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NJ has not had a winter kill in ages. The state is far too developed. If the snow gets deep the deer browse in the yards and business properties. The biggest thing to drop the numbers are the late doe seasons and coyote and bear populations. This time of the year you are killing 3 for 1 when you take a doe and what is born in the spring has a good chance of being chewed up by predators.
 

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You have to have self control. I honestly think guys kill just to say they "killed". On My small piece, weve taken 2 does, both does last season, none this season, and 1 buck. I sat in that stand since sept 10th, and i honestly could have killed double digits with ease. I didnt even shoot an EAB doe this year. Just sat and watched to see what showed up mostly. The state had an agenda, and we fell for it. Hook,line and sinker. They knew alot of guys just want to kill, and to kill alot. And they played us like puppets. And if you dont believe that, your only kidding yourselves. I was one of them. In my younger days , we had a great piece up in flemington, and we hammered the shit out of them. Looking back now, iam disgusted with myself. There was no reason for us...me, my 3 cousins, my 2 uncles, and father to shoot one almost every day the season was open. Iam willing to bet that almost all of us know at LEAST one other hunter who kills just to say they killed. Hell iam also willing to bet that almost 50% of people who shoot all these unlimited does, dont even eat venison.
 

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I've been hunting zone 2 for 40 years, I've seen the lows of the 70's and the highs of the 90's. The current population is not close to what it was in the 90's (we would see groups of 15 -20 deer, 50 deer in the fields around Vernon with a light) but they are not as bad as they were in the 70's where you could hunt all week and maybe see a couple does.

I will say there are larger bucks being killed, I think it's because the larger bucks come out of the sanctuaries (the "new" developments) during the rut, or because guys are doe hunting for meat and not buying buck tags...but I don't know.

Hunting in zone 2 is good but not great.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Hi guys, I wanted to revisit this thread as it was without a doubt an extremely weak winter. I haven't been out yet this season as I have a new born due any second. I'm saving my time up for late October/November. How has the heard looked so far for 2017?
 

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Hi guys, I wanted to revisit this thread as it was without a doubt an extremely weak winter. I haven't been out yet this season as I have a new born due any second. I'm saving my time up for late October/November. How has the heard looked so far for 2017?
I've had my cams out for a couple months, not impressed with what I've seen thus far.
 

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Live and hunt in Z 2 also hunt 1. Everytime i see a report about low #s i always think how amazing it is the contrast of opinion in the same zone. Granted some areas hold more or less deer but in my specific area i have seen #s do nothing but rising and quality of buck go up each year. Its common to see 30 or 40 deer in a field at dusk.
 

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I was born and raised in Vernon Twp... what's always been amazing to me is how the deer are distributed, I have some spots that have a very healthy population, I can guarantee I will see deer all day long when I hunt them. Then just a few miles down the road you can sit for a week and never see a deer. The state land is particularly bad, unlimited does in muzzy, bow and shotgun permit season has really taken a toll and I believe the deer know to avoid the state lands.
 
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