Borough of Morris Plains, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 14-2006, § 1]
The goal of the deer culling program is to manage the deer population on park, recreation and open space areas within the Borough without excessive conflict with park users or neighboring properties. The specific objective of the deer culling program is to reduce the population of white-tailed deer on Borough-owned tracts of land for the purpose of restoring and improving forest health by reducing deer overbrowsing of the forest understory and ornamental plantings within the community, reducing health risks related to Lyme disease transmitted from deer to humans, and to reduce motorist collisions with deer, in an organized program and manner consistent with state regulations.
[Ord. No. 14-2006, § 1; No. 20-2011, §§ 1, 2]
(a) 
Locations and dates.
(1) 
The areas eligible for participation in the deer culling program shall be Borough-owned tracts of land designated by resolution of the Borough Council.
(2) 
Specific dates for implementation of a controlled deer culling event in any Borough-owned tract of land shall be consistent with the hunting seasons established by the New Jersey Fish and Game Council and as approved by resolution of the Borough Council.
(b) 
Deer culling permits; hunting licenses.
(1) 
A limited number of Borough deer culling permits will be available to residents and employees of the Borough and other residents of the State of New Jersey for each Borough tract of land included in any specific controlled deer culling event authorized by the Borough Council. Unused Borough resident/employee permit slots will be released for New Jersey resident use as appropriate.
(2) 
All persons applying for a Borough controlled deer culling permit must possess all appropriate hunting licenses and permits issued by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife for the current hunting season.
(3) 
The fee for each Borough controlled deer culling permit, if any, shall be the fee set forth in the Fee Schedule set forth in Section 2-46 of the Revised Ordinances of the Borough of Morris Plains. Permits will not be available to persons residing outside the State of New Jersey.
(4) 
Qualifications, number of licenses, waiting list.
(i) 
No person shall be issued a Borough deer culling permit unless the person is at least 18 years of age at the time the application is submitted and provides evidence of at least five years' experience in bow or crossbow hunting.
(ii) 
The total number of deer culling permits to be issued for any annual Borough deer culling event shall be as authorized annually by resolution of the Borough Council.
(iii) 
The Morris Plains Police Department shall maintain a waiting list of individuals who wish to participate in the Borough's deer culling program and utilize the waiting list to fill deer culling permit slots that may become available for the next deer culling event. No new permits will be issued once a deer culling event commences for a particular season.
(c) 
Application for permit.
(1) 
Every individual who wishes to participate in a controlled deer culling event authorized by resolution of the Borough Council shall complete, sign and verify a written permit application on forms furnished by the Borough Clerk. Applications will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis until the available permit slots are filled at each deer culling park/open space location for the controlled deer culling event. The Borough Clerk may establish deadlines for the filing of applications in connection with any Borough-authorized controlled deer culling event.
(2) 
The application shall state:
(i) 
Name, address and telephone number of the applicant;
(ii) 
New Jersey driver's license number, and description and identification of motor vehicles;
(iii) 
New Jersey hunting license number(s);
(iv) 
Identification of Borough tract where bow and arrow and/or crossbow activity is to take place, which is the area that will be covered by the permit;
(3) 
Applications will be processed only when the application form is fully completed and signed by the applicant and all fees, if any, are paid.
(4) 
Permit holders from the immediately prior Borough controlled deer culling event, who have complied with all state hunting regulations and municipal requirements, will have first opportunity to obtain permits for the next succeeding controlled deer culling event authorized by the Borough Council upon the filing of a complete application within the filing deadline requirement established by the Borough Clerk and the payment of all fees, if any.
(5) 
Applicants must possess and provide to the Borough all license numbers for all appropriate New Jersey hunting licenses and Zone 13 deer-hunting permits prior to the issuance of a Borough controlled deer culling permit.
(6) 
Proof of satisfactory liability insurance in acceptable limits shall be provided.
(d) 
Application referral to Chief of Police; mandatory pre-event safety awareness meeting; issuance of permits.
(1) 
Applications for all eligible applicants for a Borough controlled deer culling permit shall be referred to the Chief of Police for a criminal background investigation and the Chief's recommendation.
(2) 
Safety awareness meeting. All eligible applicants for a Borough controlled deer culling permit shall attend a mandatory preseason safety awareness meeting conducted by the Morris Plains Police Department.
(3) 
Borough deer culling permits will only be issued after attendance at the mandatory safety awareness meeting.
(4) 
The authority to grant or deny a permit shall lie in the reasonable discretion of the Borough Clerk and the Chief of Police of the Borough pursuant to the requirements stated in this chapter.
[Ord. No. 14-2006, § 1; No. 20-2011, No. 20-2011, §§ 3, 4, 5, 6]
(a) 
All New Jersey state hunting regulations, licensing requirements and permit requirements are in effect on Borough lands during any Borough-authorized controlled deer culling program event. Permit holders are responsible for obtaining and learning state regulations and Morris Plains park regulations. Permit holders must observe all safety zones and use caution to be alert for nonhunters in the parks.
(b) 
Permit holders shall be required to park their vehicles in designated locations during any authorized controlled deer culling program event and shall display a Borough Chapter 28 parking permit in the front windshield.
(c) 
Permit holders shall be required to sign in at the controlled deer culling event logbook at the designated parking area each time they arrive for and depart from deer culling activity during an authorized controlled deer culling event.
(d) 
Permit holders shall carry the Borough permit at all times while participating in the authorized controlled deer culling program event, and shall produce the permit for spot check by officials of the Borough Police Department and/or the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.
(e) 
Ground hunting is prohibited. The use and/or construction of permanent tree stands are prohibited. Permit holders found using a permanent tree stand will be subject to prosecution and termination of permit. Portable tree stands are allowed, and must be a minimum of 12 feet from the ground, but are used or left unattended at the user's own risk. The permit holder's name and permit number must be on the stand in an obvious location. Screw-in steps must be removed at the end of the event or when the tree stand is moved. Deer feeders are permitted but must be removed by the final day of the permit holder's permit.
(f) 
Permit holders engaged in an authorized Borough controlled deer culling event and pursuant to a valid license issued in accordance with the provisions of Title 23 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes are permitted to bait deer in conjunction with their participation in a Borough controlled deer culling event, which activity shall not be interpreted or construed as the feeding of deer for the purposes of any other ordinances applicable to property located in the Borough.
(g) 
Permit holders are responsible for knowing the boundaries of Borough lands included in the controlled deer culling event, as well as all established safety zones. Possession of a Borough deer culling permit does not give permit holders permission to cross private property without the individualized written consent of the property owner.
(h) 
When a deer is taken in the controlled deer culling event, the permit holder shall be responsible for deer carcass removal.
(i) 
When a deer is taken in the controlled deer culling event, the permit holder shall report the date of taking and size and sex information in the logbook at the conclusion of his/her deer culling activity for that period.
(j) 
The Borough is located in New Jersey Deer Management Zone 13, which is an "Earn a Buck" hunting zone. Permit holders must harvest two antlerless deer within the Borough of Morris Plains during a Borough deer culling event in order to be eligible to harvest an antlered deer during the same Borough of Morris Plains deer culling event. When an antlered deer is taken, it must have a minimum of three antler points on one side of the rack.
(k) 
In the event a deer is wounded on Borough land included in the deer culling program and runs to adjacent lands, which are not included in the deer culling program, or private lands, the permit holder shall seek permission from the adjacent property owner to claim the wounded animal. In the event permission is denied, the permit holder shall withdraw immediately, report the location of the wounded animal to the Borough Police Department as soon as practicable and consider the matter closed.
(l) 
Permit holders obtaining Borough deer culling permits shall indemnify and hold the Borough harmless from all suits, judgments, costs, fees, claims, actions, attorneys' fees and any claims of like nature.
(m) 
In the event a permit holder in the Borough deer culling program violates any provision of this chapter, the state fish and game laws, regulations promulgated under this chapter, or the consent of any property owner, in addition to any summonses that may be issued, the senior officer of the Borough Police Department may immediately and summarily revoke and take the Borough deer culling permit from the permit holder. The Police Department shall also have the power and authority to impound the weapon as evidence.
(n) 
Any permit holder who receives summonses for hunting violations committed on Borough property shall, upon conviction, have his/her permit privileges revoked for two years on Borough lands and shall face a fine of up to $1,000. Deer culling program permit privileges shall be permanently revoked for a second offense, and the permit holder shall face a fine of up to $2,000.
[Ord. No. 8-2013, § 2[1]]
No person shall enter upon private property located within the Borough for hunting purposes without obtaining the written permission of the property owner. Such written permission shall be signed and dated by the landowner and the hunter, and it shall include the following information: 1) the hunter’s name, address, and vehicle information, including make/year/color and license plate; number of persons in the hunting party; permitted hunting dates; hunting limitations, if any; hunting license/tag numbers; an acknowledgement that the hunter accepts responsibility for his hunting activities on the property and agrees to comply with the instructions of the landowner while on the property; and an acknowledgement that New Jersey law absolves the landowner from liability for nonpaying recreationists engaged in hunting, except in the case of willful or malicious failure to guard or warn of hazards; 2) the landowner’s name, address, phone number, and the purpose and extent of the landowner’s permission to enter the landowner’s private property, and limitations, if any; and 3) whether the bowhunter may hunt within 150 feet of a building, or within 450 feet of any school playground, even if unoccupied. Prior to hunting on private property, any person holding a Borough deer culling permit shall notify the Borough’s Deer Culling Officer of any such written permission from the landowner and keep such written permission in the permit holder’s possession while hunting on such private property.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Section 1 of this ordinance provided for the renumbering of former Section 28-4 as Section 28-5.
[Ord. No. 14-2006, § 1]
Any person, or persons discharging, firing or using any gun, pistol, firearm or weapon of any description whatsoever within the Borough of Morris Plains except in accordance with this chapter shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000, or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the court.