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Wildlife Programs Outstanding Deer

New Jersey’s Outstanding White-tailed Deer Program has a new 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 new 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 below for Entering the Outstanding Deer Program), 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 (see below), 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 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.

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 2014–15 hunting seasons are recognized at the 2016 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 2015 Garden State Deer Classic which showcased outstanding deer taken during the 2013–14 deer hunting seasons, not the most recent 2014–15 hunting seasons. These deer will be honored at the January 2016 Deer Classic and printed in next year’s Digest.

* See entry form. A certified scale might be available at the following businesses:

  • Warehouse with shipping department
  • Concrete, sand and gravel company
  • Junk yard or scrap metal recycler
  • Marina with party and charter boat fishing

Visit our website 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.

2015 Garden State Deer Classic Winners*

Rank

Name

Score / Weight

County Harvested

DM Zone

135 Pound Doe — Shotgun

1st

Fred Heydorn, Jr.

157

Somerset

14

200 Pound Buck — Archery

1st

Hunter Delfa

220

Somerset

14

2nd

Mark Spoto

207

Morris

36

3rd

Joseph E. Ruggieri

205

Sussex

6

Non-typical Archery

1st

Brian Nee

182 6/8

Monmouth

50

2nd

Anthony Santini

158 2/8

Hunterdon

10

3rd

Chris Schmidt

147 0/8

Monmouth

50

4th

Ryan Miller

145 5/8

Burlington

19

Non-typical Crossbow

1st

Darren Guglielmelli

166 2/8

Ocean

16

2nd

Larry Newell

157 1/8

Ocean

18

3rd

John Pizzuro

149 6/8

Hunterdon

12

Non-typical Muzzleloader

1st

Gary Hochhauser

160 1/2

Monmouth

16

Non-typical Shotgun

1st

Glenn C. Poeppel

150 4/8

Salem

27

2nd

Shea Jones

138 3/8

Cumberland

45

Typical Archery

1st

Douglas W. Schneider

152 2/8

Warren

5

2nd

William Schneider

150 5/8

Somerset

14

3rd

Courtney Lynne Erndl

142 2/8

Monmouth

50

Typical Crossbow

1st

Don Ciancarelli

170 1/8

Cumberland

29

2nd

Keith Yasunas

158 1/8

Hunterdon

11

3rd

Andrew Tancredi

151 3/8

Middlesex

15

Typical Muzzleloader

1st

Anthony D’Aniello

140 3/8

Somerset

12

2nd

Joseph Ribas

138 3/8

Monmouth

17

3rd

Randy Cuntala

128 2/8

Warren

5

Typical Shotgun

1st

Thomas J. Mol

151 1/8

Sussex

6

2nd

Ashlyn Petersen

133 2/8

Middlesex

15

3rd

Brandon Totten

131 5/8

Burlington

17

* For deer harvested during the 2013–14 hunting seasons.

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.

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