Sunday Hunting Bill Voting 3-16-09

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,228
1,687
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.
An assembly bill, A1669, allowing Sunday bow hunting on private property and State wildlife management areas is scheduled for a vote today in the assembly.
There is a sister bill known as the proximity bill, A595, whch will reduce the 450' distance currently required from a hunter to a building, for archers only, to 150' if hunting from an elevated position.
450' remains the law for distance to school playgrounds and for alll firearm hunters to buildings and playgrounds.

These bills received senate approval in October.
Here is an article from today's Courier Post.

http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20090316/NEWS01/903160358/1006

The full text of the bills can be reviewed here.

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/BillsForAgendaView.asp

Scott
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,214
1,909
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
I hope it fails. One day each week should be set aside for the citizens of NJ to enter those great Wildlife Management areas without concern. There are hikers, birders, botanists and explorers that like those areas too.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,342
1,829
1,093
Coastal NJ
I hope it fails. One day each week should be set aside for the citizens of NJ to enter those great Wildlife Management areas without concern. There are hikers, birders, botanists and explorers that like those areas too.
I'm a hunter and I agree. There have been no problems with the current reg's that require this change. Money to help purchase the WMA areas come from Green Acres funding. Once this passes, Sunday firearms reg's would certainly follow. I would have no problem with the bill if it were for private property only. And don't forget the fishermen that use those WMA's. :D
 

freerider

Explorer
Jan 3, 2008
274
11
18
So who do we contact to voice an opinion?

Non hunters do not create any money for the state. As of yet there are no permits or fees for those if us who hike. I am certain there will be.

I say document your cleaning of the junk in the pines. Post photos here and direct the state to look at how much we all do PAY to use the pines.

After hunting season there is more garbage to be cleaned.

Who does most of the cleaning?
 

freerider

Explorer
Jan 3, 2008
274
11
18

imkms

Explorer
Feb 18, 2008
442
72
28
Moorestown
From the courier article reader opinions......

"Shouldn't those who do not hunt be permitted to use the Wildlife Management Areas for 50% of the weekends?

What say ye nature lovers?"
I am also against this bill. I'm not against hunting, and if it is for private property I am OK with that, but the WMAs are used by many for purposes other than hunting and the idea of arrows silently flying around creeps me out.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,035
277
1,063
Little Egg Harbor
For my own needs, Sunday hunting would be no great advantage. My work schedule often involves weekends, giving me far less crowded weekdays to hunt. Many of my vacation days are used for hunting as well. But I do feel for those who work for small contractors or other employers who do not get paid vacations. Then there are school children. My own son has become very enthusiastic about hunting recently, and Saturdays are all he gets, some of which are taken up by school sports or other commitments. At a time when the average age of hunters is slowly rising, which doesn’t bode well for the sport's future, Sunday hunting might give more youths a chance to take to the field. For them, it is not one more day a week in the woods. It would be twice the opportunity. And hunters compromise one of our largest groups of outdoor enthusiasts, who have a stake in seeing the environment preserved. I can certainly say without doubt that hunting and fishing were the factors that first got me out of the city, and later led to a career in environmental education, when I realized that continued fleeing from more to less congested areas was not going to do anything for my kids’ futures .

I also do not believe many of the reasons given for not allowing Sunday hunting are totally valid. For one thing, non hunters do not have realistic reason to fear being in the woods with hunters. There is an assumption that arrows and shot are flying carelessly though the woods during the season, but doing so doesn’t result in a hunter hitting his quarry, much less its vital zone, especially given the difficulty of getting within bow’s range of a deer, and only having one shot. Shots tend to be carefully taken, and unless you are walking through the woods wearing buckskins, you have little to fear. Hunting accidents are extremely rare, with the few that do happen more likely involving some fool falling asleep without a safety strap and falling from his tree stand. Our newspapers contain reports of car accidents on an almost daily basis, yet how many of us even give that possibility a passing thought as we enter our vehicles for a trip to the woods. Yet something you rarely hear about gives us cause for concern?

Lastly, keep in mind that Wildlife Management Areas are not State Parks or Forests. They are purchased largely with hunting and fishing license monies, and are managed primarily for these purposes, although non-sportsmen have always been welcome to use these tracts for their purposes within the confine of the laws. But switching the assumed priorities of these lands around ignores their primary purpose and history of acquisition.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,342
1,829
1,093
Coastal NJ
Lastly, keep in mind that Wildlife Management Areas are not State Parks or Forests. They are purchased largely with hunting and fishing license monies, and are managed primarily for these purposes, although non-sportsmen have always been welcome to use these tracts for their purposes within the confine of the laws. But switching the assumed priorities of these lands around ignores their primary purpose and history of acquisition.
Au contre'. That may have been the case decades ago, it is not the case now. From NJF&W;

"Initially, the purchase of lands for the Wildlife Management Area System was funded entirely from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. In 1961, the first of several Green Acres bond issues was approved, enabling the general public to participate in the development of the system. Approximately half of the present system was purchased through the Green Acres bond issues. Operational funding is provided entirely by hunters and anglers. Capital projects such as boat ramps, dams and parking lots are usually funded through combinations of Federal Aid (funds from excise taxes on sporting equipment), Green Acres and General Fund Capital appropriations.

Through the years, particularly with the infusion of Green Acres monies since 1961, the mission of the Wildlife Management Area System gradually broadened from "Public Shooting and Fishing Grounds" to areas where fish and wildlife habitat is protected and enhanced, while providing a variety of compatible recreational and educational opportunities."
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,035
277
1,063
Little Egg Harbor
Au contre'. That may have been the case decades ago, it is not the case now. From NJF&W;

"Initially, the purchase of lands for the Wildlife Management Area System was funded entirely from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. In 1961, the first of several Green Acres bond issues was approved, enabling the general public to participate in the development of the system. Approximately half of the present system was purchased through the Green Acres bond issues. Operational funding is provided entirely by hunters and anglers. Capital projects such as boat ramps, dams and parking lots are usually funded through combinations of Federal Aid (funds from excise taxes on sporting equipment), Green Acres and General Fund Capital appropriations.

Through the years, particularly with the infusion of Green Acres monies since 1961, the mission of the Wildlife Management Area System gradually broadened from "Public Shooting and Fishing Grounds" to areas where fish and wildlife habitat is protected and enhanced, while providing a variety of compatible recreational and educational opportunities."

Picky picky :)

OK, I'll give you that. My use of the term “largely” was intended to acknowledge other funding sources, if not exact ratios. But I stand by the rest of my comments!

Incidentally, a similar argument pops up now and then regarding Sunday clamming. The commercial clammers have been the single largest voice against that idea, as it would give them only one more day out of seven to clam, but would effectively double the days recreational clammers could harvest.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,342
1,829
1,093
Coastal NJ
Picky picky :)
The devil is in the details :)

What gets me is setting aside Sundays for a total of about 20K bow hunters, resident and non-resident. Just doesn't make any sense for use of the resource. I haven't gone to the bother of figuring how many Sundays this bill would mean, but why not just add an equal number of Saturdays as special pre/post season, keep everybody happy.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,035
277
1,063
Little Egg Harbor
The devil is in the details :)

What gets me is setting aside Sundays for a total of about 20K bow hunters, resident and non-resident. Just doesn't make any sense for use of the resource. I haven't gone to the bother of figuring how many Sundays this bill would mean, but why not just add an equal number of Saturdays as special pre/post season, keep everybody happy.
That might work as well, although extending the season could present other problems. But one of my biggest points was that hunting isn’t necessarily "setting aside" the woods solely for hunters, especially in the case of archery. I would totally agree if it involved shotgun hunting of deer, especially organized deer drives which is a circus that I hate and hardly consider hunting. But archers are among the most careful and skilled hunters (and I say that not being one, now or in the past). Most bowhunters are so well-camouflaged and stay so still, that they are hardly noticed by all but the most observant of other people entering the woods. I’ve had more than one occasion to walk too close to bowhunters before seeing them, in which case I gave a quiet “sorry” and backed off.

HawkinNative’s concern about the bird count, which I’ve participated in myself in the past, is certainly valid in the case of some types of hunting, but if this bill is to involve bowhunting only, I do not see a major concern. I’ve seen and enjoyed more non-game birds while hunting than I have while birding, as I tend to be more concealed, quiet and still during those times. That has always been one of the reasons I enjoy the sport. The closest I ever came to a peregrine falcon was when one swooped at my duck decoys a few yards from me, before realizing its mistake and pulling up. I’d like to think it was a compliment to my decoy carving but was more likely a bird that could have used glasses
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,342
1,829
1,093
Coastal NJ
I agree with that, and it is born out by the lack of hunting accidents, regardless of the type of hunting, in this state. But, and its a big but, the perception of most non-hunting folks is what they use to plan an outing with their kids, and most prefer not taking a trip during hunting season of any kind. That's totally understandable to me. Unfortunately that perception is fostered by a lot of what they hear, read and see in the press and from the anti's. I doubt that will change anytime soon.
 

PINEY MIKE

Explorer
Jan 30, 2009
707
25
28
Bamber Lake
For some situations, I dont feel that voting always puts the good of our environment first. Most of the general public seems ignorant towards hunting and its regulations. Even though I sometimes question their decisions myself, I feel much more comfortable with allowing the NJ Fish and Game Council making a decision like this than putting it in the hands of people with little information or misinformation on the topic. I enjoy fishing, hunting, and hiking, so Im pretty impartial to the way this turns out. I would like to share some info on hiking in WMAs though. To say one is safe in these areas during hunting season and shouldnt have to worry about their safety is a crock. I know plenty of people and dogs who have been filled with shot in these areas even with their blaze orange on. Bow hunting is certainly different, but its certainly going to add more concern for hikers (concern which in my opinion is justifiable). I hope either way works out for the best of the environment. Let studies lead the decisions, not ignorance.
P.S. Im certainly not implying anyone here is ignorant. Im sure some of you know more than me on this topics, but I dont give much credit to the general public these days.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,228
1,687
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.
Well I poured the gas now let me throw in the match.
Next year it looks certain that crossbows will be legal! They are currently allowed by permit for disabled huinters.

I have been hunting 41 years in NJ and I don't support Sunday hunting nor do I support the crossbow legalization.
I like the proximity reduction bill and it is separate from the Sunday hunting bill.
The Sunday bill has a lot of momentum behind it from spoortsmen, including my 650+ member club and will likely pass the assembly.
If it passes, I will probably take advantage of it on private land. I avoid WMA's anyway.

Increasing hunting pressure by adding Sunday does not increase pressure by 1/7th, it effectively doubles it. That is my problem with it.
I hope that the kill numbers are monitored closely and limits adjusted accordingly because we already have too many brown and down Deer Managemnt Zones out there right now.

Scott
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,035
277
1,063
Little Egg Harbor
I am vehemently against allowing the use of crossbows by hunters in the state. If I had my way, compound bows and inline muzzleloaders would also not be allowed as well. These seasons used to be referred to as “primitive weapons” seasons. They were given a season of their own due to the additional skills, training and inherent handicaps that come with these weapons. This was similar to the way stretches of certain trout streams in the state were put aside solely for fly fishing. These new breeds of weapons have little in common with the original ones or their reproductions. Most of their users have little appreciation or knowledge of their history. They simply want to take part in an additional season to bag game. The weapon manufactures happily oblige them by making guns and bows that fulfill the technical requirements of the laws, if not the original intent. As a hunter, I obviously have nothing against bagging game, but these recent laws completely violate the spirit of the original ones that first gave hunting opportunities to devotees of primitive weapons.
 

PINEY MIKE

Explorer
Jan 30, 2009
707
25
28
Bamber Lake
Rednek,
Thanks for the info. Im a bird guy, so unless im in upstate NY hunting grouse, I have to hunt pheasant and quail in the stocked WMAs here in NJ. As for the bow hunting.. the plus side is that there are still way too many deer around. The state has faced many problems with the over abundance of deer. They can directly affect populations of other species such a bobcat, coyote, and black bear. Here's one interesting article I came across a while back: http://www.njskylands.com/pkblaircreek.htm

Obviously, this doesnt apply all over the state, but its important for people to know the reasons why there are certain bag limits and regs in different areas. There's a science behind these numbers.. same thing with fishing.

GermanG,
Interesting thoughts. I too think people take advantage of certain situations. However, being an avid fly fisher, I think that is a completely different situation. I'd say nearly 90% of all fly fisherman I've come into contact with practice catch and release. Although I occasionally will keep a couple trout, I particiapte in the sport for its beauty, not for a meal (although I love eating trout and find nothing wrong with keeping your limits). I think the fly fisherman in general has a great respect for their watersheds and for an abundance of healthy fish. Most of my buddies and I who tie flies even debarb our hooks to make the release easier on the fish. I dont see where the comparison is made with over hunting, unless I missed the point.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,342
1,829
1,093
Coastal NJ
I am vehemently against allowing the use of crossbows by hunters in the state. If I had my way, compound bows and inline muzzleloaders would also not be allowed as well. These seasons used to be referred to as “primitive weapons” seasons. They were given a season of their own due to the additional skills, training and inherent handicaps that come with these weapons. This was similar to the way stretches of certain trout streams in the state were put aside solely for fly fishing. These new breeds of weapons have little in common with the original ones or their reproductions. Most of their users have little appreciation or knowledge of their history. They simply want to take part in an additional season to bag game. The weapon manufactures happily oblige them by making guns and bows that fulfill the technical requirements of the laws, if not the original intent. As a hunter, I obviously have nothing against bagging game, but these recent laws completely violate the spirit of the original ones that first gave hunting opportunities to devotees of primitive weapons.
Amen to that. To me, modern blackpowder arms are closer to a Winchester 70 then to the traditional muzzleoader. Sabots, caps, pellets instead of powder, bullets instead of round ball, scopes instead of iron sights. The argument is a cleaner kill, and thats probably accurate. But call it what it is, rifle hunting.

I had once thought about a traditional blackpowder shotgun for bird hunting, but I think I'd scare the dog to death. :)