Monday, December 5th marks the start of the Six-day Firearm Deer Season in New Jersey. The Six-day, or traditional “buck” season, runs through December 10. The New Jersey black bear hunting season is also held December 5-10.
A significant regulation change for this year is the addition of Deer Management Zones 28, 30, 31, 34 and 47 to the zones 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. Portions of Warren County lie within zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10.
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.
Note: the refuge status for the Rockport WMA located in Hackettstown, Warren County, will be lifted to allow deer and bear hunting. As always, the Game Farm proper (area around the pens and buildings) remains closed to all hunting. The refuge sustained severe damage from the snow that blanketed the northern third of the state on October 29. The pheasant refuge status for the 380 acre area posted as restricted remains and is closed to pheasant hunting. The area includes the parcels on either side of Rockport Road contiguous with the Game Farm buildings and pens upslope to and including the power line right of way.
For more on the upcoming hunting season, see the division’s web site, or for more information contact New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife at (609) 292-2965.