[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Chester 12-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-08; amended in its entirety 8-14-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-10. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Open space — See Ch. 172.
The goal of the management program is to manage the deer population on Borough-owned open space land without excessively conflicting with open space users and/or neighbors. The specific objective of the program is to reduce the population of white-tailed deer on Borough-owned tracts, and to reduce agricultural crop damage and motor vehicle accidents with deer. The program is designed to decrease the deer herd population on municipal lands in a manner consistent with state regulations.
Although the presence of hunters on open space areas does not present a real danger to visitors based on hunting accident statistics, enjoyment for many visitors is reduced by the known presence of hunters, by the sight of hunters, and by the sight of dead deer or deer viscera. This chapter is intended to balance hunting and management activities with continued passive recreational uses of municipal owned lands.
The Borough hereby designates three hunting areas located on the Borough-owned open space lands located at 50 North Road, Chester Borough. Two of the hunting areas shall be reserved for hunting by Borough residents. The third hunting area shall be a management area with hunting limited to Borough employees, and controlled by the Borough Department of Public Works supervisor.
White-tailed deer hunting will be open on said Borough land for three specific seasons as established by the New Jersey Fish and Game Council, and as further established annually by the Borough via resolution adopted by the Borough governing body.
A limited number of hunting permits will be available for Borough-owned land by Borough residents. The Borough shall issue no more than two permits for each season to Borough residents by lottery for use of the two of the zoned hunting areas. Once an individual's name has been drawn from the lottery for a particular season, that individual cannot be redrawn for other hunting seasons during that year's hunting season, unless there are less than two applications submitted for the seasonal permit lottery.
Hunting is limited to bow and arrow and crossbow only. There shall be no hunting permitted on Borough-owned property with a firearm of any kind.
All hunters applying for a municipal hunting permit must possess all appropriate licenses and zone permits issued by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife for white-tailed deer hunting in the aforesaid Borough land assigned to each hunter with a Borough-controlled hunting permit.
A single permit is valid for one hunting season.
The cost for each permit cost be $25 and shall be paid within five days of notification that the permit applicant has been selected in the lottery. No permit fee shall be required of a municipal employee.
All state hunting regulations, licensing requirements and permit requirements shall be in effect on Borough-owned lands open to hunting. Hunters are responsible for obtaining and learning state regulations and Borough open space regulations. All hunters acquiring a Borough-controlled hunting permit shall attend a mandatory, preseason safety awareness meeting to be announced when hunting permits are issued. Hunters seeking a Borough permit shall be at least 21 years of age, with no criminal history, a valid license from State Fish and Wildlife, and pass a designated proficiency test.
Hunters shall be required to park their designated vehicles in appropriate parking lots and shall display a parking placard issued by the Borough in the front windshield. Hunters shall carry the required permits at all times while hunting on these lands and shall produce the permits for spot check inspection by officials of the Chester Police Department and/or the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. Hunters shall contact the Borough's Public Works supervisor and sign the hunter's logbook each time they arrive for and depart from hunting activity. When hunters take a deer on Borough property, they shall report the date of taking, and size and sex information, together with a photograph of the deer and tag, to the Borough's Public Works supervisor at the conclusion of their hunting activity.
The use and/or construction of permanent tree stands are prohibited. Hunters found using a permanent tree stand will be subject to prosecution pursuant to Subsection E herein and termination of the permit issued. Portable tree stands are allowed, but are used or left unattended at the user's risk. The permit holder's name and permit number must be on the stand in an obvious location. Screw-in tree steps must be removed at the end of the permit season or when the tree stand is moved. Deer feeders are permitted, but must be removed by the final day of the hunter's permit.
Possession of a permit to hunt on Borough-owned land does not give hunters permission to cross private property. Hunters are responsible for knowing the boundaries of Borough land, as well as safety zones.
Hunters in the controlled hunting program who receive summonses for hunting violations committed on Borough-owned park lands will have their hunting privileges revoked for two years and face a fine of up to $1,000. Hunting privileges will be permanently revoked for a second offense and face a fine of up to $2,000.
Nonhunting visitors are encouraged to wear blaze orange and confine visits to Sundays during the hunting season.
Hunters shall be required to shoot one antlerless deer before shooting an antlered deer (buck).
As a condition of issue of permit, each hunter shall be required to execute a release to the Borough of Chester.
Lotteries required pursuant to this chapter shall be conducted by the Borough Clerk from qualified applicants.
Hunters shall remove all entrails and visera from Borough property and properly dispose of same off premises.
The hunting of white tail deer by Borough employees shall be subject to all of the limitations, restrictions, and requirements of this chapter, unless it is stated therein they are exempt. Borough employee permits are further subject to the foregoing:
No more than three municipal employee hunting permits shall be issued by lottery for each of the three hunting seasons established above.
Only one municipal employee shall be permitted to hunt on Borough property on any given date. If two or more employees wish to hunt on the same day, one employee shall be selected by lottery.