NJ ban on commercial deer hunting likely to stay in place

A New Jersey lawmaker’s proposal to lift the state’s ban on commercial deer hunting has stalled in the legislature.

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, R-Monmouth, introduced the bill in March over concerns about deer-related traffic accidents and Lyme disease.

But the chairman of the Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources committee said no further action is planned on the measure due to a lack of support.

The proposal is unnecessary and would be detrimental, said Pola Galie, president of the New Jersey Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.

Lifting the ban on commercial hunting would crowd out hunters who already are hemmed in by regulations, she said.

“If we had additional access for hunters to legitimately harvest the deer, there would be less of a problem,” she said of the concerns about Lyme disease and collisions. “There’s so much property right now where hunting is not allowed, parks, municipalities.”

As the deer mating season continues for another month,  officials are urging drivers to be cautious when noticing one deer because the animals often chase each other across roadways, contributing to  tens of thousands of motor vehicle accidents in the state each year.

The state Department of Transportation spends about $230,000 a year — or about $37 per carcass — to remove dead deer from highways.

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