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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 General Info. Specific laws and regulations for each deer season are below.

Archery Deer

Season Dates

  • Jan. 1 – Jan. 31 Private Lands (Zones 11–12)
  • Sept. 16 – Dec. 31 Private Lands (All Zones)
  • Sept. 16 – Nov. 19 State Land
    Dec. 25 – Dec. 31
  • Sept. 16 – 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 Tagging & Reporting section for information on tagging and reporting.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting.
  • State Land Hunting: See Litchfield – Hartford Counties, Middlesex – Tolland Counties, Windham – New London Counties and Fairfield – New Haven Counties for 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. 20 – Dec. 24).
  • Fluorescent Orange: Bowhunters are required to wear 400 sq. in. of fluorescent orange from Nov. 20 – 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. 20 – Dec. 31 time period.
  • Replacement Tags: Available for this permit type. See Deer Hunting for details.
  • Notice: Saturday, November 9th and Saturday, November 16th are Junior Hunter Training Days and junior hunters with firearms deer permits may be hunting with firearms. See 2013 Junior Hunter Training Days for details.

Private Land Shotgun/Rifle

Season Dates Nov. 20 – Dec. 10

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 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.
  • Replacement Tags: Available for this permit type. See Deer Hunting for details.
  • Junior Hunter Training Days: Saturday, November 9, 2013 and Saturday, November 16, 2013. See 2013 Junior Hunter Training Days for details.

Private Land Muzzleloader

Season Dates Dec. 11 – 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 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.
  • Replacement Tags: Available for this permit type. See Deer Hunting for details.

State Land Muzzleloader

Season Dates Dec. 11 – Dec. 24

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

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 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. 20 – Nov. 29 No-Lottery “A” Permits
  • Nov. 30 – Dec. 10 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

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

What is CWD? CWD is a naturally occurring disease of the brain and nervous system in deer and elk. It attacks the brain of deer and elk, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. CWD was first recognized in the late 1960s in a herd of captive mule deer in Colorado. Although the disease was discovered over 30 years ago, it recently has received much media attention because of its discovery in free-ranging deer in southern Wisconsin and western Colorado. Only four species, mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose and elk, appear to be naturally susceptible to CWD. Domestic livestock and humans are not known to be susceptible to CWD.

Where is CWD found? Prior to 2005, the disease had only been found in North America west of Illinois. In 2005, CWD was documented in captive and free-ranging herds in New York and in free-ranging herds in West Virginia. Since then, it has also been discovered in several other states. CWD has not been found in Connecticut or New England. States and Canadian provinces where CWD has been confirmed include: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New York, West Virginia, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

What is CT doing about CWD? Connecticut, along with many other states, banned the importation of live cervids (species in the deer/elk family) across state lines. In 2005, Connecticut passed an emergency regulation banning the importation of whole carcasses or parts thereof of any deer or elk from wild or captive herds from other states or Canadian Provinces where Chronic Wasting Disease has been confirmed. The ban on importation did not apply to meat that was de-boned, cleaned skullcaps, hides or taxidermy mounts. The regulation became permanent in 2007.

Since 2003, the DEEP Wildlife Division has been testing hunter- and vehicle-killed deer as part of a nationwide CWD monitoring and surveillance program. To date, no evidence of CWD in Connecticut’s deer herd has been detected.

How do I know if an animal has CWD? As the disease advances, infected animals begin displaying abnormal behavior, such as staggering or standing with very poor posture. Infected animals become emaciated and appear to be in very poor health. The only efficient method to diagnose CWD is to dispatch the animal and examine the brain tissue for lesions. Anyone observing a deer exhibiting symptoms of CWD should notify the DEEP Wildlife Division (860-424-3011) or the DEP’s 24-hour line (1-800-842-HELP). If the animal is dispatched, the head should be kept intact so that a brain sample can be collected for testing.

Should hunters be concerned? No known link exists between CWD and humans, however, health officials advise hunters not to consume meat from animals known to be infected with CWD and recommend boning out meat. As usual, hunters should continue to employ normal precautions when field dressing deer, such as wearing rubber gloves. Concerns about CWD should not keep hunters from participating in Connecticut’s deer seasons.

Lead Bullet Fragments in Wild Game

There have been recent concerns about the potential risk of exposure to lead fragments in deer meat harvested with lead ammunition. These considerations have prompted the DEEP, in consultation with the Department of Public Health, to provide additional guidance for hunters and consumers of venison. If you would like additional information concerning the health risks of exposure to lead, contact the Connecticut Department of Public Health at www.ct.gov/dphor call 860-509-7740.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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