Logo

Wildlife Programs: Outstanding Deer

Hunting Regulations Icon New Jersey Hunting

New Jersey’s Outstanding Deer Program showcases the fine quality deer produced in the Garden State while recognizing the hunters who harvested them with a bow, crossbow, shotgun or muzzleloading rifle. Our 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.

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 category requirements by 10 or 20 pounds for doe and buck, respectively. (See table below for minimum entry requirements.)

Legally harvested deer must be taken under the Boone and Crockett-defined rules of fair chase. Deer taken from enclosed hunting lands are not eligible.

Applications are due Nov. 1 — NO EXCEPTIONS. No entry fee.

All deer must be scored by an official measurer. Visit our website at NJFishandWildlife.com/outdeer.htm for program background, rules, score/entry forms plus a list of official measurers. (See page bottom at Entering the Outstanding Deer Program. Follow link at second page bottom.)

Don’t wait for the approaching deadline to schedule with an official measurer. Racks waiting at the taxidermy shop can be “borrowed” for scoring then returned to the taxidermist for mounting. A rack is easier and safer to transport and measure than a mount. Ask your taxidermist to have the mount completed by Dec. 31 to be ready for the January Deer Classic.

Weight categories recognize exceptional body size as determined by the field-dressed weight, all vitals removed. See chart for minimum eligible weights. 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 signature proof, as above.

Any properly licensed hunter, resident or non-resident, is eligible to enter their deer harvested from the previous year’s hunting seasons. Deer must be taken in accordance with New Jersey wildlife laws and regulations.

Official entry consists of the original score sheet, hunter information page plus a clear photo of the hunter with their deer, preferably a field photo from the day of harvest. Forms with instructions are available on Fish and Wildlife’s website NJFishandWildlife.com/outdeer.htm.

For questions, email Fish and Wildlife at NJFishandWildlife@dep.nj.gov or call (908) 637-4125. Qualifying entries for deer harvested during the 2019–20 hunting seasons will be recognized at the 2021 Garden State Deer Classic.

Join Fish and Wildlife in celebrating New Jersey’s outstanding white-tailed deer at the January at the Garden State Outdoor Sportsmen’s Show in Edison.

The table at right lists the top-scoring deer and the hunters who participated in the 2020 Garden State Deer Classic which showcased outstanding deer taken during the 2018–19 deer hunting seasons, not the most recent 2019–20 hunting seasons. These deer will be honored at the January 2021 Deer Classic and printed in next year’s 2021 Hunting & Trapping Digest.

2020 Garden State Deer Classic Winners*

Rank

Name

Score/Weight

DMZ

Hometown

Youth Division

Youth – Typical Crossbow

1st

Alexandra Margelis

120 3/4

14

Hillsborough

Youth Typical Shotgun

1st

Dylan N. Pastuck

145 1/2

31

Cape May Ct House

Youth Non-typical Crossbow

1st

Levi Mains

132 5/8

15

Millstone

Youth Non-typical Muzzleloader

1st

Chris Hulsman

169 1/4

6

Stanhope

135 Pound Doe Shotgun

Open Division

1st

Edward J. Mitana, II

136 Pounds

27

Gibbstown

200 Pound Buck Crossbow

1st

Michael S. Novak

225 Pounds

5

Lake Hopatcong

2nd

Keith Malespina

212 Pounds

14

Trenton

Typical Muzzleloader

1st

David Van Selous

138 5/8

41

Pennington

2nd

Jason Smith

133 7/8

28

Elmer

3rd

Jeff Schlump

132 1/2

35

Pedricktown

Typical Shotgun

1st

Marty French

150 1/8

7

Ringoes

2nd

Zachary Wallace

138 5/8

48

Lumberton

3rd

Gerry DuMont

129 1/2

7

Lebanon

Non-typical Shotgun

1st

Robert Lanza

149 5/8

5

Hewitt

2nd

Rick Gangemi

135 1/4

48

Burlington

Typical Crossbow

1st

Sal Gaccione

149 7/8

12

Bedminster

2nd

Michael R. Beltrone, Jr.

142 5/8

2

Highland Lakes

3rd

Michael Liberi

139 0/8

49

Sicklerville

Non-typical Crossbow

1st

Anthony Marabuto

151 7/8

15

Cream Ridge

Typical Archery

1st

Melvin Sliker, Jr.

143 1/2

2

Wantage

2nd

Chris Schmidt

140 1/2

15

Manalapan

3rd

Matt Winemiller

139 1/4

51

Wall

Non-typical Archery

1st

Rick Dunk

137 1/2

15

Millstone

Velvet Non-typical Archery

1st

Ryan Polhemus

153 1/4

17

New Egypt

 

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.