

The seven residents who spoke during the public hearing mostly ridiculed the idea of park system employees hunting for deer while on the taxpayer's clock, and Commissioner Kevin Mandeville agreed, saying, "I am totally opposed to paying staff to hunt."

The vote was 6-3 against the resolution. Siding with Mandeville were Frederick C. Kniesler, Michael G. Harmon, Violeta Peters, N. Britt Raynor, and Michael W. Brim. Voting in favor of the employee-only hunt were board Chairman Edward J. Loud, Thomas E. Hennessy Jr. and Fred J. Rummel.

However, the commissioners unanimously approved all other elements of the deer management plan for the coming year, which allows deer hunting to continue in the same 15 park areas as last season. The hunts will begin in October at various scheduled times over a 4 1/2-month period and take place in parks in Middletown, Marlboro, Millstone Township, Upper Freehold, Howell, Roosevelt, Holmdel, Wall, Tinton Falls, Neptune and Freehold Township.

New to the program is the establishment of a $20 fee for a so-called deer harvest access permit. Officials said that the revenue is needed because of the county's budget woes and that the money can also offset "program expenses," though they conceded that people who were infrequent hunters in the past may be unlikely to sign up for the permit.

West Long Branch resident Gerard P. Natale, who is an official with several sportsmen's clubs, said hunters already pay for use of the parks through their tax dollars and shouldn't have to pay an additional fee.

"I'm a Monmouth County resident," said Steve Ferrara, Red Bank. "If someone from Ocean County wants to hunt here and you want to charge them, I guess it's OK, but don't charge your own county residents."

Harmon said the fees will be primarily used to ensure program safety.

"We're trying to cover some of the expenses. Maybe you don't see or notice it, but the park rangers are there monitoring you and protecting other people using the park. We appreciate your health and safety, and $20 is nominal for that," Harmon said.

Source: Asbury Park Press

IOWA NEWS: Municipality Allows Public Bow Hunting to Reduce Deer Numbers

Beginning later this summer, qualified Johnston residents concerned about a high deer population in the city will be able to take matters into their own hands.

As in past years, the city of Johnston is making plans to allow bow hunting in the community between September and January. Under regulations that will be established by the City Council, some residents will be able to hunt deer in certain locations inside city limits.

City administrator Jim Sanders said city staff members have been fielding increased concerns this year about the local deer population.

"The primary concerns are damage caused to plants and gardens, and concerns about deer near the traveled portion of roadways," Sanders said.

The specific dates for this year's hunt will be established by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the council will determine in August or September the areas in which hunting will be allowed, Sanders said.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, deer hunters harvested about 4,000 fewer deer in the most recent season than during the previous season's harvesting of 142,194 statewide.

On its Web site, the Polk County Conservation Board reports deer populations are reaching threatening levels in some parts of the county. When deer populations exceed 20 deer per square mile, overuse of the natural vegetation can lead to destruction of the forest understory, and without a native vegetative habitat, many other species of wildlife may not be able to remain in the area.

In addition to wildlife-related concerns and property damage, deer-vehicle collisions have increased by two-thirds in Polk County during the past 20 years, resulting in greater numbers of personal injuries and higher costs to repair and replace vehicles involved in those collisions, the conservation site said.

Johnston joins Urbandale, West Des Moines, Des Moines, Clive, Pleasant Hill and Polk County in allowing bow hunting in city limits during a designated time frame, Sanders added.

According to permit regulations for last year's hunt, applicants for bow hunting in Johnston must be at least 18 years old and meet the following requirements:

- Possess a valid deer-hunting license from the DNR

- Pass an approved International Bow Hunters' Education Foundation safety education course

- Pass a bow-hunting proficiency test with a score of at least 80 of a total 100 points

- Obtain written permission from the owner of the private property on which he or she wants to hunt. The property must be located within a "deer-management zone" as established by resolution of the City Council.

- Take all bow and arrow shots from an elevated stand and shoot no further than 75 feet

- Refrain from shooting within 300 feet of any street, road, school or electrical facility; within 200 feet of a home or building; or within 100 feet of any recreational trail or bike path.

- Recover and remove all deer carcasses shot

- Follow Iowa DNR hunting guidelines

- Adhere to designated shooting hours, a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset

- Refrain from stalking or driving deer

- Wear a blaze-orange hat when entering and exiting the hunting area, and carry the bow in a case to and from the stand

- Report to the city all deer taken within city limits.

Source: DesMoines Register