Many New Jerseyans view deer as menaces on the road; a statewide survey by the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll and the New Jersey Farm Bureau finds that a significant percentage of residents (39 percent) have been in an auto accident involving a deer or know of someone who has. The likelihood of unpleasant encounters with the ruminants goes way up — to 61 percent — for residents in the northwest of the state (Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties).
“Deer strikes on the roadways can cause fatalities,” said Farm Bureau president, Ryck Suydam. “That safety issue, plus millions of dollars in automobile damage each year create a demand for legislative action,” he said.
Deer are also given bad-neighbor awards for other transgressions, including damage to crops, landscape and woodlands. “…surplus deer ravage the state’s woodlands new growth,” said Peter Furey of the Farm Bureau. “Not enough people are talking about this environmental issue.”
New Jerseyans’ baleful view of Bambi and friends is underlined by one particular result in the survey: a majority (62 percent) of Garden State residents strongly support hunting as a way of controlling the state’s deer population, with men far more likely (76 percent) to favor it than women (48 percent).