Survey Reveals 50 Deer Per Square Mile in West Caldwell
Township weighing options for reducing deer population.
West Caldwell is inhabited by approximately 50 deer per square mile, according to a deer density survey conducted recently by a state biologist.
Township resident Michael Rauschenberger, a sharpshooter offering to conduct a free deer hunt for the town, presented the results of the survey at Tuesday night's West Caldwell Council meeting.
Rauschenberger said he and the biologist, who he has worked with during deer hunts on the county level, along with two other volunteers, drove around town spotting deer for three hours on Monday, Feb. 25 and Friday, March 1.
The biologist, who donated her time, used a formula based on the sightings recorded to determine that there are about 50 deer living per square mile in the five-square-mile town.
Rauschenberger also presented information on deer-related accidents in town based on reports he said he obtained from the West Caldwell Police Department.
Police responded to 107 motor accidents involving deer from 2002-2007, he said. From 2008 to the present, the number of accidents involving a deer jumped to 193.
In the last five years, he said, 76% of the accidents occurred on or near Passaic Avenue, a busy main road.
Rauschenberger will present a formal proposal to the township on Tuesday, March 19.
His proposal will be weighed against one presented by a group of bow hunters, West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta said.
“I think we have to seriously consider doing a hunt sometime later in the year,” Tempesta said.