Tags: Gun Control | hunting | New Jersey | invasive species | regulations

Hunting in New Jersey: 4 Invasive Species to New Jersey and Its Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 01:09 AM

Hunting is more than a pastime — it serves a useful purpose in managing wildlife populations in New Jersey, ensuring the animals don’t overrun their food supply or cause problems for people. While this is important for deer and other native creatures, it’s crucial for keeping the state safe from seriously invasive species.

Even for killing invasive species, New Jersey requires hunters to have licenses, and most species also need additional permits and may only be hunted in season. Here are some of the invaders that New Jersey hunters are encouraged to take out.
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  1. Feral Hogs (Sus scrofa) - These destructive descendents of escaped domestic pigs crossed with Eurasian wild boars released by hunters began devastating New Jersey about 25 years ago. The bristly backed swine destroy the habitats of native wildlife and damage native plants and crops through eating, rooting, trampling, digging, and defecating. They endanger both animals and people with their aggressive habits and potentially spread disease. 

In 2001, a sounder of feral porkers ravaged the greens at White Oaks Country Club golf course in Newfield, and in 2009, the Division of Fish and Wildlife authorized its first hog hunt. Licensed hunters are now permitted to shoot feral swine in designated areas around Gloucester County during deer season. Any pigs killed must be reported and checked by DFW.
  2. Eastern Coyotes (Canis latrans) - These wild relatives of dogs started showing up in New Jersey in the 1930s, likely western coyotes that migrated east and mated with native gray wolves. Coyotes eat rodents and are mainly troublesome in urban areas where they may cause property damage and threaten pets, although they may also prey on small livestock such as chickens.

 Hunting coyotes requires a separate permit, but they may also be shot by licensed turkey hunters if encountered while hunting turkeys. If you kill a coyote, you must notify a Fish and Wildlife Regional Law Enforcement Office within 24 hours.
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  4. Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) - The Redcoats apparently brought these foxes from England with them in Colonial days, because native foxes didn’t provide enough sport. Like the native gray foxes, they prey on livestock such as poultry, rabbits and young lambs, as well as small pets. 

New Jersey still has a few hunt clubs whose members don “pink” coats and ride to hounds, chasing a fox on horseback, but these hunts are more about the equestrian exercise than killing foxes. Fox hunting with guns, bows, or traps there are specific seasons in New Jersey and permits are required.
  5. Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) - There are three subspecies of Canada goose: Atlantic, North Atlantic, and Resident. The first two are just migrants passing through; the larger Resident geese stick around all year and are just as apt to be found outside office building retention ponds and on golf courses as in the wild. New Jersey has a population of more than 85,000 Canada Geese. They can be aggressive, they leave messy droppings, and they can be a hazard at airports.

To control its Resident goose population, New Jersey has an extra, early fall hunting season with looser regulations than its regular waterfowl season. The timing ensures migratory geese aren’t targeted.
This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Hunting is more than a pastime - it serves a useful purpose in managing wildlife populations in New Jersey, ensuring the animals don't overrun their food supply or cause problems for people.
hunting, New Jersey, invasive species, regulations
Thursday, 28 May 2015 01:09 AM
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