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Hunters Ready for Start of Six-day Firearm Deer Season

November 23, 2011

Garden State hunters are finalizing plans and gearing up for the December 5 start of New Jersey's Six-day Firearm Season for deer. The Six-day or traditional "buck" season runs this year through December 10, and will provide great memories and countless hours of excitement for sportsmen and sportswomen throughout New Jersey.

The most significant regulation change for this year is the addition of Deer Management Zones 28, 30, 31, 34 and 47 to the DMZs where harvest of an antlered deer is restricted to deer with at least one antler having a minimum of three antler points. The other Antler Point Restriction DMZs include Zones 3, 9, 13, 27, 29, 35, 37, 40, 63 and 67.

The season bag limit is two antlered deer, but the first buck must be brought to a check station before a second buck is taken. Hunters who do not harvest a buck or only harvest one buck during the Six-day Season have the opportunity to take one antlered deer during the Permit Shotgun Season if they purchase an antlered buck shotgun permit. However, if a hunter harvests two antlered deer, he/she forfeits the opportunity to harvest an antlered deer during the Permit Shotgun Season.

Bowhunters may also harvest a buck during the Six-day Firearm Season with a bow, as long as they have a current Archery License and a Firearm License, or an All-around License. The buck should be tagged with the transportation tag for the Six-day Firearm Season from the Firearm or All-around license.

Firearm hunters must wear a cap made of solid daylight fluorescent orange or an outer garment containing at least 200 square inches of fluorescent orange material visible from all sides at all times while engaged in hunting. A camo-orange hat alone is not adequate. Deer hunters utilizing a ground blind must also display 200 square inches of fluorescent orange material either atop the blind and visible from all sides, or within 5 feet of the blind and higher than the blind whenever a deer firearm season is open.

Baiting is allowed for deer hunting in New Jersey, and hunters may hunt for deer while in a tree, on the ground or in a structure, and from any height and any distance from the bait pile. Hunters should always check with landowners or administrative agencies before placing bait on their hunting area however, as baiting is not allowed on properties such as National Wildlife Refuges.

Checking in a deer is a mandatory requirement in New Jersey for successful hunters. Immediately upon harvesting any deer, hunters must complete in ink all information requested on the transportation tag and the tag should then be securely attached to the deer. Youth hunters and farmers creating a hand-written transportation tag (available on page 29 in the 2011-12 Hunting and Trapping Digest) must include their Conservation ID number, date, hunting season, gender of deer, number of antler points, county, township and deer management zone.

A list of deer check stations can be found on pages 58 and 59 of the 2011 NJ Hunting and Trapping Digest, and online at Hunters should call ahead to learn the hours of operation of the deer check station they plan to bring their deer to (see for updated station information.). Hunters should also be respectful when transporting deer to and from a check station, butcher or taxidermist by rinsing away excess blood, and turning the field-dressed side to face in toward their vehicle.

Hunters looking for a spot to find their antlered deer now have more than 750,000 acres of public land open to deer hunting. The mixture of Wildlife Management Areas, State Parks and Forests, National Wildlife Refuges and an increasing number of county and municipal properties offer a wide diversity of deer habitat and plenty of opportunities for quality deer hunting experiences. It is important though to ensure the area you want to hunt is open to hunting before you step onto the property. A listing of public land open to deer hunting can be found on page 88 of the 2011-12 NJ Hunting and Trapping Digest and online at Hunters must have permission to hunt agricultural or private land even if the land is not posted, and should obtain permission before hunting any private property.

Everything you need to know about deer hunting in New Jersey is posted on the Division of Fish and Wildlife Web site at Hunters should also have a copy of the 2011-12 Hunting and Trapping Digest and be completely familiar with the rules and regulations pertaining to the area or areas they will be hunting.

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Last Updated: November 23, 2011