Statewide Archery Deer Season Opens Saturday
Even though select Deer Management Zones (DMZs) opened for bow hunting on September 11, and more than a few were within the southern tier counties, it’s the traditional October opener that generates much of the excitement. This is only surpassed adrenaline-wise when the rut gets underway, which generally kicks in late October and runs into December.
This coincides with the general statewide Permit Bow season with opens October 30 and, predicated on the DMZ being hunted, can extend to November 20 to as late as December 31. Check page 36 of the Hunting and Trapping Digest for DMZs, dates, and bag limits.
Although EHD has wreaked havoc on some local herds north, central, and south, overall whitetail numbers are high, and there will be plenty of chances to put some meat in the freezer and add a rack to the collection.
While access to private property, especially farmland, is nirvana when it comes to deer hunting in New Jersey, don’t overlook public lands in the forms of wildlife management areas, state parks and forests, federal lands, national wildlife refuges, and also county properties that are open to bowhunting. In some instances, a permit, in addition to the DMZ permit, will be required, but the costs are minimal for the opportunities provided. Sure, some extra regulations might be part of the deal (example: no baiting on federal lands, including wildlife refuges), but again, a small price to pay.
For a list of maps on wildlife management areas: NJFishandWildlife.com/wmaland.htm; for state parks and forests: NJParksandForests.org/parks/sps_hunting_maps.html.
A comprehensive list of public land open to deer hunting, approximately 750,000 acres, can be found on page 42 in the Digest.