|New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife|
For information contact:
Dan Ferrigno at 609-259-8692
Deer project personnel completed a survey of 83 deer check stations in order to estimate preliminary deer harvest estimates for the 2000 early fall bow season (September 11 - 29, 2000) and statewide opener (September 30, 2000). Bow hunters got off to their best start in history by harvesting an estimated 5,261 deer during the period from September 11 through September 30 (inclusive).
The fall bow harvest estimates provide strong evidence that bow hunters are making an important contribution to reducing deer populations in agricultural and suburban areas. These early results should be very encouraging to farmers and sportsmen alike. Shifting hunting pressure from anltered bucks to antlerless deer will result in reduced damage to agriculture as well as older and bigger bucks in the future.
The fall bow season not only provides recreation to approximately 50,000 bow hunters but also contributes to deer population management because it allows for the taking of antlerless deer. By harvesting a sufficient number of antlerless deer in each zone, populations are maintained in a healthy condition and at levels that minimize conflicts between deer and people. This is particularly important in areas with a high incidence of agricultural damage and deer-vehicle collisions. This year's population management objective is to decrease the deer herd on 74 percent of the deer range, stabilize the herd on 22 percent of the range, and increase it on 4 percent of the range. Deer herds will be allowed to increase only in zone 24, which contains mostly public land and has limited agriculture and minimal potential for deer-human conflicts.
The 2000 preliminary bow harvest estimate is consistent with the 1999 deer harvest data that show deer harvests and hunting opportunities have increased as a result of the Fish and Game Council's authorization to reduce deer populations on three-quarters of the deer range. However, continued progress toward controlling deer herds will rely on hunters getting access to all lands where deer can be effectively hunted.