Aiming to cut down on the number of deer roaming in Princeton, the Princeton Council has approved a contract with John Zampini and the Suburban Deer Management Association to hunt deer on municipally-owned land.
The Princeton Council approved the agreement during its Aug. 24 meeting.
Zampini has been providing this service to Princeton since 2016, with oversight by the Princeton Police Department.
Zampini, who is a recreational hunter, will oversee a group of volunteer recreational bow hunters to remove deer during the state-designated bow-hunting season, which runs from Sept. 12 to Feb. 20, 2021.
Zampini will assigned the hunters to specific properties. They will sit in tree stands and use a bow and arrow to kill the deer. They may use a cross bow, but firearms are prohibited.
The Suburban Deer Management Association and its hunters will not be paid for their services, but they will be reimbursed by the town for the direct costs they incur in processing the deer, up to $10,000.
The hunters may keep the deer that they kill, but any deer that are processed at the town’s expense and that they do not keep will be donated to a New Jersey food bank.
Zampini hand-selects bow hunters who have shown they have a superlative safety record, and who have shown they are able to remove large numbers of deer. Last year, they removed 40 deer from municipally-owned land.
The would-be deer hunters must pass a proficiency test. They must be able to shoot three out of four arrows inside a nine-inch circle from a standing position of at least 20 yards away from the target.
Under the agreement approved by the Princeton Council, hunting may take place daily, except Sundays and Christmas Day. Hunters may begin 30 minutes before sunrise and may continue to hunt until 30 minutes after sunset. However, no hunting is allowed on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The hunters will be allowed to hunt at eight municipally-owned properties, beginning with Fieldwood, which is a 25-acre park located between the Griggs Farm housing development and Cherry Hill Road. Hunting will be limited to two hunters at a time.
At the Woodfield Reservation, five bow hunters at a time will be allowed to hunt deer. The 114-acre park is located between Drakes Corner Road and the Old Great Road.
The Autumn Hill Reserve, which is 72 acres of land off Herrontown Road, will accommodate five bow hunters at a time.
At the Gulick Farm, two bow hunters can hunt at the same time. It consists of 28 acres between Herrontown Road and Dodds Lane.
Also, two bow hunters can hunt at the same time on 20 acres of land off Quaker Road, between Route 206 and Mercer Street. It is known as the Stony Brook/Quaker Road property.
The town owns 26 acres of land between Puritan Court and Pretty Brook Road, which will be open to three hunters.
And at Herrontown Woods Arboretum, five hunters at a time will be permitted to hunt deer. The 25-acre property is located off Herrontown Road.