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Automated Harvest Report System (AHRS) FAQs

  1. What is the Automated Harvest Report System?
  2. How do I access the AHRS?
  3. What information is submitted to the AHRS?
  4. What if I don't know the Township and/or Deer Management Unit (Unit) where I harvested my deer?
  5. What is the Harvest Number?
  6. What is the Confirmation Number?
  7a. Can I take multiple deer at one time during any seasons?
  7b. When can I take my next deer after reporting my harvest?
  8. What is used in place of a supplemental tag OR How do I report multiple antlerless deer during the same season?
  9. How do I report two deer where allowed in Regulation Sets 6 and 8 zones and seasons?
10. How does a farmer hunting on his own property without a license report a deer without a Harvest Number during non-permit seasons?
11. How do I report a deer on Youth Hunting Days and non-permit seasons?
12. What if I can't report my deer by 7pm?
13. What happens if I get disconnected while trying to report my deer?
14. I forgot to record/lost my Confirmation Number - what should I do?
15. Can someone else report my deer for me?
16. With no more metal seals, what do I give the butcher/taxidermist when I bring in my deer?
17. Won't this new system result in more poaching of deer?
18. Will eliminating the metal seal make it harder to enforce the law?
19. The check station system seemed to work fine, why change it?
20. What will happen to my deer check station?
21. What if I have questions about or need assistance with the system?
22. Will my information be safe on the Internet?

1. Q. What is the Automated Harvest Report System?
    A. The Automated Harvest Report System (AHRS) replaced all deer check stations in 2012. Under the new system, all hunters must still "check" their deer but will no longer be required to bring the deer to a check station. Instead, hunters must report their deer via telephone or online. The laws and ethics pertaining to deer hunting have not changed; the only difference is deer are reported using a phone, mobile device or computer rather than at a deer check station.

2. Q. How do I access the AHRS?
    A. The number and website address are printed on all hunting licenses and deer permits. The toll-free number is 855-I-HUNT-NJ (855-448-6865). Hunters can also report deer online at the division's license sales/harvest reporting website: www.nj.wildlifelicense.com.

3. Q. What information is submitted to the AHRS?
    A. The AHRS will collect the same basic information previously collected at check stations: date of harvest, season of harvest, type of firearm or bow used, gender of deer, antler points, Zone, County, Township and Deer Management Unit. The Zone and County location data are required.

4. Q. What if I don't know the Township and/or Deer Management Unit (Unit) where I harvested my deer?
    A. The Township and Unit data are optional so you can still report your deer without this information. However, because they are important tools in making deer management decisions (and therefore hunting regulations), we ask that you use the Deer Hunting Location Viewer to get that information BEFORE you go hunting.

5. Q. What is the Harvest Number?
    A. The "Harvest Number" is found on the appropriate season stub of every license or permit. It is a unique number which identifies the hunter and the season it is associated with. It is reused when reporting a second antlered deer during the Six-day Firearm Season as well as additional antlerless deer from the same season (and zone, where applicable) where additional deer are legal to harvest. Sample.

6. Q. What is the Confirmation Number?
    A. The "Confirmation Number" is a unique number assigned to each deer reported. It takes the place of the metal possession seal formerly provided at check stations. This Confirmation Number, like the metal seal, must be kept with the deer and its parts. The Confirmation Number is to be recorded on the stub for the season the deer was taken. Sample.

If leaving your deer unattended (e.g. in the bed of your truck) please attached the confirmation number or your CID#. This will provide information that the deer has been legally harvested or that you show intent to comply with the mandatory report provision.

7a. Q. Can I take multiple deer at one time during any seasons?
       A. Unless the regulation specifies that two deer may be taken at a time (such as during Permit Muzzleloader and Permit Shotgun seasons in Regulation Sets 6, 7 and 8) a hunter may continue hunting ONLY after the first deer is reported to the AHRS and a Confirmation Number is assigned. For instance, during the Six-day Firearm Season the "Only one buck may be taken at a time" regulation is still in effect, meaning a second deer may not be pursued or harvested until the first is reported.
7b. Q.When can I take my next deer after reporting my harvest?
        A. The new system allows a hunter to resume deer hunting immediately after receiving a Confirmation Number as long as the season remains open, regulations in that Deer Management Zone allow additional harvests and the bag limit has not been met.

8. Q. What is used in place of a supplemental tag OR How do I report multiple antlerless deer during the same season?
    A. To report multiple antlerless deer taken during any season, simply reuse the same Harvest Number from the antlerless stub on your license or permit every time. Since the license or permit stub has space for only two Confirmation Numbers, use either the Deer Harvest Report Card (pdf, 200kb) in the Digest (page 29), the one linked above or make your own card on which to record harvest data and the assigned Confirmation Number for each additional deer.

9. Q. How do I report two deer at a time where allowed in Regulation Sets 6, 7 and 8 zones and seasons?
    A. After you receive the Confirmation Number for the first deer reported, the telephone system will ask if you have a second deer to report. You will not have to make a separate call for each deer.

10. Q. How does a farmer hunting on his own property without a license report a deer without a Harvest Number during non-permit seasons?
       A. Farmers hunting their own property during the Fall Bow, Six-day Firearm or Winter Bow seasons do not need a Harvest Number to report a deer harvested during those seasons. See AHRS Farmer Information.

11. Q. My Youth License doesn't have a Harvest Number - how do I report a deer on Youth Hunting Days and non-permit seasons?
       A. Youth hunters with a Youth Hunting License do not need a Harvest Number to report a deer harvested during those seasons. Youth hunters should utilize the Deer Harvest Report Card (pdf, 200kb) to record information about their hunting area information prior to hunting, and to record the Confirmation Number assigned upon reporting a deer via the AHRS.

12. Q. What if I can't report my deer by 7pm?
       A. The mandatory time to report a deer under the Automated Harvest Report System (AHRS) is the same as under the old deer check station system. However, if you recover a deer past 7pm (8pm for Fall Bow only), the AHRS will still allow you to report the deer without penalty. If you recover a deer late and don't have a cell phone, make sure you have your license or permit stub, or your Deer Harvest Report Card (pdf, 200kb) filled in to show compliance and report your deer as soon as you get home. Calling a Division Law Enforcement office to report a late deer is no longer necessary.

13. Q. What happens if I get disconnected while trying to report my deer?
       A. A deer is not officially reported 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 report process until you receive a Confirmation Number.

14. 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 (www.nj.wildlifelicense.com) and selecting "Submit Harvest Information". The site will display any previously registered deer and Confirmation Number(s).

15. Q. Can someone else report my deer for me?
       A. Technically, you must report your own deer. However, if you are having difficulties with the telephone or Internet portion of the AHRS, you may have someone assist you in reporting your deer.

16. 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(s) of the deer submitted. You may attach a homemade label with the Confirmation Number and your contact information before you drop your deer off to be butchered or mounted.

17. 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 reporting system. The Division has no reason to believe an automated system will increase poaching for the following reasons:

  • The AHRS makes it easier for hunters to comply with the mandatory deer reporting.
  • Other states that have gone from a live check-in to an automated reporting system do not report any changes in harvest numbers which indicates 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 officers to inspect the deer within 48 hours of reporting.

NOTE: Upon request from a state Conservation Officer and within 48 hours after reporting a deer harvest, a hunter may be required to produce the head of the deer or direct the officer to the butcher or taxidermist who has possession of the head.

18. 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 the 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 the metal seal.

19. Q. The check station system seemed to work 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 valuable harvest data over the years, as 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 AHRS 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 for other valuable research to improve NJ's deer management and forest health. The AHRS will also provide a number of other benefits including immediate access to harvest data and significantly improved law enforcement capabilities.

20. Q. What will happen to my deer check station?
       A. Deer check stations are independent businesses that 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 report deer as a courtesy. The hardest part of the decision to implement AHRS has been the perceived effect it might have on the livelihoods of our deer check station partners who have been so valuable 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.

21. 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.

22. Q. What if I have questions about or need assistance with the system?
       A. Contact the biologist for the county the deer was harvested in:

North: 908-735-7040
   (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties)
Central: 609-259-7954
   (Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties)
South: 609-748-2065
   (Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties)

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Last Updated: May 21, 2014