This is a Preview of New Jersey Hunting Regulations.
For The complete New Jersey Hunting Regulations Summary Guidebook Click Here
This is a preview of New Jersey hunting Information and Regulations. For the New Jersey state rules and regulations guidebook Click link above.
You can also access each individual state regulation guidebook by clicking the links below to the main state Regulations page. There you will find the official State regulation Guidebooks for New Jersey and the other 50 states and lower canadian providences.
These are just the overviews of the official state regulations.
The Actual state New Jersey hunting regulation guidebooks are accessible by clicking on the state you would like to see from the home page map then clicking on the New Jersey state hunting regulations books. There you will find the Hunting rules and Hunting laws overviews for New Jersey
They are also accessible by clicking on the New Jersey Hunting reg. books below and accessing the New Jersey Hunting regs link in the New Jersey Guidebooks listed below.
The complete New Jersey Hunting Laws and New Jersey Hunting rules are available at the pertinent government agencies and at most state libraries. Enjoy be safe and have a great time exploring the site and remember to check back often to keep updated on all the new laws, rules, and New Jersey regulations pertaining to the hunting, Hunting, trapping, and wildlife sports. Also remember New Jersey hunting Licenses, hunters education Information, hunting maps and much more are available at the New Jersey Home Page
New Jersey hunting Laws, rules, and regulations preview.
This is not the full law. Consult the
Division of Fish and Wildlife for further details.
All persons are reminded that the statutes, code
and regulations are the legal documents.No
person shall hunt except as prescribed by
law. See section Permits for Hunters with Disabling
Conditions, page 12, for special rules.
Persons required by law to wear corrective lenses
to operate a motor vehicle (as noted on a valid
driver’s license) must wear corrective lenses when
hunting with a bow or firearm of any kind.
Bow and Arrow
“Bow” means any long bow, recurve bow, compound
bow or crossbow. Hand held release devices are
All bows must have a minimum draw weight
of 35 pounds at the archer’s draw length, except
compounds, which must have a minimum peak
draw weight of 35 pounds and crossbows which
must have a minimum draw weight of 75 pounds.
See crossbow safety tips on this page.
All arrows used for hunting deer, turkey, coyote,
fox or woodchuck must be fitted with a wellsharpened
metal head with a minimum width
of ¾ inches.
Arrows fitted with heads other than specified
for deer, turkey, coyote, fox or woodchuck may be
carried in the woods and fields during the small
game season or other seasons which overlap with
the bow and arrow deer season. For the purpose
of discharging a crossbow, hunters may carry judo
points or blunts.
Sunday bowhunting for deer is now legal only on
private land and state wildlife management areas.
It is unlawful to:
• use or possess a poison arrow or one with an
• use a bow one-half hour after sunset until onehalf
hour before sunrise during any hunting
• use a bow and arrow from any vehicle, moving
• have both a firearm and bow in possession or
under control while hunting
Dogs—Hunting and Training
Allowing dogs to run at large is prohibited.
Persons may train dogs without firearms in daylight
at any time except during any open firearm
No person shall train a raccoon or opossum hunting
dog on WMAs other than during the periods
of Sept. 1 to Oct. 1 and from Mar. 1 to May 1 each
year. Training hours shall be one hour after sunset
to one hour before sunrise.
It is illegal to use dogs to pursue or run deer or
black bear or to track wounded deer or bear.
Note: Regulations for dog training on wildlife
management areas are on page 82.
Delaware River, Hunting
Hunting on the Delaware River is restricted by state
boundaries. A valid hunting license and any appropriate
permit/stamp is required for your location.
No person shall use a raptor for hunting without
a falconry permit and a valid hunting license. No
person under 14 years of age may hunt by means
of a raptor. Hunting migratory birds with raptors
on Sunday is prohibited.
Falconry permits will be issued only to persons
who pass a comprehensive examination and who
can provide proper facilities for housing a raptor.
Beginning falconers must be sponsored by an
No person shall possess a firearm while hunting
For additional information, write to New Jersey
Division of Fish and Wildlife, PO Box 400, Trenton,
NJ 08625-0400 or call (908) 735-8793.
See Farmer Hunting and Permit Information, page 27.
Firearms and Missiles
• A person may not go into the woods or fields
with a firearm except during prescribed seasons.
• Airguns are not legal hunting firearms.
• It is unlawful to possess in the woods and fields
shot larger than #4 fine shot except for hunting
deer, bear, waterfowl, woodchuck (farmers only)
and coyote/fox during the Special Permit Coyote
and Fox Season.
• Rimfire and centerfire rifles are not legal to
• See sections on specific game animals for permitted
firearms and ammunition.
• No person shall use a shotgun capable of holding
more than three shells at one time or that may
be fired more than three times without reloading
except for the September Canada goose season
(see page 73) and during any light goose conservation
order season (see page 72).
Firearm hunters must wear a cap made of solid
daylight fluorescent orange or an outer garment
containing at least 200 square inches of fluorescent
orange material visible from all sides at all times
while engaged in hunting. A camo-orange hat alone
is not adequate.
This applies to all persons while hunting with a
firearm for deer, bear, rabbit, hare, squirrel, coyote,
fox, railbirds, and game birds including while in
a tree stand.
Exceptions: this law does not apply to waterfowl,
crow, wild turkey, coyote/fox (during the special
permit season, page 61), woodchuck nor bowhunters
except that a bow hunter using a deer decoy
must wear hunter orange, as described above,
while transporting the decoy into and out of the
woods and fields. During the Six-day Firearm
Season, it is recommended that bowhunters wear
It is unlawful to use smokeless powder in a muzzleloader while hunting
in New Jersey. Only black powder or black powder equivalents, such as
Pyrodex and Triple Se7en, may be used with a muzzleloading firearm when
engaged in hunting.
Properly licensed and permitted hunters 10 years and older may hunt with
a muzzleloading rifle. A valid rifle permit must be possessed while hunting
with a muzzleloading rifle. Permitted action types include percussion, flintlock
and inline. Electronic ignitions are not legal. For muzzleloader barrel
types and legal hunting ammunition, see regulations for each game species.
It is unlawful to hunt with a muzzleloading rifle on WMAs, except for
deer, bear, coyote/fox and squirrel hunting during the special season in
certain zones. For muzzleloader rifle squirrel hunting, see page 60. For
muzzleloader deer hunting, see page 28. For rifle permit information, see
page 12. For muzzleloader coyote/fox hunting, see page 59.
(continued on page 26)
Non-Resident Game Removal
A non-resident licensee may remove from the state each day a daily bag limit
of game. However, a non-resident may not take more than two day’s bag limit
from the state after one week’s stay (Sunday to Saturday inclusive.) This
restriction does not apply to game raised or killed at a licensed commercial
preserve and legally tagged.
Possession Of Certain Wildlife By
Persons, Taxidermists & Butchers
No person shall have in possession a deer, bear, migratory game birds or
turkey that they did not kill unless it has a tag bearing the name, address,
telephone number, license and permit numbers of the person who killed
the deer, bear, migratory game bird or turkey. Those in the business of processing
deer, bear or turkey, that is butchers, taxidermists, etc., shall keep
a ledger of all of their customers. Each customer’s name, current address,
day and evening telephone numbers, hunting license number, and possession
seal number of any black bear, deer or turkey being processed shall be
included in the ledger. The ledger shall be made available for inspection
upon request during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by any law enforcement
officer or employee of the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Possession of naturally-shed deer antlers is legal. Possession of naturallyshed
deer antlers is legal. Parts of deer possessed, other than shed antlers,
must be from lawfully harvested deer. Proof of lawful harvest (tag or seal)
should be retained for verification. Road killed deer are intended only for
consumption; antler possession from these deer is not legal.
Taxidermists note: The sale of wild birds and
game animals or parts thereof is prohibited in
New Jersey. Legally-trapped furbearers may be
sold. Questions should be directed to a regional
Fish and Wildlife law enforcement office; see page 6.
Hunters must not hunt in unharvested crops
without first obtaining permission from the
owner. Anyone causing damage to cultivated crops,
orchards, fences, buildings or livestock may be
arrested without warrant by the owner, occupant,
lessee, or any officer of the law. Violators are liable
for a fine of up to $2,000 and restitution to the
property owner in addition to the loss of hunting
privileges for a period of two years.
Rifles, .22 caliber
A valid rifle permit must be possessed while
hunting with a .22 caliber rifle.
It is unlawful to possess and use .22 caliber rifle
except while hunting woodchuck, (no rifle hunting
on wildlife management areas)hunting
and opossum with hounds, and dispatching
trapped animals other than muskrat.
A .22 caliber rifle must be loaded with short
cartridges only, except when hunting woodchuck.
A .22 caliber rifle need not be plugged, but may
be loaded with no more than three shells. No
10–17 year-olds may hunt with any rimfire or
See chart on page 62 for details on small caliber
rifle ammunition legal for hunting woodchucks.
No hunter may carry a loaded firearm or knocked
bow and arrow within the Safety Zone of 450
feet from a building or school playground, even
if not occupied.
Exception: a hunter must have written permission
in possession from the owner or qualified
lessee to be within the Safety Zone with a loaded
firearm or nocked arrow. See Safety Zone Awareness,
page 89. Shooting into a Safety Zone is prohibited.
Shotguns larger than 10-gauge are prohibited.
Shotguns may not be capable of holding more
than three shells except for September Canada
goose hunting; see page 73. For information on
legal shot sizes, see regulations for each game species
to be hunted.
No person may hunt with firearms or any other
weapon or carry a gun in the woods or fields or on
the waters on Sunday except on semi-wild and commercial
shooting preserve lands for the purpose of
shooting stocked game; and when using a .22 rifle
for dispatching trapped animals. See note below.
NOTE: Sunday bowhunting for deer is now
legal only on state wildlife management areas and
Persons are allowed to hunt raccoon or opossum
between midnight on Saturday and one hour
before sunrise on Sunday during the prescribed
Hunters and trappers must have permission (oral
or written) from the landowner or lessee prior to
entering either posted lands or agricultural lands
(which are not required to be posted.) Hunters
also must obtain permission to enter posted land
and agricultural land to recover deer. Hunters
and trappers may not enter unposted land after
having been forbidden to trespass by the owner,
lessee or occupant.
If a hunter or trapper is charged with trespass,
they must provide documentation of written
permission in court for their defense. See page 83
for the Hunt SMART Courtesy Card.
It is illegal to capture, kill, injure or have in possession
any wild bird other than a game bird.
No one may rob a bird’s nest.
The removal of the skin or feathers or mutilation
of any wild bird or mammal in the woods or
fields for the purpose of concealing sex or identity
All nongame mammals, reptiles, birds and
amphibians are protected. Penalties for taking
these species range from $250–$5,000.
There is no open season on bobcat. It is illegal
to kill, attempt to kill or possess bobcats except
parts of bobcats legally taken in other states may
be possessed but not sold in New Jersey.
See also Possession of Wildlife, page 25.
The sale of wild birds or game animals or parts
thereof is prohibited except as described in N.J.S.A.
23:4-27. For more specific information, refer to our
Web site, NJFishandWildlife.com.
Wildlife Damage Control
Property owners and occupants of dwellings,
or their agents designated in writing, suffering
damage from squirrel, raccoon, opossum, skunk,
weasel, woodchuck, gray fox, red fox and coyote
may control these animals by lawful procedures at
any time subject to state law and local ordinances.
Farmers or their agents may also control the above
species by lawful procedures when found destroying
livestock, crops or poultry at any time subject
to state and local ordinances.
Note: Persons who kill a coyote must notify a
Fish and Wildlife Regional Law Enforcement
Office within 24 hours.
Legal Deer Hunting Hours: half hour before
sunrise to half hour after sunset
Only one antlered deer may be taken
per season statewide, except during the Six-Day
Firearm Season, regardless of the number of
antlered buck permits in possession. To be legal,
all deer harvested must be registered at an official
deer check station (see page 56) and have a metal
possession seal affixed to the deer. Only after registering
the first deer may a hunter take or attempt
to take another deer, where legal, unless specifically
written as an exception.
NOTE: Legislation is signed into law allowing
Sunday bowhunting for deer only on state wildlife
management areas and private property.
With the ongoing presence of feral hogs in the
Gloucester County area, New Jersey Division of
Fish and Wildlife may allow deer hunters in Deer
Management Zone 25 to hunt feral hogs during
the regular deer seasons. Check Fish and Wildlife’s
Web site at NJFishandWildlife.com for details.
Key Concepts and Definitions
• Antlered deer is defined as any deer with at least
one antler measuring at least three inches in
length as defined below.
• Antler length is defined as the maximum length
of a deer antler measured from the lowest outside
edge of the antler burr along the outer curve to
the most distant point of what is or appears to be
the main antler beam. For the purposes of this
definition, the antler length does not include the
pedicel or portion of skull between the skull plate
and base of the antler point.
• Antler point is defined as any point at least one
inch long from its tip to its base line, and the
length must exceed the width at some location
at least one inch down from the tip.
• Antlerless deer is defined as any deer that does
not have an antler length measuring at least three
inches. For the purposes of this definition, adult
male deer that have shed their antlers, button
bucks and adult males with antlers less than three
inches are considered antlerless deer.
• Antlered Buck Muzzleloader Permit, Antlered
Buck Shotgun Permit or Antlered Buck Bow
Permit refers to the antlered buck permits available
for purchase which are valid only when used
in conjunction with the regular, antlerless, zonespecific
deer season permit. The antlered buck
permits contain an antlered deer transportation
tag and allows for the pursuit and harvest of an
antlered deer only.
• Antler Point Restriction zones include Zones
3, 9, 13, 27, 29, 35, 37, 40, 63 and 67. The harvest
of antlered deer from these zones during any
open season is restricted to deer with at least
one antler having a minimum of three antler
points as defined above. The goal of the antler
Permit per season. An Antlered Buck Permit must
be used in conjunction with regular, zone-specific
antlerless permit. The Antlered Buck Permit is
not zone-specific; it is valid for use in any zone
for which the a hunter already holds a regular,
zone-specific antlerless season permit, but only
one buck may be harvested per season. Adult
deer permits are $28; youth deer permits are $12.
IMPORTANT: Antlered Buck Permits must be
purchased by 11:59 p.m. on the following dates:
Oct. 31 for Permit Bow; Nov. 30 for Permit
Muzzleloader and Dec. 16 for Permit Shotgun
seasons, UNLESS you are buying your first zonespecific
antlerless permit AND an Antlered Buck
Permit at the same time after these dates.
Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)
permits are available to help landowners and managers
cope with undesirable deer densities while
utilizing current deer hunting seasons by removing
additional antlerless deer. See the Deer Management
Assistance article on page 32 for details.
Firearms, Ammunition and Sights
• See page 24 for general hunting regulations which
also apply to deer hunting.
• All firearms must be cased and unloaded while
being transported in vehicles, including on allterrain
vehicles. A muzzleloader is considered
unloaded when, in the case of a percussion cap
rifle or shotgun, the percussion cap has been
removed from the nipple; in the case of a flintlock,
when the powder is removed from the pan and
a boot or cover made of nonmetallic material is
placed over the frizzen.
• Hunters using or possessing any shotgun slug
in the field during the deer seasons must have a
shotgun with adjustable open iron or peep sights
or a scope affixed to the shotgun.
• Telescopic sights of any magnification (scope
power) are permitted for deer hunting on all
firearms, including muzzleloader rifles and
smoothbore muzzleloader shotguns. No permits
are required for telescopic sights.
• Any sight or device that casts a beam of light
upon the deer is prohibited.
• Shotgun shells containing single spherical projectiles
referred to as pumpkin balls are prohibited.
• While deer hunting with a shotgun, it is illegal
to have in possession any ammunition not authorized
for deer hunting.
• When hunting during the overlapping firearms
seasons for deer and when in possession of the
proper permits for the current seasons, hunters
may carry the firearms legal for the current
seasons. For example, when Six-day Firearm and
Permit Muzzleloader seasons run concurrently, a
hunter may be in possession of a shotgun and either
a muzzleloading rifle or smoothbore muzzleloader.
• Double-barreled muzzleloading rifles are not
permitted during the Six-day Firearm or Permit
This was a Preview of New Jersey Hunting Regulations.
For The complete New Jersey Hunting Regulations Summary Guidebook Click Here
Enjoy be safe and have a great time exploring the site and remember to check back often to keep updated on all the new laws, rules, and New Jersey regulations pertaining to the hunting, Hunting, trapping, and wildlife sports. Also remember New Jersey hunting Licenses, hunters education Information, hunting maps and much more are available at the New Jersey Home Page