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New Jersey

Hunting

Wildlife Programs

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 2021–22 hunting seasons will be recognized at the 2023 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. See ad below for more information.

The table at right lists the top-scoring deer and the hunters who harvested them during the 2019–20 deer hunting seasons, not the most recent 2020–21 hunting seasons. Current season harvests will be honored at the January 2023 Deer Classic and printed in next year’s 2023 Hunting & Trapping Digest.

2021 Garden State Deer Classic Winners*

Rank

Name

Score/Weight

DMZ

Hometown

Youth Division

Youth – Typical Crossbow

1st

Charles M. Bergamo

119 2/8

35

Franklinville

Youth Typical Shotgun

1st

Christopher T. Hemple

129 5/8

29

Quinton

Youth – 180 Pound Buck – Crossbow

1st

Charles M. Bergamo

190

35

Franklinville

Open Division

200 Pound Buck Crossbow

1st

Robert Staudt, Jr

212.5

14

Stockton

2nd

Ginger Collini

205

29

Bridgeton

Typical Muzzleloader

1st

Eugene Duffner

139 1/8

17

Freehold

2nd

Kenneth Jeffers, III

135 5/8

35

Gibbstown

3rd

Dale Cline

133 7/8

27

Elmer

Typical Shotgun

1st

Mark Greenberg

149 6/8

14

Millstone

2nd

Philip Becker

134 5/8

7

Phillipsburg

3rd

Anthony Guzzo

132 1/8

28

Ocean City

Non-typical Shotgun

1st

Chad McGinnis

159 2/8

1

Wantage

Typical Crossbow

1st

Richard DeSocio

144 0/8

4

Palmerton

2nd

Mark Cassebaum, Sr

142 4/8

13

Somerset

3rd

Michael Bauman

138 7/8

28

Pittsgrove

Non-typical Crossbow

1st

Steven Brunner

158 0/8

17

New Egypt

2nd

Jim Moore

155 6/8

28

Pittsgrove

3rd

Russell Buchinsky

138 2/8

17

Helmetta

Typical Archery

1st

Jack Harris

155 1/8

2

Newton

2nd

Robert H. Sacher

147 6/8

50

East Brunswick

3rd

Jared Cramer

145 3/8

5

Newton

Non-typical Archery

1st

Ernest L. Zadotti

159 6/8

14

East Brunswick

2nd

Joseph Marchetti

144 1/8

18

Brick

3rd

John (Jack) S. Smith

135 1/8

49

Laurel Springs

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.

Mark your calendar for the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament!

May 15, 2022

Island Beach State Park, Seaside Park, NJ

Come celebrate the 31st year of the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament! Enjoy a great day of surf fishing with family and friends.

The individual who catches the overall largest fish wins the "Governor's Award" and will have their name engraved on the Governor's Cup, which is permanently displayed at Island Beach State Park. Prizes are awarded to winners in a variety of age group and fish species categories.

All funds raised by the tournament go toward improving beach access, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment plus marine education and restoration projects.

The tournament is sponsored by NJDEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife and Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Jersey Coast Anglers Association and New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

For more information visit:
NJFishandWildlife.com/gsft.htm or call (609) 748-4347

Operation Game Thief

Report Abuse of our Outdoor Heritage!

1-855-OGT-TIPS

24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week

The person who poaches, pollutes habitat and abuses public land
tarnishes the image of sportsmen and robs us of our fish and wildlife as well as tax and license dollars. You can make a difference.

Call OGT to report:

  • Negligent use of firearms
  • Over the limits for game and fish
  • Commercial exploitation of fish and wildlife
  • Pollution of habitat, dumping on state land
  • Destruction of signs and state property
  • Illegal killing, taking or possession of any wildlife

It's Free. It's Confidential.
You May Be Eligible for
a Reward.

Funded by the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.

Designed to encourage sportsmen to report poaching and wildlife crimes.