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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.

Bear Hunting

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Regulations in red are new this year.

Following commencement of the black bear season, the Fish and Wildlife Director, after consultation with the Fish and Game Council Chairman, may close the season. The Commissioner or the Director will announce such closure, which will become effective 24 hours from the daily legal closing time of the day on which the decision is made, based upon data obtained and reviewed by Fish and Wildlife. The notification number for season closure is the permit hotline number, (609) 292-9192. Season closure notification will also be announced by news release, radio and Fish and Wildlife’s websiteNJFishandWildlife.com.

Black Bear Hunting Season: Dec. 8–13, 2014

Hunting Hours: Legal hunting hours for black bear shall be ½ hour before sunrise to ½hour after sunset.

Bag Limit: Only one bear of either sex and any age may be taken per properly licensed hunter or farmer hunter regardless of the number of black bear permits held. It is unlawful to take or attempt to take or continue to hunt for more than the number of black bear permitted.

Special permit requirement: All black bear hunters must have a current and valid firearm hunting license and a special Black Bear Hunting Permit issued by Fish and Wildlife. See Black Bear Management Zone Descriptions below; see also Black Bear Hunting Permits under License Information. Hunters are limited to purchasing two black bear hunting permits, one each for two different zones. The bag limit remains at one black bear per hunter.

Youth Bear Hunters: Youth hunters with a valid hunting license must also possess a black bear hunting permit. Youth hunters aged 10 through 13 on or before Dec. 8, 2014 must be under the direct supervision of a properly licensed adult (21 years of age or older) while bear hunting. The adult must also possess a black bear hunting permit. Direct supervision means the youth hunter and the supervising adult are together at the same location. The youth hunter may not hunt independently of the adult.

Firearms and Ammunition Legal For Bear Hunting

Shotgun: not smaller than 20 gauge nor larger than 10 gauge with rifled slugs. Lead, lead alloy or copper rifled slug or sabot slug. Buckshot is prohibited.

Muzzleloader Rifle: must be single-barrel, single shot rifles not less than .44 caliber. Flintlock, percussion and in-line ignitions are allowed. Double barrel muzzleloaders prohibited. Persons hunting with a muzzleloader rifle must also possess a current and valid rifle hunting permit.

Baiting: No person shall attempt to take or kill a black bear or have in their possession or control any firearm, or other weapon of any kind, while elevated in a standing tree or in a structure of any kind within 300 feet of a baited area. On national wildlife refuges and at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the distribution of bait and/or hunting over bait is prohibited. Hunters should also check with the landowner or administrative agency before placing bait on any hunting area.

Additional Black Bear Hunting Regulations

  • Black bear hunters must wear a hat of solid fluorescent hunter orange or an outer garment containing at least 200 square inches of fluorescent orange material visible from all sides at all times while bear hunting.
  • It shall be illegal to use dogs to pursue or run black bear.
  • Allowable hunting methods: stand hunting, still-hunting or drive hunting.
  • Hunters using or possessing any shotgun slug in the field during the bear 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 bear hunting on all firearms, including muzzleloader rifles.
  • Shotgun shells containing single spherical projectiles referred to as pumpkin balls are prohibited.
  • While bear hunting with a shotgun, it is illegal to have in possession any ammunition not authorized for bear hunting.
  • Only one muzzleloader rifle may be in possession while bear hunting.
  • All firearms must be cased and unloaded while being transported in vehicles.
  • It is illegal to take or attempt to take a black bear with a bow and arrow or with a crossbow.
  • It is illegal to take or attempt to take a bear in a den structure.

Black Bear Hunting on State Lands

  • Baiting is prohibited within 450 feet of campsites and picnic areas in all state parks and forests to coincide with the bear management policy for these areas. Learn these locations BEFORE you hunt.
  • Hunting is prohibited in the Cedar Swamp Natural Area at High Point State Park due to sensitive wetland habitat that could be impacted by going off trail in this area.
  • ATV use is prohibited in state parks. forests and wildlife management areas. However, hunters might be permitted to use ATVs to retrieve a bear but only with approval from, and on a pathway approved by, the park superintendent or designee (for state parks and forests) or from Fish and Wildlife’s regional Law Enforcement office (for assistance on wildlife management areas).

After Harvesting a Bear—Mandatory Bear Check Requirement

Properly licensed hunters who harvest a black bear shall immediately complete and affix to the bear hide the “Black Bear Transportation Tag” from their Black Bear Hunting Permit. Information included on the black bear transportation tag shall include: the hunter’s name, address, Conservation ID number; date and time of kill; nearest road, county and municipality of kill; and the sex of the black bear. When field dressing a black bear, leave the sex organs intact and attached to the body.

It is critical to remove the hide and cool the bear immediately after checking the bear. Cooling a bear with ice from inside the body cavity is inadequate to prevent the meat from spoiling. If the hide remains on overnight, the meat may be unsuitable for consumption.

Successful hunters must take the black bear to a designated check station by 7 p.m. on the day of the kill. Hunters shall surrender the black bear transportation tag and will be issued a legal possession seal.

Any legally killed black bear recovered too late to be brought to a designated black bear check station by 7 p.m. on the date of the kill must be re-ported immediately by telephone to the Northern Region Office of the Bureau of Law Enforcement (908) 735-8240. On the telephone message recording device, hunters must leave their name, address and a telephone number where they can be reached. The harvested black bear must be brought to a designated black bear check station on the next weekday to be registered and to receive a legal possession seal. After check stations have closed on Saturday, hunters reporting a bear harvest via the Law Enforcement recorder will be contacted by a Fish and Wildlife biologist on Sunday to legally check the bear and to collect biological data.

Mandatory Black Bear Check Stations

Hours: 12 noon to 7 p.m.

Warren County

  • Pequest Wildlife Management Area
    605 Pequest Road, Oxford

Morris County

  • Black River Wildlife Management Area*
    275 North Road, Chester
  • Green Pond Golf Course
    765 Green Pond Rd, Rt. 513, Rockaway

Sussex County

  • Flatbrook Roy WMA
    Rt. 615 (Walpack Rd.), Sandyston
  • Whittingham WMA
    148 Fredon-Springdale Rd., Newton

* Operating Opening Day and Saturday only

Black Bear Game Care

As when cooking any raw meat, care must be taken to prevent exposure to disease when consuming wild game. Black bear are known to carry Trichinella, a parasite commonly associated with pork. States nationwide report incidents of bears infected with Trichinella and New Jersey is no different. A Trichinella infection (Trichinellosis) is a risk only if the meat is cooked improperly. To ensure bear meat is safe to eat, be sure it’s cooked to an internal temperature of 170 degrees for at least 15 seconds.

Toxoplasmosis, most commonly associated with cats, is another parasitic disease that may be transmitted to humans if meat is not handled properly. To eliminate any health risks associated with Toxoplasmosis make sure no one who may be pregnant handle raw bear meat and always cook the meat thoroughly as you would for Trichinella. If you follow these simple guidelines you can enjoy your bear meat without any concern for exposure to Trichinella or Toxoplasmosis.

Black Bear Management Zone Descriptions

Note: Black bear management zones are different than deer management zones. Choose carefully when purchasing a black bear permit.

Bear Management Zone No. 1: That portion of Warren and Sussex counties lying within a continuous line beginning at the intersection of the Port-land Bridge and the Delaware River at Columbia; then northward along the east bank of the Delaware River to the New York State line; then east along the New York State line to Rt. 519; then south along Rt. 519 to its intersection with Rt. 627; then south along Rt. 627 to its intersection with Rt. 626; then south along Rt. 626 to its intersection with Rt. 521; then southwest along Rt. 521 to its intersection with Rt. 94 in Blairstown; the south-west along Rt. 94 to the Portland Bridge, the point of beginning in Columbia. The islands of Labar, Tocks, Poxono, Depew, Namanock, Minisink and Mashipacong lying in the Delaware River are also included within this hunting area.

Bear Management Zone No. Area 2: That portion of Sussex, Warren and Morris counties lying within a continuous line beginning at Portland Bridge in Columbia; then northward along Rt. 94 to its intersection with Rt. 521 in Blairstown; then north along Rt. 521 to its intersection with Rt. 626; then north along Rt. 626 to its intersection with Rt. 627; then north along Rt. 627 to its intersection with Rt. 519 in Branchville; then north along Rt. 519 to the New York State line; then southeast along the New York State line to Rt. 517; then south along Rt. 517 to its intersection with Rt. 94; then south on Rt. 94 to its intersection with Rt. 23 in Hamburg Borough; then south along Rt. 23 to its intersection with Rt. 517 in Franklin; then south along Rt. 517 to its intersection with Rt. 15 in Sparta; then south along Rt. 15 to its intersection with Interstate 80 in Dover; then west along interstate 80 to its intersection with Rt. 94; then south along Rt. 94 to the intersection with the Portland Bridge and the Delaware River located in Columbia, the point of beginning.

Bear Management Zone No. 3: That portion of Sussex, Passaic, Morris and Bergen counties lying within a continuous line beginning at the intersection of Rt. 80 and Rt. 15 in Dover; then north along Rt. 15 to its intersection with Rt. 517 in Sparta; then north along Rt. 517 to its intersection with Rt. 23 in Franklin; then north along Rt. 23/517 to its intersection with 517 in Hamburg Borough; then north along Rt. 94 to its intersection with Rt 517; then north along Rt. 517 to the New York State line; then east along the New York State line to its intersection with Rt. 287; then south along Rt. 287 to its intersection with Rt. 80; then west along Rt. 80 to its intersection with Rt. 15 the point of beginning in Dover.

Bear Management Zone No. 4: That portion of Sussex, Warren, Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties lying within a continuous line beginning at the intersection of Rt. 78 and the Delaware River; then north along the east bank of the Delaware River to the Portland Bridge at Columbia; then northeast along Rt. 94 to its intersection with Rt. 80; then east along Rt. 80 to its intersection with Rt. 287; then southwest along Rt. 287 to its inter-section with Rt. 78; then west along Rt. 78 to the Delaware River the point of beginning.

2013 Black Bear Harvest
by Zone and County

BMZ

2013 Harvest

1

107

2

62

3

70

4

14

Total

253

County

2013 Harvest

Sussex

155

Warren

42

Morris

30

Passaic

25

Hunterdon

1

Total

253

No bears were harvested in the portions of Bergen and Somerset counties open to bear hunting in 2013.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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