Letters to the editor, Oct. 4
Hugin or Menendez?
We have an election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Senator Bob Menendez’s opponent, the Republican Bob Hugin claims to be a different kind of Republican. However, Hugin was the campaign finance chair for Donald Trump in New Jersey and a Trump delegate to the Republican convention. He donated more than a quarter million dollars to Trump and Republican PACs. How different does that sound? If you like Trump, you’ll love Hugin.
Before Hugin became a candidate he was the CEO of the pharma corp Celgene. Last year Celgene paid $280 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed that Celgene had committed fraud when promoting two of their cancer drugs. The settlement of course allows them to admit to no wrongdoing. Everybody pays $280 million, just because. Hugin was compelled by the settlement to give a sworn, videotaped deposition which is now sealed. Can we see it? Hugin says “no.” Why not? Hiding anything?
Bob Menendez will vote reliably to protect Medicare and Social Security, a woman’s right to choose, sane gun laws and viable international agreements. What Republican does that?
The best solution on deer
Thank you for your informative article in the Sept. 27 edition on the deer population issues that pose legitimate problems for homeowners in town. I live at the south end of Clinton Ave, prime deer location. I’d say I am about one quarter of a mile due east of Eagle Rock Reservation. My neighborhood is on the circuit for the local deer and they just recently they decimated all of my Hostas.
I grew up in Montclair, but lived in Vermont for some time. I am an avid woodsmen and I spend a fair amount of time in the reservation with my 13, 11 and 6 year old children. I teach them about our local flora and fauna and how to track and scout deer and other forest dwellers. I should also mention that I am the rare person in Montclair that hunts. I use the woods at Eagle Rock to practice my tracking skills, searching for sign and observing animal behavior. It better prepares me for deer season in Vermont during November.
To my point, or points if I may. I have to forcefully disagree with the population estimates listed for Eagle Rock. The territory supports at least two dominant bucks. I have tracked and photographed both. One is an eight pointer, the other a 10. “Points” refer to the number of points on the rack of a male deer. The common accepted ratio of doe to buck is 4:1 but can and does vary. That is breeding females to breeding age males. I would say that Eagle Rock is on the low side of that number. What many people don’t understand is that the Eagle Rock herd simply crosses Pompton Avenue and have Montclair Golf Club as a habitat as well. Last December, which was peak “rut” season (mating time), while on a mid-afternoon hike, I spotted seven doe in a pack a half mile north of “Snake Road.” Whomever is conducting these counts is clearly not leaving the comfortable confines of the trail. I can tell you right now, I can take anyone up there, in reasonable shape with the ability to stay quiet, and I will be able to get you within viewing distance of a deer. The bucks are a bit more elusive, the does are abundant.
Secondly, I find Ms. Lin’s commentary/opinion to be laughable at best. Am I, a long time taxpayer to the township, willing to pay $1,200 to $3,000 dollars in order to render the deer unable to reproduce for a unknown period of time, a time frame which is definitively not permanent? The process she describes sounds highly unethical and quite traumatic to say the least. I can only wonder what true conservationists think of these non-lethal procedures. Well, as one myself, I think in a word, it’s ludicrous. According to her, it’s better to track, tranquilize, perform a major operation on a wild animal, then release them back into the wild. How does this affect the testosterone levels in the buck. What are the side effects? Why are we drugging and operating on wild animals? Again, it’s non-permanent. To me, I call that repeatable business. Let me guess, her organization performs this much needed process? I have two words that I think are applicable here, inhumane and inane. I don’t think anyone can argue that an instant death by a hunter’s rifle is worse than that process. I put myself in the “deer’s hooves”, I’ll take the bullet thank you. It’s a well-established fact that an overcrowded herd not only is a nuisance, but creates a major hazard for motorists. Please take a ride around the south end any morning around 5 a.m., please be sure though, if you see a deer, wait, because four more will cross the road after the first.
In summation, I and a few friends could solve the deer problem for about $2 a piece. We’d be able to stock the Montclair Food Pantry with high protein quality venison for the winter. The $2, is the cost of a shotgun shell, a rifle is more effective and assures an instant death, however it is illegal to hunt in New Jersey with a closed ended projectile from a firearm. We all have very good jobs that pay well and not by the hour. We will happily waive our fee, so we are clear: free versus $1,200-$2,700. Short of this, the only other solution I’d propose to the township is the re-introduction of the Timber Wolf, that solution sounds about as sensible as spending my tax dollars on neutering wild animals.
JUSTIN J. O’HARA