PETA's letter to stop cull at Garret Mountain


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Jun 9, 2009
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Below is a letter sent by PETA to those in charge of allowing the Garret Mountain deer culling. As conservationists I'm sure all of you will find the statements not only misleading and hypocritical but also absurd.



Matthew Malfa, Deputy County Counsel
From: Jodi Minion, Wildlife Biologist, Cruelty Investigations
Department, PETA

Re: Deer control initiative in Passaic County

PETA is the world’s largest animal rights organization with more than 2 million members and supporters. We are receiving calls from compassionate New Jersey residents who are deeply concerned by reports that the Passaic County is considering bow-hunting as a method to reduce the deer herd living within the county.

Please know that bow-hunting is among the cruelest forms of hunting. Bow-hunters routinely spend hours tracking the blood trails of deer who are struck by arrows before finding them. Many deer who are shot are merely wounded by arrows, and their deaths can be slow and painful—it can take weeks for some
animals to succumb to their injuries. Three decades of research tell us that for every deer killed another is merely wounded, never to be found. And the slaughtered deer aren't the only victims. Mass killings tear families apart and leave young and weak animals vulnerable to starvation, dehydration, and predators. By no common standards can this be considered humane.

If lethal methods are insisted upon, then the use of sharpshooters would be far less cruel. However, lethal methods never work in the long run to control populations (when animals are killed/removed from the area, more will move in to occupy the newly vacant niche) and can actually result in a temporary spike in the food supply; this results in accelerated breeding and an increase in deer population numbers. What you will have is a vicious killing cycle in which many animals will suffer and die needlessly. The only long-term way to control deer populations is to contain available food sources and modify the affected area so that it is unattractive or inaccessible to them. To manage the current deer population and prevent future problems, we suggest your integrated deer management plan focus on humane exclusion and deterrents. Specifically, we suggest that a no-wildlife-feeding rule be strictly enforced.

Scare tactics/deterrents such as motion detector-triggered lights, scarecrows, and radios be employed to deter deer from browsing in unwanted areas. Strategically placed bars of soap (and even human hair) will deter deer; pepper spray on foliage works too.

All sources of food for fawns (does will choose not to breed or will have fewer fawns when food for their young is scarce) be identified/managed—to start, focus efforts on restoration and riparian areas. Cover or wrap saplings shorter than six feet using corrugated plastic tubes/sleeves, deer netting, or mesh. Trim back low-hanging (less than 6’) tree branches. Advise residents to plant native species and avoid exotic species (native plant species are more likely to have evolved to resist browsing whereas exotic species attract deer) and to cover ornamental plants with netting or mesh. Deer fencing (10’ preferred) be installed to keep deer out of heavily landscaped areas and other areas where they are

We respectfully urge you to remove bow-hunting from your list of deer management methods and to instead commit to humane, long-term, effective deer-control methods (I would be more than happy to discuss humane alternatives with you). I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest opportunity, and can be reached at ***-***-****, or via e-mail at

Thank you for your time and consideration of our concerns.


Jodi Minion, Wildlife Biologist
Cruelty Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)


The following people voted in favor of conservation and the deer culling. They understand the principles of conservation and have made a sound decision to save the environment. As a result the animal extremists are harassing them and bullying them to make sure that they are punished, and to send a message to all counties throughout New Jersey not to allow deer culling.

Please email (or call) the following people. They need our support for making the decision to allow hunting for the deer cull at Garret Mountain, especially Mayor Pat Lepore. (A sample letter follows)

1. Mayor Pat Lepore - 973-881-4536

2. Freeholder Terry Duffy - 973-881-4537
3. Freeholder Bruce James - 973-881-7896
4. Freeholder Greyson Hannigan 973-225-5427
5. Woodland Park Council Members:,,,,

Dear ,

I appreciate that you have knowledge of the need to keep our forests healthy for all of the animals that depend on it for food and cover. The deer culling at Garrett Mountain is good public policy and an act of environmental stewardship. It is also a means for people to feed their families a wholesome and unadulterated source of protein, something not readily available in the meat departments of local food markets.

Please understand that it is only a vocal minority that disagrees with your decision. There are 650,000 anglers and hunters in New Jersey, and many, many more that understand the science of conservation, each of us support your decision to implement a deer culling.


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