New Jersey Hunting Season

About Hunting in New Jersey

Having trouble finding the info you need about the NJ hunting season? We did too.

That’s why we created this helpful guide to help you get the info you need and make it easier for people to hunt in NJ.

New Jersey is a densely populated state but it still has some great outdoor offerings. And don’t let it’s size fool you – NJ has more than 750,000 acres of public hunting land available. The Appalachian mountains run through the northern eastern part of the state and the southern part of the state has lots of farmland both of which offer good deer hunting due to the high deer population. There are some nice size lakes like Lake Hopatcong and Greenwood lake that offer good fishing. NJ also has miles of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean with great access to deep sea fishing.

I’ll share links to all the important hunting resources in NJ at the bottom of this page.

2020 Active Hunting Seasons in NJ

In 2020 in NJ is offering the following seasons:

Big Game

  • Deer
  • Bear

Small Game

  • Coyote
  • Fox
  • Rabbit
  • Hare
  • Jackrabbi
  • Squirrel
  • Raccoon
  • Opossum

Birds

  • Turkey
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Crow
  • Grouse
  • Ruffed
  • Partridge
  • Woodchuck
  • Woodcock

NJ Hunting Seasons Dates

In general, the first day of bow hunting in NJ starts on September 12 in a few zones and the first day of firearm hunting is November 30.

That said, hunting seasons depend on the following:

  • The sporting arm (ie weapon)
  • Animal
  • Zone (location)

Once you know what you want to hunt, with what and where you can reference the tables below to know when the seasons begin and end and what the bag limits are (what sex and how many you can harvest).

NJ Archery Deer Hunting Seasons 2020

SeasonDatesZonesBag LimitNotes
Fall BowSept 12 – Oct 2, 2020 (A)2, 16, 27*, 28*, 29*, 31*, 35*, 47*5 antlerless and 1 antleredA – first deer must be antlerless during this period
October 3 -30, 2020 (B)
5, 19, 25, 42, 48
9 antlerless and 1 antleredB – either sex
6, 7, 8, 9*, 10, 11, 12, 13*, 14, 15, 17, 36, 41, 49, 50, 51Unlimited antlerless and 1 antlered
October 3 -30, 202021, 23, 24, 34*, 43, 45, 461 deer, either sex
1, 3*, 4, 18, 22, 262 deer, 1 antlered and 1 antlerless
30*, 55, 63*, 652 deer, 1 antlered and 1 antlerless
Permit BowOct 31 – Nov 21, 202021, 23, 24, 34*, 43, 45, 461 deer, either sex
Oct 31 – Nov 29, 20201, 3*, 4, 18, 22, 262 deer, 1 antlered and 1 antlerless
30*, 55, 63*, 652 deer, 1 antlered and 1 antlerless
Oct 31 – Nov 24, 26-31, 20202, 16, 27*, 28*, 29*, 31*, 35*, 47*5 antlerless and 1 antlered
5, 19, 25, 42, 489 antlerless and 1 antlered
6, 7, 8, 9*, 10, 11, 12, 13*, 14, 15, 17, 36, 41, 49, 50, 51Unlimited antlerless and 1 antlered
Winter BowJan 1-31, 202121, 23, 24, 34*, 43, 45, 461 deer, either sex
1, 3*, 4, 18, 22, 262 deer, 1 antlered and 1 antlerless
30*, 55, 63*, 652 deer, 1 antlered and 1 antlerless
2, 16, 27*, 28*, 29*, 31*, 35*, 47*5 antlerless and 1 antlered
5, 19, 25, 42, 489 antlerless and 1 antlered
6Unlimited antlerless and 1 antlered
Jan 1-Feb 20, 20217, 8, 9*, 10, 11, 12, 13*, 14, 15, 17, 36, 41, 49, 50, 51Unlimited antlerless and 1 antlered

NJ Firearm Deer Hunting Seasons 2020

SeasonsDatesZonesBag Limits
Six Day FirearmDec 7 – 12, 2020All2 antlered deer
Permit MuzzleloaderNov 30, Dec 1, 19-24, 26-3121,23,24,34*,43,45,46
Nov 30, Dec 1, 14,15, 19-24, 26-311,3*,4,18,22,26
Nov 30, Dec 1, 14,15, 19-24, 26-31, Jan 1-96,30*,55,63*,65
Nov 30, Dec 1, 14,15, 19-24, 26-31, Jan 1-92,16, 27*,28*,29*,31*, 35*, 47*
Nov 30, Dec 1, 14,15, 19-24, 26-31, Jan 1-30,20215, 19, 25, 42, 48
Antlerless only: Dec. 7–12, 2020
Either sex: Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 14,
15, 19–24, 26–31, 2020;
Jan. 1–Feb. 13, 2021
7, 8, 9*, 12, 17, 41
Antlerless only: Nov. 23–25, 27, and
Dec. 7–12, 2020
Either sex: Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 14,
15, 19–24, 26–31, 2020;
Jan. 1–Feb. 13, 2021
10, 11, 13*, 14, 15, 36, 49, 50, 51
Permit ShotgunDec. 16–18, 20201, 3*, 4, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 34*,
43, 45, 46
1 deer, either sex
Dec. 16–18, 20206, 30*, 55, 63*, 652 deer; (1 antlered and 1 antlerless, or 2 antlerless)
Dec. 16–18, 2020 and
Jan. 9–16, 2021
2, 16, 27*, 28*, 29*, 31*, 35*, 47*5 antlerless and 1 antlered
Dec. 16–18, 2020 and
Jan. 9–16, 2021
5, 19, 25, 42, 489 antlerless and 1 antlered
(2 deer at a time may be taken)
Antlerless only: Dec. 7–12, 2020
Either sex: Dec. 16–18, 2020;
Jan. 2–Feb. 13, 2021
7, 8, 9*, 12, 17, 41unlimited antlerless and 1 antlered
(2 deer at a time may be taken)
Antlerless only: Nov. 23-25, 27 and
Dec. 7–12, 2020
Either sex: Dec. 16–18, 2020;
Jan. 2–Feb. 13, 2021
10, 11, 13*, 14, 15, 36, 49, 50, 51unlimited antlerless and 1 antlered
(2 deer at a time may be taken)

Note:

Firearm Deer season in NJ always opens the second Monday after Thanksgiving


NJ Black Bear Hunting Seasons 2020

The Black bear hunting season is divided into 2 segments.

SegmentSeasonDatesBag Limits
AArcheryOctober 12-17,20201 bear per segment (any sex, any age)
BMuzzleloaderOctober 15-17, Dec 7-12, 20201 bear per segment (any sex, any age)
BShotgun/MuzzleloaderDec 7-12, 20201 bear per segment (any sex, any age)
B (extension)Shotgun/MuzzleloaderWed., Dec. 16– Sat., Dec. 19, 20201 bear per segment (any sex, any age)

Understanding New Jersey’s hunting season

Before you can hunt in NJ, you will need to do the following:

  1. Buy a NJ hunting license (resident vs non-resident)
  2. Buy applicable permits (turkey, bear, deer, etc)

What permits do I need to hunt deer in NJ?

SeasonHunting License NeededZone-specific Antlerless Deer Permit Needed?Antlered Buck Permit Needed?Rifle Permit Needed?
Fall/Winter BowArchery or All-Around SportsmanNoNoNo
Permit BowArchery or All-Around SportsmanYes, valid only for antlerless deerYes, required only for harvesting an antlered buckNo
Permit MuzzleloaderFirearm or All-Around SportsmanYes, valid only for antlerless deerYes, required only for harvesting an antlered buckYes
Six Day FirearmArchery, Firearm or All-Around sportsmanNoNoYes if using muzzleloader
Permit ShotgunFirearm or All-Around SportsmanYes, valid only for antlerless deerYes, required only for harvesting an antlered buckNo

NJ Hunting License Costs

Resident/Non-residentSporting ArmCost
ResidentArchery$31.50
ResidentFirearm$27.50
Non-residentArchery$135.50
Non-residentFirearm$135.50

You can also buy the ‘All around sportsmen’ license for $72.50, which includes Resident Firearm Hunting, Bow and Arrow Hunting and Fishing Licenses.


NJ Hunting Permit Costs

PermitCost
Deer Permits for bow, shotgun, muzzleloader or bucks$28
Turkey season permit$21
black bear permit$2
Rifle Permit$10.50

Where to buy: https://nj.aspirafocus.com/internetsales


NJ Hunting Lottery Application Dates

PermitApplication Date
Fall Turkey10am Sept 14,2020
Spring TurkeyJan 25-Feb 22, 2021
Bear Segment A10am Sept 9 – Oct 19, 2020
Bear Segment B10am Nov 1, 2020 until end of season or sold out

Permit Tip:

Some permits go on sale ‘over the counter’ if they don’t sell out.


Find a hunting guide in NJ

  • Guided Deer Hunts
  • Guided Bear Hunts
  • Guided Pheasant Hunts
  • Guided Turkey Hunts

New Jersey Hunting News

New Jersey just announced there won’t be a bear hunt in 2021.


Tips for Hunting in NJ

  • No hunting on Sunday
  • You can hunt with a crossbow during Archery season
  • Must wear orange
  • Hunting hours vary by season
  • You have to harvest a doe before you get a buck.

FAQs

Do I need a license to hunt in NJ?

Do I need to harvest a doe before I can harvest a buck?

Do I need license to fish in NJ?

How long is a NJ hunting licenses valid for? Licenses are for the calendar year and expire on December 31. Deer permits are valid into the following year if a season extends into it. Waterfowl stamps and Rifle Permits are valid for the July 1 – June 30 period.


Links & Resources

Official Hunting and Trapping Digest 2020: https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/pdf/2020/dighnt20.pdf

Where to buy NJ hunting license: https://nj.aspirafocus.com/internetsales

Review, change or check your lottery application: Go to: www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com

Map to all Deer Hunting Zones:

Map to Bear Hunting Zones

NJ Public Deer Hunting Land: https://www.njfishandwildlife.com/pdf/2005/dighnt82-87.pdf

NJ Public Turkey Hunting Land: https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/pdf/hunting/turkey_huntland.pdf

Deer Harvest Report by Zone and Season: https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/pdf/2020/19-20_deer_totals.pdf