In 2012, N. J. hunters bagged 49,942 deer, including the new no. 8 typical archery whitetail buck (158 inches). The complete list of trophy deer harvested in 2013 won’t be finalized until early 2014. The overall harvest was about the same as it was in 2011 (50,100).
The Garden State continues to have about 107,000 deer, with the highest densities in suburban areas (100-plus deer per square mile). Some areas have even more whitetails, like the Schiff Nature Preserve, which has about 200 deer per square mile.
The 2013 season should be another good year for deer hunters. Those in Regulation Sets 6, 7, and 8 will again harvest the most whitetails. New bag limits for the fall bow and winter bow
seasons have been set for each zone (see Regulation Sets, page 44). Once a hunter has met the bag limit in a given regulation set, he or she may not harvest additional deer from any zone in that regulation set or in one of identical or more restrictive bag limits. But the hunter may subsequently hunt in a zone with a more liberal (greater) antlerless bag limit as
described in the regulation sets.
Unlike recent years, epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has not been a concern for deer in 2013. To date there have been no reports of EHD-related whitetail deaths.
The state has more than 750,000 acres of public land available to deer hunters. Lands found in Regulation Sets 6, 7, and 8 provide some of the best odds of bagging a mature buck.