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Officials Discuss Deer Population Control

While there is agreement on need to trim number of deer, officials are uncertain how to do it.

At the Berkeley Heights Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, Council member Edward Delia led a discussion on reducing the number of deer in Berkeley Heights. 

Delia noted that a deer population management effort was being made by county officials, specifically in Watchung Reservation. He said that  the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission recommended that township officials request that the county work to reduce the deer population in Berkeley Heights parks. 

Environmental Commission members have become concerned about a surplus of deer in the area because the deer eat small trees. Delia said that it's a long-festering issue.

"I've never seen the deer issue addressed in Berkeley Heights as long as I've been here," Delia said. "We need to put something together to ask the county."

He said that there are places in town willing to take in the deer carcasses and render them safe to be served as venison.

He said that while the county is actively trimming the deer population in county parks, the problem of deer on private property is more complicated.

"If it's on private property, who deals with it," Delia asked.

While Berkeley Heights Mayor Joseph Bruno agreed that the deer population needed to be controlled, he emphasized the issue was complicated.

"The parks we have are not huge," he said, adding that he was wary of "guys with high powered rifles" in town.

The council agreed to return to the issue at a later meeting.

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