Oh, deer! NJ ready for hunting season to keep numbers in check
There may be more deer on the road than you're used to in the coming months, but hunting season is right around the corner as well.
According to Dan Roberts, deer project leader for the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, fawn production had a healthy year in the Garden State.
The mating process starts back up again when the colder temperatures roll in later this year, making for a few dangerous months behind the wheel. But you may already be seeing plenty of deer out and about during your commute to and from work.
"At this point in time, they're moving through different areas in their home range, looking for various food sources," Roberts said. "So we're seeing them on agricultural fields and definitely in suburban neighborhoods."
The state's latest deer population estimate, based on deer that were harvested during the regulated hunting season, put the number around 100,500.
But that does not include fawn production over the past year, or deer that reside in non-hunting areas in the state.
The deer population has decreased significantly over the past decade or so by design, Roberts said.
Officials estimated there were more than 200,000 deer in the early 2000s. That's when the state extended efforts to control the population.
The 2016-2017 deer hunting season is less than a month away. It's separated into segments, and weapons, from Sept. 10 to Jan. 1.
More than 41,000 deer were harvested during the 2015-2016 hunting season, according to the state.
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