August 15, 2011
Antler Point Restrictions (APR) are a tenet of quality deer management in which younger bucks with smaller antlers are restricted from harvest in the hope that older, larger-antlered bucks will be available for harvest in subsequent years. New Jersey's APR program restricts the harvest of bucks to those with at least three points on an antler; seven Deer Management Zones (DMZ) already have this regulation.
In response to a request to the NJ Fish and Game Council to add Antler Point Restrictions (APR) to five southern New Jersey Deer Management Zones (DMZ), the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife conducted a scientific survey to obtain a concensus of opinion from deer hunters in the proposed zones.
In April, 2010, the survey was mailed to 3,231 hunters who purchased a deer hunting permit from at least one of the five proposed APR DMZs during the 2008-09 season. Hunters returned 1,351 completed surveys and 128 surveys came back as undeliverable. The survey return rate was forty-four percent (44%), indicating a strong interest in this subject.
A large majority of the respondents (76%) were in favor of the inclusion of the proposed zones in APR regulations. The Fish and Game Council recognizes that APR in these zones is more of a social issue than a biological issue, and voted for the inclusion in the recently approved Game Code Amendments. Zones 28, 30, 31, 34 and 47 will have APR regulations beginning with the 2011 Fall Bow Deer Season.
The survey results document is available in PDF format on the division's website:
An Assessment of NJ Deer Hunter Opinion on Expanding Antler Point Restriction Regulations in DMZs 28, 30, 31, 34, and 47 (pdf, 160kb)