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Excitement Grows As New Jersey's Six-day Firearm Deer Season Approaches

December 1, 2008

The 2008 New Jersey Six-day Firearm Season for deer will open statewide on Monday, December 8, and run through Saturday, December 13. Frequently called "Buck Week" or the traditional deer season, the six-day firearm season is the most popular deer hunting season in New Jersey. More than 60,000 hunters will take to the diverse terrain of the Garden State in pursuit of the buck of a lifetime.

Season bag limit is two antlered deer. However, if a hunter harvests two antlered deer, he/she forfeits the opportunity to harvest an antlered deer during the permit shotgun season. Only one buck may be taken at a time. More than 8,200 deer were taken during last year's six-day firearm deer season.

Winter weather conditions have come early to the northeast this year, including a significant snowfall in the northern tier of the state. Preliminary long-range forecasts call for continued cold weather and increased possibilities for snow. Perfect conditions for the avid deer hunter.

If you are looking for a place to hunt, or perhaps have lost a favorite hunting spot, don't worry as New Jersey has more than 750,000 acres of public land available for deer hunting. These lands are administered by various entities including Federal, State, County and Municipal governments. In addition to government owned lands, other properties such as those owned by non-governmental conservation organizations may also be open to hunting. It is imperative though, that interested hunters check with the appropriate organization regarding their land use policies before venturing onto these lands.

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.

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. It is important, though; that hunters check with landowners or administrative agencies before placing bait on their hunting area, 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, and immediately upon harvesting a deer, hunters should complete (in ink) all required tags and bring their deer to the closest official deer check station. A list of deer check stations can be found beginning on page 58 of the 2008 Hunting and Trapping Issue of the Fish and Wildlife Digest.

Safety is always a primary concern while hunting, and New Jersey continues to have an excellent safety record. This is in no small measure due to an excellent hunter education program, and the use of hunter orange. Firearm deer 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.

Everything you need to know about deer hunting in New Jersey including a list of public lands open to the deer hunter, Chronic Wasting Disease, licenses and permits and regulation sets for all deer hunting zones can be found on the division's website.

Hunters should also have a copy of the 2008 Hunting and Trapping Issue of the Fish and Wildlife Digest and be completely familiar with the rules and regulations pertaining to the area or areas they will be hunting.

With so much to offer so close to home, there is no reason to venture far away from New Jersey to hunt deer this season. Great deer hunting is closer than you ever imagined.

Good luck this season. Please hunt safely, and remember to respect the property rights of landowners by not trespassing on private property.

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P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: December 1, 2008