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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please download the pdf. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Deer Harvest Results for Crossbow’s Debut Season

Brought to you by:

By Carole Kandoth, Principal Biologist

dreamstime_10910540_crossbow.jpg 

The 2009–2010 deer season witnessed the introduction of crossbows for all hunters during every season when a bow is a legal hunting sporting arm. Prior to this season, hunting with a crossbow was limited to individuals with certain physical limitations.

The New Jersey Fish and Game Council adopted the use of crossbows for hunters of all abilities after weighing constituent requests, crossbow harvest data from other states and the results of a survey conducted by New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife entitled An Assessment of New Jersey Resident Hunter Opinion on Crossbow Use.

The survey shows that the majority of New Jersey hunters support the use of crossbows by hunters of all ages in each existing bow season. Data from other states showed the ballistics and success rate of crossbows was comparable to those of compound bows. See survey results.

An analysis of harvest data from the 2009-2010 deer hunting seasons shows that crossbows accounted for 21.3 percent of the total Fall Bow Season harvest, 27.6 percent of the total Permit Bow Season harvest, and 29.6 percent of the total Winter Bow Season harvest. Overall, crossbows were used to harvest 23.9 percent of the deer during all three bow seasons.

By comparison, compound bows took 76.6 percent of the total Fall Bow Season harvest, 69.9 percent of the total Permit Bow Season harvest, and 64.7 percent of the total Winter Bow Season harvest. Primitive bows (long bows and recurves) took 1.2 percent of the total Fall Bow Season harvest, 1.3 percent of the total Permit Bow Season, and 2.6 percent of the total Winter Bow Season.

Harvest Numbers for the 2009-2010 Bow Seasons by Type of Bow

Total Season Harvests

Fall Bow

Permit Bow

Winter Bow

Compound

10842

4782

1342

Crossbow

3019

1893

608

Primitive

165

91

54

Antlered Season Harvests

Compound

2940

2354

241

Crossbow

912

943

99

Primitive

36

42

14

Antlerless Season Harvests

Compound

7902

2428

1101

Crossbow

2107

950

509

Primitive

129

49

40

Additionally, for the first time, deer could be harvested during the Six-day Firearm Season with archery equipment in the 2009–2010 season. Shotguns were used for the largest portion of the Six-day harvest with 95.4 percent, muzzleloaders took 1.6 percent, compound bows took 0.5 percent, crossbows took 0.2 percent, and primitive bows took 0.1 percent.

Six-Day Deer Season Harvest by Type of Sporting Arm

Six-day Firearm

Total Harvest

8,015

Unknown

185

Shotgun

7,644

Muzzleloader

126

Compound Bow

39

Crossbow

15

Primitive Bow

5

While harvest numbers show the number of successful hunters using any type of sporting arm, this data does not confirm participation rates during non-permit seasons. Therefore the White-tailed Deer Research Project is conducting the 2010 Bowhunter Survey. The random, statewide survey will tell us how many hunters participated in new programs like Sunday bow hunting; how many hunters utilize crossbows, compounds or primitive bows; and how many hunters may have returned to the sport or started hunting because of the legalization of crossbows. These data will allow Fish and Wildlife to estimate success rates for the different types of bows. The Bowhunter Survey results will be published in next year’s hunting Digest.

 

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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