New Jersey Assembly Bill 4182 (A4182) clarifies deer baiting laws and transfers baiting authority to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, expands laws relating to hunting to control animals that damage crops to include forested lands, and establishes a uniform procedure by which monetary donations can be made by hunters to Hunters Helping the Hungry. All three provisions further advance the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting.
Please consider joining the National Deer Association (NDA) in supporting Assembly Bill 4182. The legislation gives the Division of Fish and Wildlife the authority to regulate baiting, includes important forest management tools and provides updated and efficient procedures to ensure continued funding for New Jersey’s ever-important Hunters Helping the Hungry program. CLICK HERE to ask your lawmakers to support A4182.
The NDA is dedicated to ensuring the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting. A4182 advances all three through several important provisions. First, the bill clarifies deer baiting laws and transfers baiting authority to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. The NDA believes that deer management decisions should be left to the agencies responsible for managing the resource, and A4182 gives regulatory authority over deer baiting to the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Second, A4182 allows the Division of Fish and Wildlife to authorize a landowner, lessee or those they grant permission to engage in deer depredation control activities on forested land that is the subject of a forest stewardship plan, forest management plan, or woodland management plan. The bill requires the owner or lessee of land to provide evidence that deer damage has occurred on the land within the preceding 12 months. The owner or lessee of the forested land must submit evidence from a forester that the nature and extent of deer damage within the preceding 12 months interferes with the goals of the woodland management plan, forest management plan, or forest stewardship plan. Presently, programs are only in place for agricultural lands, and the expansion to forested lands provides deer and habitat managers an additional tool to better manage both.
Finally, A4182 establishes the Hunters Helping the Hungry Fund. The bill would require each new application or renewal application for a recreational hunting license, depredation control permit, or special deer management permit, or on any other hunting or fishing license or permit issued, to provide the applicant with the opportunity to indicate that the applicant wishes to donate to the Hunters Helping the Hungry Fund. State-based programs like Hunters Helping the Hungry have been proven successful at turning excess venison from hunters into meals for those in need. The perpetuation of these programs is incredibly important to deer management programs and our hunting heritage.