Deer management to continue through new year

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The Mercer County Park Commission has been approved for a Community Based Deer Management (CBDM) permit from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

The CBDM permit allows for additional opportunities to improve forest understory and the overall ecological condition of natural areas through deer reductions beyond standard state hunting regulations. Reducing deer overpopulation also improves public safety by reducing deer-vehicle collisions, according to a release through Mercer County.

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No CBDM hunting will occur in areas that participate in the County’s traditional deer management hunting program until after the regular season concludes. The additional measures permitted in the CBDM program will allow a professional culling firm to perform management activities during an extended season through March 31 at Howell Farm, County owned golf courses including Mountain View, Hopewell Valley, Princeton Country Club, Mercer Oaks East and West, and select regions of Mercer Meadows in Hopewell Township. Management activities approved in the Park Commission’s permit include deer harvest by crossbow and firearm, culling during evening hours, and periodic closures for culling outside of the traditional state hunting season through March 31, 2024.

At Mercer Meadows, the Curlis Woods region is included in the permit. Beginning Feb. 19, 2024, this area will allow for crossbow culling Monday through Saturday through March 31 until 9 p.m. The Curlis Woods region will remain open to the public during this period of crossbow hunting. Park users are advised to remain on trails and wear bright colored clothing. All culling activity will take place from an elevated tree stand with a 75-foot safety buffer in place on either side of all county-recognized trails.

The Curlis Woods region will be closed to the public for shotgun culling on:

Wednesdays from Feb. 21 through March 27.

At County-owned golf courses including Princeton Country Club, Mountain View and Hopewell Valley Golf Courses, the permit allows for crossbow culling to take place in the new year, Monday through Saturday, from sunrise until 9 p.m. Jan. 1 though March 31. At Mercer Oaks East and West golf courses, crossbow culling may occur starting Feb. 19 through March 31. The golf courses will be closed to the public during shotgun culling.

Golf courses will be closed to the public for shotgun culling as follows:

Hopewell Valley closed Jan. 1-31.

Mercer Oaks East Feb. 19-29.

Mountain View closed Feb. 1-29.

At Howell Farm, the permit allows for extended evening culling (sunset through 9 p.m.) Jan. 29 through March 31. Beginning in January, bow culling may take place Monday through Saturday, from sunrise to 9 p.m. until March 31. Howell Farm will be closed to the public during shotgun culling.

Howell Farm will be closed to the public for shotgun culling on:

Mondays Jan. 29 through March 31

Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 20 through March 29

The above dates do not include closures as part of the Park Commission’s existing deer management program. Please visit mercercountyparks.org for details on all closures for deer management.

More information can be found by visiting the Mercer County Park Commission’s Deer Management page.

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