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January 2, 2004


According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife, an estimated 6,640 antlered bucks were harvested during the Six-day Firearm Season beginning Tuesday, December 9 through Saturday, December 13, 2003. Combined with the opening day harvest of 5,108, the total 2003 season estimate is 11,748 - a 10 percent increase over the 2002 harvest of 10,588. Just under 40 percent of the season's harvest was taken from Hunterdon (1,796), Sussex (1,234), Warren (1,331) and Burlington (1,350) counties.

Combining the Fall Bow, Youth Day and Six-day Firearm seasons estimates, a total of 31,026 deer have been harvested statewide in 2003 compared to 22,698 taken during the equivalent period in 2002. Estimates for the Permit Bow Season harvest total, as well as Permit Muzzleloader and Permit Shotgun totals through December 20 will be available in early January.

Hunters are reminded that the Earn-A-Buck restriction in Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 36, 41, 49, 50 and 51 is no longer in effect for the balance of the 2003-04 deer seasons as of December 15, 2003. Please refer to page 32 of the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest, Hunting Season Issue for further details.

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