Nonprofits Partner to Address Deer Problem

Are you on the fence about deer hunting?  If so, you’re not alone. Many New Jersey residents enjoy the beauty of this delicate native creature and thrill at the sight of a new spotted fawn, but realize that there are just too many.

The overpopulation of white-tailed deer has become an enormous problem. According to recent studies, the population in our area is currently eight to ten times what ecosystem can support. This means that in order to survive, the deer must eat more plants than the forest can produce. This is devastating for the other species that depend on the forest habitat to survive – including threatened and endangered animals, birds, amphibians and plants.

Deer overpopulation causes serious problems for humans, too. The decline of the forest impacts air and water quality. Automobile accidents involving deer are steadily increasing. Lyme disease, spread by ticks that rely on deer for reproduction, causes debilitating health problems for many local residents. Crop damage is an enormous issue for farmers and results in higher food costs for everyone. What can be done?

Two local nonprofits, the Sourland Conservancy and Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space have teamed up to address the issue. The result is “The Deer Stand,” a short documentary by filmmaker and former Sourland Conservancy trustee, Jared Flesher. The film’s premiere is scheduled for Tuesday, October 3rd from 7:15 to 9:00pm, at the newly-renovated Hopewell Theater. The film will be followed by a question and answer period and panel discussion. Audience participation is encouraged.

The panelists include Jared Flesher, documentary filmmaker and creator of The Creature Show; Lance Maloney, Hopewell Township Police Chief; Mike Van Clef, Stewardship Director of Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space; Chris Moran, new hunter; Brian Kubin, deer management hunter; Jon McConaughy, Founder Brick Farm Group; and Fiona Crawford, deer management course student.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit and click on events.

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