12 December 2008

Top Billing

It's lonely at the top - the top of the food chain, that is. And it's about to get a bit lonelier now that Hillsborough Township has proposed allowing the taking of coyote and fox during the township's deer season. Hunters have been asking about other game, and this proposed ordinance will make it possible to add these predators, and others that are already approved for hunting by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife.

It was just about a year and a half ago that I wrote about Hillsborough's changes to its deer hunting season and the booming deer population. White-tailed deer are not the only species that have staged a remarkable comeback in New Jersey. The coyote population, which numbered about 100 just three decades ago, is now at 3000. Of course that is nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands of deer that now reside in our state, but it is far from extinction.

While coyote and fox both pose threats to livestock, spread mange, and carry rabies, they pose much less threat to humans and our property than deer. What the increased population of coyote and fox does accomplish is that it makes recreational hunting of these animals sustainable.

And, of course, that ensures we humans remain at the top of the bill!

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