To help control the deer population and further State efforts to combat hunger in New Jersey, legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Bruce Land to encourage hunters to donate venison to feed the hungry was approved Monday by the full Assembly, 68-8-1.
“It’s no secret that a lot of people live in New Jersey – and so do a lot of deer,” said Land (D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland). “There are an estimated 125,000 white-tailed deer in the State, and that number will continue to rise as deer reproduce as many as three times each year. It makes sense for us to develop a way for residents who enjoy hunting recreationally to help control the deer population and make a positive contribution to their community.”
The bill (A-3242) would expand current law relating to deer depredation control activities; add a statewide, general prohibition against the feeding of deer; clarify the law pertaining to deer baiting; and establish a uniform procedure by which monetary donations can be made by hunters to the non-profit Hunters Helping the Hungry.
Under the measure, a special account to be known as the “Hunters Helping the Hungry Fund” would be created within the State’s “hunters’ and anglers’ license fund.” The fund would support Hunters Helping the Hungry, which works with regional food banks to provide residents facing hunger with nutritious, high-protein venison meat donated by deer hunters.
“Hunting is a sport, but it can also be used to help people in need,” said Land. “This bill will give hunters the unique opportunity to make a difference.”
The measure now awaits further action in the Senate.