Aiming to keep the deer population under control, Princeton Council has renewed its contract with White Buffalo, Inc. for deer management services for another year.
White Buffalo, Inc. has provided specialized deer management and removal services to the town since 2000. The Connecticut-based company was hired by the former Princeton Township, and then by the newly-consolidated Town of Princeton when the former Princeton Borough and the former Princeton Township merged in 2013.
Princeton Council awarded a contract for a maximum of $92,000 to White Buffalo, Inc. at its Aug. 5 meeting. White Buffalo, Inc. is a nonprofit research and management company that specializes in wildlife population control.
The contract calls for the deer management and removal services to be conducted on publicly-owned land. It may also conduct those services on privately-owned land in Princeton, provided that the landowner – and any neighbors whose homes are within 450 feet of the site – are agreeable.
The sites selected for deer removal are based on safety concerns, deer activity and landowner consent. White Buffalo, Inc. uses lethal and nonlethal methods to control the deer population.
The goal of the contract is to reduce the number of deer to reach the target of 250 deer, or 20 deer per square mile, according to the contract. The company estimated the deer population at 49 deer per square mile.
Deer removal efforts will begin in mid-January 2020, and will be conducted during the day and at night, but not on Sundays. As many as 175 deer will be butchered and the meat distributed to food banks.
In addition to White Buffalo, Inc.’s sharpshooters, Princeton plans to allow a small number of recreational bow hunters to hunt deer on town-owned land. The volunteer bow hunters will be under the supervision of the Princeton Police Department.
Between Sept. 14, 2019 and Feb. 15, 2020, the bow hunters will be allowed access to seven publicly-owned properties. The number of hunters per property at any time will limited – from two hunters to as many as five hunters, depending on the site.
Warning signs will be posted at the entrance to each site. Hunting will be permitted from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sundown. There will be no hunting on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., nor on Sundays and Christmas Day.
The bow hunters will be allowed access to Fieldwood, which is about 25 acres located between the Griggs Farm development and Cherry Hill Road.
They may also hunt on the Woodfield Reservation, which is 113 acres between Drakes Corner Road and the Old Great Road.
Hunting will be permitted on 72 acres in the Autumn Hill Reservation, off Herrontown Road, and at the Gulick Farm, which is about 27 acres between Herrontown Road and Dodds Lane, and at Herrontown Woods, off Herrontown Road.
And finally, the other areas on the list include 20 acres off Quaker Road, between Route 206 and Mercer Street, and a 26-acre area between Puritan Court and Pretty Brook Road.