Two Strikes, You’re Out!

Hunting Regulations Icon New Jersey Hunting

By Keith Griglak, Senior Wildlife Biologist

Did you know that two fish and wildlife convictions within a five-year period could keep you out of the field—or off the water—for two years? Having two separate hunting or fishing convictions within a five-year period—regardless of how minor—will cause you to lose your hunting and freshwater fishing privileges for a two- to five-year period, depending on the violation. Two wildlife convictions in this or any other state may cause loss of all sporting privileges. Two separate fishing violations could make you miss the next five deer seasons.

Did you know that using an off-road vehicle or drinking on a WMA are offenses that count against your hunting and fishing privileges? Any wildlife management area violations fall under fish and wildlife offenses. Possession of alcohol, ATV use, illegal dumping and swimming are some of the biggest misuses of our public properties.

Did you know that stealing a tree stand or a trail camera can be considered a criminal offense? Stealing a tree stand or trail cam isn’t just a Fish and Wildlife offense. One can also be charged under Title 2C, the New Jersey Criminal Code. A criminal record follows you when applying for a job or a loan. Theft is theft. It is illegal and a crime.

Did you know that New Jersey is part of the Interstate Wildlife Violators’ Compact? Forty-seven other states are members. (See Interstate Wildlife Violators’ Compact callout, above.) Under this Compact, information about suspended license privileges in New Jersey will be shared with all the other participating states. Each Compact member states will determine if the individual would be suspended according to the laws in their own state. This means that losing your license privileges in New Jersey could lead to losing your license privileges across the country!

The vast majority of New Jersey’s hunters, trappers and anglers are ethical, law abiding citizens who have a low tolerance for those not willing to follow the laws. Responsible hunters, trappers and anglers want wildlife violators removed from the population of ethical sporting enthusiasts. If you see a violation occurring, keep your distance, take photos and write down as many details as possible, then call (877) WARN-DEP.

Wildlife management area regulations are for the protection of wildlife habitat. Abuse of these public lands is a violation of Title 23, New Jersey’s Fish and Game law. It was a second offense for this off-roading violator whose stuck Jeep had to be removed with heavy equipment. His hunting and fishing privileges were suspended for five years.