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Shit Head DeNicola

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  • Pat Scala
    Culling of deer ends for the year (The Times of Trenton) Friday, March 10, 2006By ROBERT STERNStaff Writer PRINCETON TOWNSHIP -- The sixth annual thinning of
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 12, 2006
      Culling of deer ends for the year (The Times of Trenton)

      Friday, March 10, 2006By ROBERT STERNStaff Writer


      The sixth annual thinning of the township's troublesome deer population
      wrapped up
      Wednesday night with more than 150 deer killed, but the remaining deer
      likely out of the woods yet.

      The local deer herd remains large enough to warrant additional culls next
      year and beyond, said Tony DeNicola, the Yale University-educated wildlife
      biologist who heads the township's deer-management contractor, White Buffalo
      Inc. of

      DeNicola said White Buffalo killed 151 deer in the township this winter,
      bringing its tally of deer culled since it began working for the township to


      That's equivalent to the mid-range of the township's total estimated deer
      population of 1,300 to 1,600 at the onset of White Buffalo's first cull in

      DeNicola estimated yesterday the township still has about 350 to 400 deer,
      meaning there was little, if any change from the estimate at the end of last

      winter's cull.

      "We're kind of in a maintenance mode" of essentially keeping the deer
      population from rebounding rather than winnowing it much below current
      DeNicola said.

      He said he bases the latest estimate in part on an aerial deer count done at

      the end of 2004, as well as reproduction rates, the number of deer killed in

      collisions with vehicles on township roads and the number White Buffalo
      over the past two years.

      The firm has a contract under which it gets up to $60,000 from the township
      for this year's deer-management services. The contract covers both the
      component and an ongoing deer birth-control treatment that is in its fourth
      year in a more than 2-square-mile area of the township where neither killing
      sports hunting takes place.

      The birth-control trial, handled in partnership with Rutgers University
      researchers, last year switched to a different experimental contraceptive
      after the initial test vaccine appeared unreliable as a multiyear treatment,

      DeNicola said.

      The township's deer-management plan, since its inception, was tailored to
      reduce the number of deer-vehicle collisions on local roads, help restore
      deer-damaged wooded underbrush, protect residents' gardens and limit the
      spread of
      Lyme disease.

      The township reported a 61 percent decline in deer-vehicle collisions within

      its borders from 2000, when there were 342 such accidents, to 2004, when
      were 133.

      DeNicola said he was told the number dropped even further in 2005, when
      were 100 such accidents. The Times could not immediately confirm that figure

      with the township late yesterday.

      Animal-rights advocates have objected to the deer-management plan,
      criticizing it as extreme and inhumane and contest the township's
      expectations it will
      effectively control the deer population in the long run.

      But once-common protests and lawsuits against the deer culling have faded in

      recent years.

      Even so, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
      (NJSPCA) this week called for a statewide moratorium on one particularly
      controversial culling method used in the township. The NJSPCA labeled that

      method "cruel and not an acceptable form of euthanasia."

      Although White Buffalo and other wildlife-management outfits have used the
      so-called "net-and-bolt" method to cull deer outside New Jersey, Princeton
      Township is the only place in the state so far where it has been allowed.
      Under net-and-bolt, deer are killed at point-blank range after being lured
      bait sites, trapped in a net dropped from above and restrained by a team of
      wildlife-management specialists.

      The captured deer dies when one of the specialists presses a "bolt gun"
      against its head and fires a metal bolt into its skull.

      Some 335 deer, or about 23 percent, of the 1,451 animals White Buffalo has
      culled in the township died through the net-and-bolt method, including 12
      winter, according to figures from the state and DeNicola.

      The remaining deer White Buffalo has killed died in the open, shot by
      sharpshooters with rifles.

      The NJSPCA this week issued a statement urging the state Fish and Game
      Council to bar the net-and-bolt method as a wildlife-management tool, at
      least until
      some expert panel can conduct a more thorough review of the practice.
      Karen Hershey, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental
      Protection, which includes the Fish and Game Council, said Tuesday that the
      request for a moratorium needed to be reviewed before she could comment on

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