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Northern Highlands Towns Wrestle With Deer Overpopulation

Communities across Bergen County are seeking solutions to the overcrowded deer population.
Communities across Bergen County are seeking solutions to the overcrowded deer population. Photo Credit: Linda Moran

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. -- Officials are asking residents to complete a survey regarding deer management as a way to help determine areas where limited or no population control is taking place, according to NorthJersey.com.

The state Department of Environmental Protection said the information collected by the survey, which is open to all New Jersey residents, will also be used to identify areas where outreach efforts and education are needed, said NewJersey.com.

The survey is available at: www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/2014/deer_survey14.htm

Upper Saddle River Mayor Joanne Minichetti said there were differing opinions on both sides of the issue, with many residents enjoying living side-by-side with deer and others considering them a nuisance, NewJersey.com added.

A lack of natural predators mixed with heavy planting for the deers to eat has led to an unchecked population, said the NewJersey.com.

Officials in many towns say the deer cause traffic hazards and increase the risk of tick-borne diseases, NewJersey.com said.

Officials in Saddle River said they are considering whether they want to offer a controlled hunt to manage the deer population. But after receiving feedback from residents, the mayor and council said they would like additional public input before making a decision, NewJersey.com added.

Under the DEP's deer management program, towns and counties can apply for a permit in order to take action on control methods like capturing and removing, fertility control and controlled hunts, NewJersey.com said.

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