NJ Town Mulls Changing Bow Hunting Ordinance; Some Residents Wary
COLTS NECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There is concern over how to get rid of deer in one Monmouth County town. Some have expressed fears over a new proposal that some said would bring hunters way too close to their homes.
Byron Loyer said he has been hunting for decades. His weapon of choice is a crossbow.
“They’re very efficient, very fast,” Loyer told CBS 2’s Alice Gainer on Wednesday.
He said he not only hunts for sport, but because of the increasing deer population.
“Right now I have a herd living behind my house that have devastated all my bushes and shrubbery,” Loyer said.
Ask anyone in Colts Neck and they’ll tell you what a nuisance deer are.
So about a year ago, the town started talking about how to control the issue and realized its 20-year local ordinance on bow hunting didn’t match with the state’s when it comes to distance.
So now the town will vote on whether or not to amend it.
If the change is voted through Wednesday night, instead of the required 450 feet away from buildings, hunters could now be just 150 feet away.
“To me, if three people shoot a crossbow at once and there’s kids playing in somebody’s backyard, it’s too close,” resident Pat Caputi said.
Angry homeowners have been voicing their concerns. Many are seemingly confused over whether or not changing the distance also means letting them hunt where they please.
“Obviously you have to have a hunting license. You would need permission of the property owner. I think that’s been a little bit lost in the discussion,” Colts Neck Mayor Michael Fitzgerald said.
You can’t hunt on municipal property, only on several farm properties if the owner allows it. Still, some homeowners said 450 feet is close enough.
But if the ordinance isn’t changed, some hunters said they’ll take aim at the town and take them to court.
The state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife said it won’t challenge whatever the town chooses to do and that the state’s law serves as a guideline.
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