Deer Spreading into in even densely populated areas
MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) -- On a hilltop with breathtaking views of New York's skyline, sharpshooters perched in trees took aim Tuesday at white-tailed deer, a species being crowded out of one of the nation's most densely populated areas.
The problem is common enough in New Jersey's suburbs, as it is in other communities that have brought in marksmen to thin the herd: When their numbers get too great, the gentle animals destroy the forest, spread Lyme disease and pose a hazard for drivers.
But perhaps nowhere else have the trained shooters been so close to so many people as they are on the South Mountain Reservation, a nature preserve bordering hundreds of high-priced homes in the thick of the country's most crowded state.
"I could come out on my deck and get shot," said Sharon McClenton, a 42-year-old teacher whose house in West Orange butts up against the preserve.
Officials and many other residents insist, to the consternation of animal rights activists, that the hunt is necessary. . . .