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Ballot Questions On How To Handle Deer Population Confuse Residents In Saddle River, NJ

SADDLE RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Houses in Saddle River, New Jersey may cost on average $2 million, but the deer come free.

"They have definitely taken over this town," resident Jordan Demilia said.

To kill the deer or not to kill the deer led to some confusion on Election Day, CBS2's Meg Baker reported.

"Whether or not they want to use non-lethal methods to control our deer population, or use lethal methods to control our deer population, which would consist of bow hunting," Mayor Albert Kurpis said.

Most people responded "yes" to the first question, yet the majority of people also voted "yes" on the second question.

"There was some confusion, but the preponderance of the answers lean in the direction of a non-lethal solution," Kurpis said.

According to the mayor, the Town Council drafted the ballot questions.

CBS2 was told the deer commission was strongly split between neutering the animals or killing them.

"I was a fan of non-lethal, but I do think we need to address the issue," one resident said.

"I'm not opposed to lethal measures, so long as they're done conservatively and done in a way that the animals don't suffer," another said.

Either way, residents agree they've got to go.

"They're no longer afraid of people in town, so they'll walk right out in the middle of the street and stand there and look at you, and it's very much a deer in the headlights," one woman said.

Carmen Gonzalez said she can no longer let her dogs out in her backyard, because oftentimes with deer come coyotes.

"I usually have anywhere from five to 10 in my own backyard, in my front yard, all over the neighborhood," she said. "So it's a little overwhelming."

The board of health deemed the increasing deer population a health risk.

Now, it's up to the Town Council to decide how to get rid of them. A vote is set for Monday night.

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