New Jersey Hunter Safety Course


Approaching a Downed Animal

Once you find the game animal, approach it with caution from the rear. That way, if it is still alive and jumps up, you will not be in its way. If you see any movement from the downed game animal, you will have to take another shot at it - aimed at the base of the skull where it meets the spinal column, or in the heart and lung area. Most game animals will have their eyes open when they expire. A good way to determine if the animal has expired is to check for an eye blinking reflex with a long stick. Be sure to immediately attach any game or harvest tag as required.

Important! As soon as you have determined the deer has expired, the first thing you must do is fill out your Harvest Report Card found on your license or permit. Farmers and youths may need to create their own or use one found on the division's website. Deer are then reported either online at or by calling (855) 448-6865. Upon completing this process, you will be assigned a confirmation number as a permanent record.