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Director’s Message

Hunters in New Jersey can look forward to exciting changes for this hunting season. Recent revisions to the Game Code now offer more opportunities to enjoy the sport than ever before, increased convenience for hunters and additional protection for our wildlife resources. The opening of turkey hunting areas, formally closed to fall hunting, the expansion of the black bear hunting area and the addition of hunting days in some deer management zones are examples of changes made to offer increased opportunity for 2015.

The elimination of the lottery for fall turkey hunting is an added convenience for hunters who now may simply purchase a permit at any license agent. Garden State hunters can also look forward to future increased opportunity for black bear hunting beginning in 2016. These changes will enable us to better manage a New Jersey black bear population which is increasing in number and expanding in range. Stay tuned for details on the proposed additions to black bear hunting beginning in the summer of 2016.

Changes which enable Fish and Wildlife to continue specific conservation efforts include the mandatory reporting of incidentally-caught bobcats, the inclusion of foot-encapsulating traps and relaxing locks on snares which will help protect non-target species. Other projects in the works to promote and maintain the hunting traditions is the cooperative research conducted by our agency with research partners on bobwhite quail restoration in New Jersey’s pinelands; see Invite Quail onto Your (Restored) Land.

Fish and Wildlife is also very excited to be planning a showcase archery training center in Clinton Township, Hunterdon County. This proposed facility supports our agency’s mission to protect and manage the state’s fish and wildlife population while maximizing their long-term biological, recreational and economic value for all New Jerseyans. It supports New Jersey’s rapidly growing Archery in the Schools and the state-mandated Hunter Education programs. This state-of-the-art community archery, shooting and natural resource education center is currently in the design phase. If built as proposed, this facility could serve as the Northeast’s elite Olympic archery training center.

Young people from across the nation are inspired to learn archery. This facility will provide the perfect setting to support the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). NASP brings the sport of archery to millions of students in schools throughout the United States. Last year, Fish and Wildlife’s participation in this program resulted in two national awards. Over the past two years we enrolled more than 100 schools in the program. NASP is taught in physical education classes as in-school curriculum for grades 4–12. During the 2012 school year, more than 2,486,550 students throughout the country participated in this archery program, exceeding youth participation in all of Little League Baseball.

This recreational/educational/training facility has the potential to generate more than $500,000 per year in revenue for the Division of Fish and Wildlife. In addition, visitors and events conducted at this facility are expected to generate more than $3 million annually in economic activity to the local economy. This exciting project is truly a win-win for New Jersey. Our aim is to begin construction during FY 2017. Once the archery training center is completed, our sights are set to build a companion facility on our Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area (Lenape Farms Unit) in Atlantic County.

Look to our website for additional information as these projects develop.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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