Colts Neck officials will address feeding deer, hunting with two ordinances

COLTS NECK – Public hearings on ordinances that will, if adopted, update Colts Neck’s municipal code regarding the hunting and feeding of white-tailed deer are expected to be held during the Nov. 13 meeting of the Township Committee.

Residents may comment on and ask questions about the ordinances during the public hearings. Committee members may adopt the ordinances following the public hearings.

The first ordinance to be considered proposes removing language limiting the discharge of a weapon or firearm on parcels 3 acres or larger for the purposes of hunting and replacing that language with language limiting hunting to bow and arrow hunting from an elevated position at least 10 feet above the ground.

The proposed ordinance includes language, which states that “if a hunter is hunting on a parcel that is the aggregated contiguous acreage of more than one owner, the hunter must have the written and dated permission of all of the property owners, which shall be in the hunter’s possession while hunting.”

The second ordinance to be considered would, if adopted, amend the municipal code referring to the prohibition of feeding wildlife in Colts Neck.

If adopted, the ordinance would amend the municipal code to include the following statement: “To additionally prohibit the feeding of white-tailed deer anywhere within Colts Neck, including without limitation upon private property, so as to protect the public health, safety and welfare and to prescribe penalties for failure to comply. No person shall feed white-tailed deer on any property within Colts Neck, including publicly or privately owned property, without limitation.”

“I am philosophically opposed to enacting ordinances or laws that are difficult, if not impossible to enforce, and I think this (ordinance) falls under that category,” Committeeman Russell Macnow said when the ordinance was introduced.

“I have been persuaded by conversations I have had with different folks. We need to make sure our residents understand that provocating white-tailed deer in this town is a bad idea. The amendment to the ordinance hopefully sends that message, whether or not it will be enforced.

“Residents need to understand that feeding the deer is a bad idea. Biologically, it doesn’t do anything, and it helps provocate the species, it spreads Lyme disease and it increases the risk of more vehicle accidents. It is not my favorite way to go about this, but it sends the right message,” Macnow said.