When Development Limits Hunter Access:
Controlled hunts using volunteer hunters can be carried out on parcels of only a few acres. Controlled sharpshooter hunts can be carried out on smaller parcels, often at night when these can be closed to the public. However in communities that are too highly developed for sport hunting (properties with less than one to half an acre of land or with no town owned open space) there are alternatives that can be considered. Each state has different regulations and the following are examples of options that are available in New Jersey:
"Net and Bolt " involves a very heavy net that is suspended under a tent. The area is baited at regular times, the net is dropped on the deer. The net immobilizes the deer so they can't struggle. The contractor, in hiding behind a truck or bush, kills the deer with a safe and humane captive bolt gun. This is a method that satisfies the State of NJ criteria for community deer management: the animal does not suffer and the meat can be donated. Additionally, the location can be selected to be out of sight of the general population, by placing the operation on either volunteer properties or public property.
Dart and Euthanize (DE) involves a trained contractor in a vehicle searching for deer in the middle of the night with a small CO2 pop gun that does not qualify as a firearm. It shoots a dart that delivers a tranquilizer. The dart has a chip that can be tracked electronically. It takes 4-6 minutes for the tranquilizer to take effect, during which time the animal may travel. In fact, the deer frequently does not realize that it has been darted and continues to feed peacefully (Baiting may be utilized with this method.) If the deer moves away, the contractor tracks it.. The deer is then removed and killed humanely elsewhere with a captive bolt. Drawbacks are that the meat cannot be donated, and there is little control over where the deer loses consciousness. There is also an issue about entering private property to retrieve the tranquilized animal.
Community acceptance of the need to access private property may not be a high price to pay for reduction of Lyme disease in the community.
Both methods are quite expensive relative to sport hunting or sharpshooting, and should only be utilized where necessary, in densely populated residential areas.You can find out more about DE and NB by contacting Anthony DeNicola at White Buffalo, Inc. (see resources section).