New Jersey Has Too Many Whitetail Deer?

New Jersey lawmakers are trying to find solutions to a problem whitetail deer population estimated at 120-140 per square mile.

New Jersey Has Too Many Whitetail Deer?

Calling the whitetail deer situation an epidemic, and with farmers clamoring for help, the New Jersey legislature is hearing proposals for solutions to ease the problems.

Many believe New Jersey is “the shore” and little else, but the Garden State has a booming whitetail population. That, combined with the human population and agriculture, creates widespread problems with millions of dollars annually in vehicle crashes and crop damage. That doesn’t take into account the public health problems with Lyme disease transmitted by ticks that use the deer as hosts.

“There is no easy answer of how to take care of this issue,” said Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, D-Cape May, chairman of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “It’s going to take more than just one answer.”

Ryck Suydam, president of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, told New Jersey 101.5 that farmers need help. He said a third of the state’s farms the bureau surveyed reported at least $10,000 annually in damage. Five percent reported more than $50,000 in damage.

“The whitetail deer has become an epidemic,” Suydam said. “That’s a tough word, but if you drive a car in New Jersey, I think you’re going to agree with me.”

Suydam said the Farm Bureau is using drones to estimate the population and believes New Jersey has 120-140 deer per square mile.

Deer hunters in New Jersey relish the sight of a whitetail, but farmers and others would prefer the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife dramatically reduce deer herd numbers. (All images courtesy of New Jersey DFW Facebook.)
Deer hunters in New Jersey relish the sight of a whitetail, but farmers and others would prefer the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife dramatically reduce deer herd numbers. (All images courtesy of New Jersey DFW Facebook.)
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