[Second Reprint]

SENATE, No. 2649

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 25, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

Senator  JENNIFER BECK

District 12 (Mercer and Monmouth)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits certain deer control activities; prohibits deer feeding; and establishes check-off donation on hunting license applications to support venison donation program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended by the Senate on March 21, 2011.

  


An Act concerning deer, amending P.L.1997, c.123, P.L.1997, c.268, P.L.1997, c.424, and R.S.23:4-42, and supplementing Title 23 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1997, c.424 (C.23:4-24.4) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1 and section 2 of P.L.1970, c.180 (C.23:4-24.2 and C.23:4-24.3) [, a person may] and the provisions of section 6 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) to the contrary, the 2[Division of Fish and Wildlife] Fish and Game Council2 may authorize a hunter to: (1) use bait , for the purposes of hunting, to attract, entice, or lure a deer; [and] (2) kill, destroy, injure, shoot, shoot at, take, wound, or attempt to take, kill, or wound, a deer, or have in possession or control any firearm or other weapon of any kind for such purposes, within any distance of a baited area [A person may] ; and (3) be elevated , when using a baited area, in a standing tree or [in a] structure of any kind [when using a baited area for hunting deer, and the baited area may be within any distance of the standing tree or structure] , which lies within any distance of the baited area.

     b.    For the purposes of this section, “baited area” means [the presence of placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered] an area wherein agricultural products, salt, or any other edible lure [whatsoever] capable of attracting, enticing, or luring deer is placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered for the purposes of hunting; and “hunter” means any person who has obtained from the Division of Fish and Wildlife: (1) a license or permit to hunt deer, 2[(2) a permit, issued pursuant to R.S.23:4-42, to engage in depredation control activities, or (3)]  or (2)2 a permit, issued pursuant to section 4 of P.L.2000, c.46 (C.23:4-42.6), to engage in alternative control methods that have been approved by the division for use in a community based deer management plan.

     c.     The 2[Department of Environmental Protection] Fish and Game Council2 shall adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section.

(cf.  P.L.1999, c.231, s.1)


     2.    R.S.23:4-42 is amended to read as follows:

     23:4-42.      a.  Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, no person shall hunt for, pursue, shoot at, take, kill, wound or attempt to take, kill or wound a deer of any description prohibited by the provisions of the State Fish and Game Code, or hunt for, pursue, shoot at, take, kill, wound or attempt to take, kill or wound any wild deer at any time except during the period permitted by the State Fish and Game Code, or kill in any one year more than the number of deer permitted by the State Fish and Game Code.

     b.    [The] (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section or any other law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, it shall be lawful for the owner or lessee of [any] land [, a portion of which is] consisting, in part, of forested ground or land under cultivation, who has on their person a written permit issued by the division; or for the authorized [agents] agent [of the owner or lessee having] thereof, who has on their person a written permit issued by the division and countersigned by the owner or lessee , [may] to kill any deer that [may be] is found on [that land] the forested ground or land under cultivation, as the case may be, during the period covered by the permit.

     (2)   As a condition precedent to issuing a permit 2to an owner or lessee of land under cultivation2 under this subsection, the division may require the owner or lessee of the land to provide evidence that deer damage has occurred on the 2[forested ground or]2 land under cultivation within the preceding 12 months.

     2As a condition precedent to issuing a permit  to an owner or lessee of forested ground under this subsection, the division may require the owner or lessee of the forested ground to submit evidence from a forester that the nature and extent of deer damage within the preceding 12 months interferes with the goals of the woodland management plan, forest management plan, or  forest stewardship plan.2

     (3)   If so requested by the owner or lessee of the land, the period covered by the permit issued under this subsection to the owner or lessee of the land, or to the authorized agent thereof, shall [also] include the entire months of February and March.

     (4)   The carcass of a deer that is killed [under such] in accordance with a permit issued by the division pursuant to this subsection, shall become the property of the division and may be removed and disposed of in the manner it directs.

     (5)   For the purpose of this [section] subsection, “land under cultivation” [shall mean (1)] means (a) pasture fields that are seeded with cultivated grass or that have been so seeded within the prior 12 months, or [(2)] (b) land on which planted crops are growing or were growing within the prior 12 months [.  The division may require the owner or lessee of the land to provide evidence of deer damage within the prior 12 months as a condition of issuing a permit pursuant to this subsection] ; and “forested ground” means land that is the subject of a  2woodland management plan prepared and implemented pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1964, c.48 (C.54:4-23.3), a forest management plan that meets standards adopted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, or a2 forest stewardship plan, which has been approved by the department in accordance with section 3 of P.L.2009, c.256 (C.13:1L-31).

(cf.  P.L.1999, c.327, s.1)

 

     3.    Section 1 of P.L.1997, c.123 (C.23:4-42.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.23:4-45 or any other law, rule, regulation, or provision of the State Fish and Game Code to the contrary, whenever , pursuant to R.S.23:4-42, a permit is issued [by the State] to [a person] an owner or lessee of land, or the authorized agent thereof, to kill deer causing [crop] damage on forested ground or on land under cultivation [pursuant to R.S.23:4-42] , it shall be lawful for the [permittee or authorized agent thereof] permit holder, for the purposes authorized by the permit , and only while on the [land or lands] forested ground or land under cultivation , which [are owned or leased by that permittee] is the subject of the permit, but not on or along any adjacent public highway [adjacent thereto, and for which the permit is issued] , to:

     a.     Kill either sex deer at any time of day or night, except that the Fish and Game Council may impose such restrictions thereon as may be necessary to protect the general public;

     b.    Transport, possess, have in the [permittee’s or agent’s] permit holder’s control, or keep firearms authorized pursuant to R.S.23:4-44 uncased, unloaded, and outside the trunk while in or on a motor vehicle or any other kind of vehicle;

     c.     Utilize an illuminating device or devices, including but not limited to a spotlight, flashlight, floodlight, or headlight, whether portable or fixed to a motor vehicle or any other kind of vehicle, to locate and stun deer; and

     d.    Be assisted by the use of a driver for the motor vehicle or other kind of vehicle, and by a person or persons operating the illuminating device or devices, none of whom shall be required to possess a firearms purchaser identification card while providing such assistance.

(cf.  P.L.1997, c.123, s.1)

 

     4.    Section 1 of P.L.1997, c.268 (C.23:4-42.7) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Secretary of Agriculture and the chairman of the Fish and Game Council, shall establish a venison donation program.  The program shall permit, under controlled conditions, the slaughter, processing, distribution, and serving of venison donated by recreational hunters to nonprofit charitable organizations, in accordance with guidelines established by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and the State Fish and Game Code established pursuant to section 32 of P.L.1948, c.448 (C.13:1B-30), in order to protect the health and safety of those persons consuming the donated venison.

     b.    The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Secretary of Agriculture, the chairman of the Fish and Game Council, and the United Bow Hunters of New Jersey, shall study the feasibility of expanding the program to include venison obtained from hunters [licensed] who have been issued a permit by the [Department of Environmental Protection] Division of Fish and Wildlife, pursuant to R.S.23:4-42, to participate in [crop] depredation control activities , or venison obtained as a result of the implementation of other methods to manage and control deer populations, including but not limited to those established by sections 1 through 4 of P.L.2000, c.46 (C.23:4-42.3 through C.23:4-42.6), and shall expand the program accordingly if the commissioner deems it appropriate.

(cf: P.L.2000, c.46, s.6)

 

     5.    (New section)  a.  There is hereby established within the “hunters’ and anglers’ license fund,” created pursuant to the provisions of R.S.23:3-11 and R.S.23:3-12, a special account to be known as the “Hunters Helping the Hungry Fund.”

     b.    The 2Division of Fish and Wildlife in the2 Department of Environmental Protection shall, on each new application or renewal application for a hunting license or permit, depredation control permit, or special deer management permit, 2or any other hunting or fishing license or permit issued by the division,2 provide the applicant with the opportunity to indicate thereon that an enclosed monetary contribution shall be deposited in the special account established by subsection a. of this section.  The 2[department] division2 shall allow the applicant’s donation preference to be indicated on the license or permit application form in substantially the following way:

     Hunters Helping the Hungry Fund:  I wish to contribute $10, $20, other amount $..... to this fund.

     c.     Any costs incurred by the Department of Environmental Protection for the collection of funds or for the administration of the donation program under this section may be deducted from receipts collected pursuant to this section, as determined by the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting.  The State Treasurer shall deposit net contributions collected pursuant to this section into the “Hunters Helping the Hungry Fund.”

     d.    The Legislature shall annually appropriate all funds deposited in the “Hunters Helping the Hungry Fund” to the Department of Environmental Protection for distribution to the nonprofit organization, Hunters Helping the Hungry, or to any other nonprofit organization that, as determined by the department, has a substantially similar purpose and mission.  The funds appropriated and distributed pursuant to this subsection shall be used by Hunters Helping the Hungry or by such other, similarly purposed, nonprofit organization, as the case may be, for the purposes of administering, maintaining, facilitating, and expanding the venison donation program that is overseen and managed thereby.

    

     6.    (New section)  a.  No person shall feed, give, place, expose, deposit, distribute or scatter any edible material or attractant with the intention of feeding, attracting or enticing a deer, or store pet food, agricultural materials, salt, garbage or other deer attractants in a manner that will result in deer feedings when deer are known to frequent the area.

     This subsection shall not apply to the use and placement of bait for deer, as authorized by, and undertaken in accordance with, section 1 of P.L.1997, c.424 (C.23:4-24.4) and the applicable provisions of the State Fish and Game Code. 

     b.    (1) If any person violates subsection a. of this section, the department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive relief to prohibit and prevent such violation or violations and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner.

     (2)   Any person who violates the provisions of subsection a. of this section shall be liable to a civil penalty of not less than $200 nor more than $500 for the first offense, and not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for any subsequent offense, to be collected in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.) or in any case before a court of competent jurisdiction wherein injunctive relief has been requested.  Civil penalties recovered for violations hereof shall be remitted as provided in R.S.23:10-19.  The Superior Court and municipal court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999.”

     If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.

     No person shall be assessed a civil penalty pursuant to this paragraph unless the person has first been issued a prior written warning for a violation of subsection a. of this section.

     (3)   The department is hereby authorized and empowered to compromise and settle any claim for a penalty under this section in such amount in the discretion of the department as may appear appropriate and equitable under all of the circumstances.

     c.     The provisions of this section shall be enforced by all municipal police officers, the State Police, and law enforcement officers with the Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Division of Parks and Forestry in the Department of Environmental Protection.

     d.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict in any way the attraction, capture, or taking of deer by or at the direction of the Division of Fish and Wildlife for management or research purposes.

     1e.   Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict or prohibit the feeding of deer at a deer farm.1

 

     7.    This act shall take effect on the 60th day following the date of enactment, but the Commissioner of Environmental Protection may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as may be necessary for the implementation of this act.