New Jersey Automated Game Check System (AGCS) FAQs

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Q. What if I can't check in my deer by 7pm?
A. The mandatory time to check in a deer under the Automated Game Check System (AGCS) is the same as under the old deer check station system. If you recover a deer past 7pm, the AGCS will still allow you to check in the deer without penalty. If you recover a deer late and don't have a cell phone, make sure you have your Harvest Report (transportation) Stub filled in to show compliance and check in your deer as soon as you get home. Calling one of the Division's Law Enforcement officesto report a late deer is no longer necessary because if you can call them, you can call the AGCS to register your deer!

Q. I don't know the Township and/or Deer Management Unit (DMU) where I harvested my deer - can I still check it in?
A. The township and DMU data are optional so you can still check in your deer without the DMU number. However, we do ask that you make every effort to learn these and include them in your registration (see question below) because they are important tools in making amendments to deer hunting regulations. The Deer Management Zone and County location data are required to register a deer. If you find out your township and DMU after you have registered your deer you may call in the data to the appropriate Division office:


North: 908-735-7040
   (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties)
Central: 609-259-6965
   (Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties)
South: 609-748-2065
   (Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties)


Q. How can I find out the Township and Deer Management Unit (DMU) for my harvest?
A. Links to county maps with DMUs are found on the Deer Management Unit Map page. The maps for the January and February test period are static maps; an inter-active map which will include townships will be posted in time for the fall deer seasons.


Q. Won't this new system result in more poaching of deer?
A. Poachers are unethical and will find a way to take advantage of any regulation or checking system. The Division has no reason to believe an automated system will increase poaching for the following reasons:


  • The AGCS makes it easier for hunters to comply with the mandatory deer check.
  • Other states who have gone from a live check-in to an automated system do not report any changes in harvest numbers which shows good compliance with the new systems.
  • Further, Division Conservation Officers will now have real-time data available to them in the field, and additions to the Game Code enable Conservation Officers to inspect the deer within 48 hours of registration.


Q. The check station system works fine, why change it?
A. Mandatory deer check stations were instituted in 1974. While mandatory deer check was progressive for its time and allowed the Division to collect a lot of valuable harvest data over the years, as the deer seasons became longer and deer harvests became larger, the deer check station system became more cumbersome to operate and more expensive to maintain. The new AGCS will cost about half the amount per deer as the old system, and more importantly, it will free up Division deer biologists' time to allow opportunity for research to improve NJ's deer management and forest health. The AGCS will also provide a number of other benefits including immediate access to harvest data and significantly improved law enforcement capabilities.


Q. Will eliminating the metal seal make it harder to enforce the law?
A. The important part of the metal seal was the number printed on it, which is traceable back to that specific deer and proves compliance with the law. Hunters will still receive a number that does the same thing - it is now called a Confirmation Number. The Confirmation Number should be kept with the deer or its parts for as long as they are in your possession - just like you did with the metal seal.


Q. Since there are no more metal seals, what do I give the butcher/taxidermist when I bring in my deer?
A. The butcher or taxidermist must now record the Confirmation Number of the deer submitted. You may attach a homemade tag with the Confirmation Number and your contact info before you drop your deer off to be butchered or mounted.


Q. What will happen to my deer check station?
A. Deer check stations are independent businesses which will continue to operate. If a former check station has an extra telephone line or internet access, they may provide their customers with these conveniences to check deer as a courtesy. The hardest part of the decision to implement AGCS has been the perceived affect it might have on the livelihoods of our deer check station partners who have been so invaluable to us in our deer data collection efforts over the years. We sincerely hope that the established bonds of loyalty, which have been fostered for so long, will remain intact and that deer hunters will continue to view those businesses as a post-hunt gathering place and an invaluable part of the hunting experience.


Q. Will my information be safe on the Internet?
A. The new system uses strict security measures to protect your personal information. When you enter the system, you will see that the Web address begins with "https." The "s" on the end of the traditional "http" means Secure Socket Layer and indicates that extra layers of protection (e.g. encryption) are in place on that Web site. This is the same method used by banks and online shopping sites.


Q. I forgot to record/lost my Confirmation Number - what should I do?
A. You can obtain your Confirmation Number at any time by logging in to the license website ( and selecting to "Submit Harvest Information". The site will display all your previously registered deer and their Confirmation Number(s).


Q. What happens if I get disconnected while trying to check in my deer?
A. A deer is not officially checked in until you receive your Confirmation Number from the system. So if you make it through several reporting steps and get disconnected, it is as if you had never called. After being disconnected, you must call back to complete the check-in until you receive a Confirmation Number.


Q. How do I fill out another harvest report tag when harvesting my third or more antlerless deer?
A. After you use up the lines on your Harvest Report tag, you may print out a Supplemental Harvest Report Form (pdf, 23kb) for that season, which you can use as a harvest report tag to transport your deer and to record Confirmation Numbers for additional deer. You may print out as many of these as you need.


Q. Can someone else check my deer in for me?
A. Technically, you must check in your own deer. However, if you are having difficulties with the telephone or internet portion of the AGCS, you may have someone assist you in checking in your deer.