Garden State hunters are finalizing plans and gearing up for the December 9 start of New Jersey’s Six-day Firearm Season for deer. The Six-day or traditional “buck” season runs this year through December 14, and will provide great memories and countless hours of excitement for sportsmen and sportswomen throughout New Jersey.
The season bag limit is two antlered deer, but the first buck must be reported via the Automated Harvest Report System before a second buck can be pursued. 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 in addition to the regular zone 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 bow and firearm license, or all-around license. If hunting with a bow during this season, deer must be reported using the Six-day Firearm stub on the firearm or all-around license.
All deer harvested must be reported either online or by telephone using NJ DEP Fish and Wildlife’s Automated Harvest Report System (AHRS.) This system is in effect for all deer seasons, and replaces the previous deer check station system. The AHRS collects all the same information which was collected at deer check stations. Please see www.njfishandwildlife.com/ahrs_deer_viewer.htm to utilize the Deer Hunting Location Viewer to determine the township and Deer Management Unit (DMU) where you hunt prior to going into the field. Although you can report your deer without this information, we ask that you make every effort to include it, as it is used to make improvements to deer hunting regulations. Hunters will be assigned a confirmation number in place of the metal possession seal formerly provided at check stations. The confirmation number must be kept with the deer and its parts.
For more information regarding the Automated Harvest Report System see pages 32 of the 2013-14 New Jersey Hunting and Trapping Digest or www.njfishandwildlife.com/ahrs.htm.
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.
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 pages 88 – 89 of the 2013-14 New Jersey Hunting and Trapping Digest and online at www.njfishandwildlife.com/hunting_publicland.htm. 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.
A specific list of wildlife management areas (including maps and acreage information) under the jurisdiction of the Division of Fish and Wildlife can be found at www.njfishandwildlife.com/wmaland.htm.
Everything you need to know about deer hunting in New Jersey is posted on the Division of Fish and Wildlife Web site at www.njfishandwildlife.com/deer.htm. Hunters should also have a copy of the 2013-14 New Jersey Hunting and Trapping Digest and be completely familiar with the rules and regulations pertaining to the area or areas they will be hunting.