Garden State Deer Classic Jan. 9-12

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The State's most outstanding white-tailed deer from the 2001-02 hunting season will be on display at the Garden State Deer Classic to be held during the Garden State Outdoor Sportsmen's Show, January 9-12 in Raritan Center, Edison. The Deer Classic is jointly sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife, the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and the United Bowhunters of New Jersey.

The Deer Classic is an annual event showcasing hunter entries in New Jersey's Outstanding White-tailed Deer Program, which was initiated in 1964. It includes categories for typical and non-typical antlered deer taken with bow, shotgun and muzzleloading rifle in addition to the 200-pound buck and 135-pound doe field-dressed weight categories. All antlered deer are scored using the Boone & Crockett Club system that gives credit to antler length, spread, number of points and symmetry. Age, health, genetics and nutrition are the major factors contributing to deer reaching trophy status.

This year's 60-foot display of outstanding antlered deer will include a special section where all-time New Jersey Record Deer will be on display. In addition to the deer display, hunters can experience seminars by a variety of deer experts, biologists and noted deer hunters on each of the four days of the outdoor show. Division of Fish and Wildlife deer biologists will also be on hand each day to answer questions, provide information and score antlers for anyone who brings their antlers to the display area.

The Garden State Outdoor Sportsmen's Show will be held on Thursday and Friday, January 9 and 10 from 1 - 9 p.m.; on Saturday, January 11 from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A special awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, January 12 for the top three 2001-2002 entries in each category.