The 2004 New Jersey Six-day Firearm Season for deer will open statewide on Monday, Dec. 6, and run through Dec. 11. The bag limit in all deer management zones is two antlered deer per hunter. If two antlered deer are taken during the six-day firearm season, the bag limit is antlerless deer only for the Permit Shotgun Deer Season. Alternately, a hunter may take one antlered deer during the six-day firearm season and one antlered deer beginning on Dec. 15 during the permit shotgun season. The six-day firearm deer season, also known as the buck season, is very popular with New Jersey hunters. Last year shotgun hunters harvested 12,322 whitetails. This is nearly 18-percent of the entire 2003-04 deer season total and 53-percent of the antlered deer harvest for the year. Hunting conditions were excellent last season, with fresh snow providing outstanding tracking conditions for the first three days. Heavy rains arrived in mid-week and dampened hunter enthusiasm, but the weather improved for the final day of the season allowing hunters to stay afield. Barring bad weather, hunters are expected to have another banner year this season. Fall archery and permit archery hunters continue to report seeing and harvesting bucks with nice racks, particularly in Quality Deer Management and Earn-a-Buck zones. All deer harvested during the firearm season must be tagged with the transportation tag from either a valid 2004 firearm hunting license or all-around license. All 2004 hunting licenses include tear-off antlered buck stubs. A hunter who takes an antlered buck must date, initial and attach a buck stub along with a transportation tag to the animal before transporting it to the check station. Upon checking the deer, the buck stub and the transportation tag must be surrendered to the check station operator. Conservation officers have noticed that some hunters are leaving their buck stubs attached to transportation tags completed for antlerless deer. Hunters should carefully examine both sides of their license when completing and detaching transportation tags for antlerless deer to ensure that they do not detach a buck stub from the license until needed to tag a buck.