Stop the Saddle River Deer and Coyote Hunt

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I oppose the Mayor & Council’s recent Resolution to bring lethal weapons to Saddle River to kill deer and coyotes.

Saddle River deer are not biologically overpopulated. The local deer, who have not been hunted, are stable. There is no urgent need for a hunt other than that engineered by hunter and Councilman Paul Schulstad and others eager for Saddle River to be “the gateway” for hunters in Bergen County.

The Cary Institute is one of the largest ecological programs in the world. The Institute’s Tick Project partners include The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tick Project scientists have repeatedly warned that white-tailed deer are not a major factor in Lyme, and that hunting does not reduce risk.

Hunters in New Jersey have shot into infant’s bedrooms and into cars, wounding toddlers. They have shot companion cats and dogs.

The hunters on the Council are going against its own voters. Despite 59 percent of Saddle River voters choosing non-lethal alternatives, the council has chosen to bring lethal weapons to our community. Mayor Kurpis, a hunter, has said that when it comes to killing deer, he is on a “learning curve.

• Our children and pets are at risk of being shot
• Lowered property values
• Our bucolic way of life threatened
• Homeowners responsible for accidental injury or death no matter how much coverage hunters carry
• It’s a public relations nightmare for Saddle River

Saddle River residents voted for non-lethal. The town council should honor that. The Division of Fish and Wildlife’s denial for a surgical sterilization plan was only one method. There are dozens of nonlethal methods available to reduce conflicts with deer and other wildlife.

Studies have shown that hunting does not work to manage the deer population, while nonlethal methods are effective in reducing deer fertility, Lyme Disease, landscape damage, and car/deer collisions.

Overall, nonlethal methods are effective, safe, and humane.