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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 , 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 2017 Garden State Deer Classic which showcased outstanding deer taken during the 2015–16 deer hunting seasons, not the most recent 2016–17 hunting seasons. These deer will be honored at the January 2018 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.

2017 Garden State Deer Classic Winners*

Rank

Name

Score / Weight

County Harvested

DM Zone

200 Pound Buck

1st

Ken Whitehead

201

Warren

5

Non-typical Archery

1st

Lou Cornine

167 4/8

Monmouth

51

2nd

Kevin Pettit

165 6/8

Cumberland

31

3rd

Ken Whitehead

136 3/8

Warren

5

Non-typical Crossbow

1st

Nicholas A. Bergamo

163 4/8

Cumberland

47

2nd

Christopher Viereck

155 2/8

Gloucester

35

3rd

Dale Cline

153 4/8

Salem

27

Non-typical Shotgun

1st

John Beecher

139 2/8

Middlesex

15

2nd

Michael Fett

139 1/8

Warren

8

3rd

Kris Mayer

136 4/8

Warren

5

Typical Archery

1st

Barrett Miller

160 0/8

Monmouth

17

2nd

Stephen D. Fox

157 5/8

Camden

49

3rd

Mark Spoto

149 0/8

Morris

36

Typical Crossbow

1st

Jeffrey N. Lee

147 0/8

Warren

7

2nd

Chris Nelson

143 7/8

Mercer

14

3rd

Jeffrey Kramarz

143 2/8

Mercer

14

Typical Muzzleloader

1st

Chris Mesogianes

139 2/8

Salem

27

2nd

Ferdinand Van Strander

131 7/8

Sussex

3

Typical Shotgun

1st

Michael J. Tenuto

149 0/8

Gloucester

49

2nd

Jerry Meyerhoff

136 0/8

Somerset

8

3rd

R.J. Krajcsovics

131 1/8

Monmouth

17

Youth – Typical Archery

1st

Matthew Mesogianes

122 3/8

Salem

63

2nd

Jack Bycsek

119 4/8

Somerset

12

Youth – Typical Crossbow

1st

John S. Simone, III

147 6/8

Sussex

5

Youth – Typical Shotgun

1st

Andrew Casto

125 1/8

Gloucester

35

2nd

Dominic Sayres

124 5/8

Cumberland

29

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.