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Wildlife Programs: Outstanding Deer

Hunting Regulations Icon New Jersey Hunting

Youth Division

New Jersey’s Outstanding White-tailed Deer Program has a Youth Division!

The Outstanding Deer Program is designed to showcase the fine quality deer produced in the Garden State and recognize the hunters who harvested them with a bow, crossbow, shotgun or muzzleloading rifle.

Joining the program’s regular Open Division is a Youth Division for hunters ages 10–16 with eased entry requirements reduced by 10 points (inches) for all Antler categories and a reduction in the Weight categories by 10 or 20 pounds for doe and buck, respectively. (See table below for minimum entry requirements.)

For the Antler Category, Youth Division deer may be unofficially scored by our trained volunteers who need not be an official measurer. All Open Division deer must be scored by an official measurer. Visit our website at NJFishandWildlife.com/outdeer.htm for the list of official measurers (see page bottom for Entering the Outstanding Deer Program; then bottom of next page), program background, rules, score/entry forms and more.

Youth Division hunters must be prepared to submit a digital, high resolution, respectful photo of hunter and deer after their entry has been confirmed. (Day of harvest field photos must be Photoshopped or cropped to conceal any blood or the body cavity.) A family photo is encouraged! Only Youth Division hunters (not Open Division hunters who may email or call Cindy, below) may arrange for a measuring appointment by calling John Messeroll of the State Federation of Sportsmen’s Club at (732) 735-1672. Don’t wait for the deadline to approach before having your deer scored.

Applications are due Nov. 1 — NO EXCEPTIONS.

First place Youth Division hunters in each category may display a mounted deer at the Garden State Deer Classic, whether as a European skull mount or a taxidermy mount. All other Youth Division entrants’ photos will be digitally displayed at the event.

Open Division

Open Division hunters will be invited to display their deer mount, as always, at the Deer Classic.

The Outstanding Deer Program follows the measuring standards developed by the Boone and Crockett Club. This scoring system gives credit to antler length, spread, number of points, mass and symmetry. Legally harvested deer must have been taken under the Boone and Crockett-defined rules of fair chase. Deer taken from enclosed hunting lands are not eligible.

Note: It is best to have the rack measured before it is mounted. Don’t wait!

In the Weight categories, the program recognizes exceptional body size as determined by the field-dressed weight, all vitals removed. Minimum eligible weights are listed in the chart. Bucks must be weighed on a certified scale (no truck scales**) with the weighmaster’s signature on a letterhead receipt or on the entry form, available on our website; does must be weighed either on a Fish and Wildlife regional office scale or on a certified scale with proof as above.

Any properly licensed hunter, regardless of residency, is eligible to enter the Outstanding Deer Program with their deer from the previous year’s hunting seasons. Deer must be taken in accordance with New Jersey wildlife laws and regulations. Official entry form consists of the original score sheet, hunter information form plus a clear photo of the hunter with their deer. These forms with instructions are available on Fish and Wildlife’s website NJFishandWildlife.com/outdeer.htm. There is no entry fee.

Applications are due Nov. 1 — NO EXCEPTIONS.

For questions about the Open Division, email Cindy Kuenstner at Cindy.Kuenstner@dep.nj.gov or call (609) 633-7598.

Qualifying entries for deer harvested during the 2016–17 hunting seasons will be recognized at the 2018 Garden State Deer Classic. Join Fish and Wildlife in celebrating New Jersey’s outstanding white-tailed deer where this event takes place in January at the Garden State Outdoor Sportsmen’s Show, Edison.

The table at right lists the top-scoring deer and the hunters who participated in the 2018 Garden State Deer Classic which showcased outstanding deer taken during the 2016–17 deer hunting seasons, not the most recent 2017–18 hunting seasons. These deer will be honored at the January 2019 Deer Classic and printed in next year’s Digest.

† See entry form. Visit our website (https://www.njfishandwildlife.com/pdf/scale_list.pdf) for a partial list of certified scales or contact your county weights and measures office. Be sure to locate a scale before the hunting season begins!

** A truck scale is not acceptable as the increments are too large.

2018 Garden State Deer Classic Winners*

Youth Division

Category/Rank

Score/Weight

Name

DMZ

County Harvested

Youth 180 Pound Buck Muzzleloader

1st

182

Kenny Russell

5

Warren

Youth Typical Archery

1st

129 1/4

Trevor Haggerty

5

Warren

Youth Typical Crossbow

1st

133 7/8

Tyler McClure

19

Burlington

Youth Typical Muzzleloader

1st

124

Kenny Russell

5

Warren

Youth Typical Shotgun

1st

143

Olivia Mayhew

27

Salem

2nd

119 5/8

Jake C. Koscielski

7

Hunterdon

3rd

119 1/4

Garrett Totten

17

Monmouth

Open Division

Velvet Typical Archery

1st

135

Nicholas Marchisello

25

Gloucester

Velvet Typical Crossbow

1st

145 1/8

Anthony Magistro

51

Monmouth

2nd

126 1/8

Darren Hasara

10

Hunterdon

Typical Muzzleloader

1st

138 7/8

Michael D. Danner

35

Gloucester

2nd

136 1/4

Harry R. Fox

49

Burlington

3rd

132

Darren Ponce

1

Sussex

Non-typical Muzzleloader

1st

147 7/8

Guido Basile

35

Salem

2nd

141 3/4

Ron Hughes

21

Burlington

Typical Shotgun

1st

156 1/2

Angela Ciarlante

27

Salem

2nd

147 3/4

George W. Peer

5

Warren

3rd

144 3/4

Garrett O’Donnell

31

Cumberland

Non-typical Shotgun

1st

151 3/8

Joseph Zanni

47

Atlantic

2nd

139 7/8

Jason Marchioni

35

Gloucester

Typical Archery

1st

149 7/8

Frank J. Olma

14

Middlesex

2nd

144 5/8

Thomas Smith

5

Sussex

3rd

141 3/4

Jim Mullin

5

Warren

3rd

141 3/4

Dylan Miller

49

Camden

Non-typical Archery

1st

159 1/2

Joseph S. Kucowski, III

8

Hunterdon

2nd

154 3/4

Brett Clark

19

Burlington

3rd

143 7/8

Clint Miller

49

Burlington

Typical Crossbow

1st

160

Michael Carr

12

Somerset

2nd

149 1/8

John Goncalves

51

Monmouth

3rd

145 1/2

Colin McCuiston

50

Monmouth

Non-typical Crossbow

1st

161 7/8

William Gangel

48

Burlington

2nd

154 1/2

Tom Shirley

51

Ocean

3rd

151 5/8

Edward Fleming

11

Hunterdon

Outstanding Deer Program Minimum Requirements

Antler Category

Open Division Minimum

Youth Division Minimum

Typical Shotgun, Bow, Crossbow, Muzzleloader, Velvet

125

115

Non-typical Shotgun, Bow, Crossbow, Muzzleloader, Velvet

135

125

Weight Category

Buck: Shotgun, Bow, Crossbow, Muzzleloader

200 lbs.

180 lbs.

Doe: Shotgun, Bow, Crossbow, Muzzleloader

135 lbs.

125 lbs.