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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please download the pdf. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Deer Hunting Seasons

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Licensing and permit costs are listed in the Licenses & Permits section. Specific laws and regulations for each deer season are below. Special instructions for applying for Deer Lottery Hunting Permits appear in the Deer Lottery section.

Archery Deer

Season Dates

  • Jan. 2 – Jan. 31 Private Lands (Zones 11–12)
  • Sept. 15 – Dec. 31 Private Lands (All Zones)
  • Sept. 15 – Nov. 13 State Land
    Dec. 19 – Dec. 31
  • Sept. 15 – Dec. 31 State Land Bowhunting Only Areas

Bag Limits 2 Either Sex and 2 Antlerless (4 Total); additional bag of 1 Either Sex and 1 Antlerless (2 Total) during the Jan 1–31 season on private lands in Zones 11 and 12.

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License & Permits Small Game & Deer Archery Permit. Must show proof of completion of the CE/FS bowhunting course (since 1982) or its equivalent from another state or country when purchasing a small game/deer archery permit. A previous CT bowhunting permit purchased in 2002 or later also qualifies.

Legal Bows See Hunting Laws & Regulations for a description of legal bows and arrows for deer hunting. Mechanical string release devices are permitted. There is no minimum acreage requirement for bowhunting. Crossbows are permitted during the January season on private lands in Zones 11 and 12.

Special Conditions

  • Possession of a Firearm: Possession of a firearm while bowhunting for deer is prohibited.
  • Tagging and Reporting: See the Tagging & Reporting section for information on tagging, reporting, and check stations.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting (see Private Land Consent Form).
  • State Land Hunting: See the Public Hunting Areas section for a listing of lands open to archery deer hunting. Certain state lands that do not allow firearms deer hunting are designated as bowhunting only areas. These lands are open to deer bowhunting during the state land shotgun and muzzleloader deer seasons (Nov. 14 – Dec. 18).
  • Fluorescent orange: Bowhunters are required to wear 400 sq. in. of fluorescent orange from Nov. 14 – Dec. 31. Bowhunters may remove fluorescent orange clothing while in a tree stand at least 10 feet off the ground.
  • Decoys: Decoys may be used during the early and late archery deer seasons, but must be covered with 400 sq. in. of fluorescent orange during transport. Decoys can not be used during the Nov. 14 – Dec. 31 time period.
  • Replacement Tags: Available for this permit type. See Deer Hunting
    for details.
  • Notice: Saturday, November 3rd and Saturday, November 10th are Junior Hunter Training Days and junior hunters with firearms deer permits may be hunting with firearms. See the Junior Hunter Training Days section for details.

Private Land Shotgun/Rifle

Season Dates Nov. 14 – Dec. 4

Bag Limits 1 Either Sex and 1 Antlerless (2 Total); Zone 7: 1 Additional Antlerless; Zones 11 and 12: 2 Additional Antlerless

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License & Permits Firearms hunting license and Private Land Shotgun/Rifle Deer permit. Note: Revolver Deer Endorsement is also required if using a revolver.

Legal Firearms 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Shotgun must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells. Centerfire rifle 6mm (.243 caliber) or larger or revolver .357 caliber or larger may be used if the landholding is 10 or more acres and the landowner has authorized use on the consent form. To use a revolver, you must also have Revolver Deer Endorsement for the current season. No minimum acreage required for shotguns.

Special Conditions

  • Tagging and Reporting: See the Tagging & Reporting section for information on tagging, reporting, and check stations.
  • Zone 4a Restriction: “Antlerless Only” tag not valid in deer management zone 4a. Only the “Either-sex” tag will be valid in zone 4a.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting (see Private Land Consent Form).
  • Replacement Tags: Available for this permit type. See Deer Hunting for details.
  • Junior Hunter Training Days: Saturday, November 3, 2012 and Saturday, November 10, 2012. See the Junior Hunter Training Days section for details.

Private Land Muzzleloader

Season Dates Dec. 5 – Dec. 31

Bag Limits 1 Either Sex and 1 Antlerless (2 Total); Zone 7: 1 Additional Antlerless; Zones 11 and 12: 2 Additional Antlerless

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License & Permits Firearms hunting license and private land muzzleloader deer permit.

Legal Firearms Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted. No minimum acreage required for muzzleloaders.

Special Conditions

  • Tagging and Reporting: See the Tagging & Reporting section for information on tagging and reporting.
  • Zone 4a Restriction: “Antlerless Only” tag not valid in deer management zone 4a. Only the “Either-sex” tag will be valid in zone 4a.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting (see Private Land Consent Form).
  • Replacement Tags: Available for this permit type. See Deer Hunting for details.

State Land Muzzleloader

Season Dates Dec. 5 – Dec. 18

Bag Limits 1 Either Sex

Hunting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License & Permits Firearms hunting license and state land muzzleloader deer permit.

Legal Firearms Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.

Special Conditions

  • Tagging and Reporting: See the Tagging & Reporting section for information on tagging and reporting.
  • State Land Hunting: See the Public Hunting Areas section for a listing of state lands open to muzzleloader deer hunting.

Free Landowner Deer Season

Season Dates Nov. 1 – Dec. 31

Bag Limits 1 Either Sex and 1 Antlerless (2 Total)

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License & Permits Free Landowner Deer Permit. Appropriate hunting license required if landowner does not live on qualifying property. Note: Revolver Deer Endorsement is also required if using a revolver.

Legal Firearms 12, 16, or 20 gauge shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Shotgun must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells. Centerfire rifle 6mm (.243 caliber) or larger, revolver .357 caliber or larger, or muzzleloader (.45 caliber minimum). To use a revolver, you must also have Revolver Deer Endorsement for the current season.

Legal Bows See Hunting Laws & Regulations for a description of legal bows and arrows for deer hunting. Mechanical string release devices are permitted.

Special Conditions

Free Landowner Permits are available only to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land. Additional permits are available for their spouses, lineal descendants, parents, grandparents and siblings.

  • Tagging and Reporting: See the Tagging & Reporting section for information on tagging and reporting.
  • Fluorescent Orange: Landowners hunting deer on their own land are not required to wear 400 sq. in. of fluorescent orange, but their lineal descendants, parents, grandparents and siblings are required to do so.

State Land No-Lottery

Season Dates

  • Nov. 14 – Nov. 23 No-Lottery “A” Permits
  • Nov. 24 – Dec. 4 No-Lottery “B” Permits

Bag Limits 1 Either Sex

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License & Permits Firearms hunting license and either a State Land No-Lottery “A” Permit or a State Land No-Lottery “B” Permit. You may buy only one type of State Land Shotgun Deer Permit. So, you should not purchase a State Land No-Lottery Permit if you plan on applying for a State Land Lottery or Controlled Hunt Lottery Permit.

Legal Firearms 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Shotgun must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells.

Special Conditions

  • Tagging and Reporting: See the Tagging & Reporting section for information on tagging, reporting, and check stations.
  • Open Areas: See the Public Hunting Areas section for areas open for the No-Lottery “A” and “B” seasons.
  • Junior Hunter Training Days: Saturday, November 3, 2012 and Saturday, November 10, 2012. See the Junior Hunter Training Days section for details.

State Land & Controlled Hunt Lottery

Season Dates

  • Nov. 14 – Nov. 23 Lottery “A” Season
  • Nov. 24 – Dec. 4 Lottery “B” Season

Bag Limits 1 Either Sex on State Land Areas; variable on Controlled Hunt Areas

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License & Permits Firearms hunting license and a state land lottery permit or a controlled hunt area lottery permit. Only one of these permit types may be bought each year. Lottery permits for state land and controlled hunt areas must be applied for by June 1st. Persons rejected for a Lottery Permit may obtain a State Land No-Lottery Permit.

Legal Firearms 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Shotgun must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells.

Special Conditions

  • Tagging and Reporting: See the Tagging & Reporting section for information on tagging, reporting, and check stations.
  • Junior Hunter Training Days: Saturday, November 3, 2012 and Saturday, November 10, 2012. See the Junior Hunter Training Days section for details.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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This is not the full law. Consult the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
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