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Fall & Spring Wild Turkey Hunting

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Fall 2015 Turkey Hunting Regulations

The 2015 fall turkey season will consist of one seven-day hunting segment, N, (excluding Sunday) from Saturday, Oct. 24 through Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Fall hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. Fall turkey hunting is now open statewide in all Turkey Hunting Areas.

  • Bag Limit: One wild turkey of either sex per day during the fall season regardless of the number of permits the hunter holds.
  • The fall lottery for turkey permits has been eliminated. A permit is still required (see License Information) and may be purchased at license agents or online at Fish and Wildlife’s Internet license sales site
  • Dogs and artificial decoys may be used while turkey hunting in the fall season, except the use of electronically-operated decoys is prohibited. All hunters are required to possess a calling device while turkey hunting. The use of a hand-held decoy or a turkey tail-on-a-stick as camouflage to sneak up on a turkey is prohibited. Stalking a turkey is illegal.
  • The maximum group size while turkey hunting is five hunters.
  • Hunters may not attempt to chase or drive turkeys for the purpose of putting them in range of other hunters. However, hunters may rush a flock of turkeys to cause the flock to scatter.
  • No shot larger than #4 fine shot or smaller than #7½ fine shot may be used for turkey hunting.
  • Hunters may not use shotguns larger than 10-gauge or smaller than 20-gauge for turkey hunting.
  • Fluorescent hunter orange is not required to hunt turkey.
  • Properly licensed hunters may use archery tackle to hunt turkeys.
  • While turkey hunting, a weapon may not be in possession within 300 feet of any baited area.

Immediately upon killing a turkey, hunters must complete the transportation tag on their fall hunting permit and affix it to the bird. The turkey must be taken to an official wild turkey check station by 7 p.m. on the day it is killed by the hunter who killed the bird.

Spring Turkey Season Hours

Spring turkey hunters are reminded that legal hunting hours for the last two weeks of the spring turkey season (including all of period D and the last Saturday of period E) are changed to ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. For periods A, B, C and the first three Saturdays of period E, hunting hours will still end at noon. These hunting hours allow opportunities for working and youth hunters.

Coyotes may be harvested incidentally while turkey hunting. See Small Game Hunting.

Spring 2016 Gobbler Hunting Regulations

Spring gobbler hunting regulations are published in the 2016 Wild Turkey Hunting Season permit supplement available in January. See Turkey Hunting Permits, General, License Information.

Turkey Hunting Seminars

The latest turkey hunting techniques are presented at several turkey hunting seminars sponsored by Fish and Wildlife or wildlife conservation organizations. These seminars focus on how to set up, calling techniques and key safety information for turkey hunters. New turkey hunters are especially encouraged to join us at a seminar. Check your newspaper and the January 2016 Wild Turkey Hunting Season permit supplement for the seminars scheduled during March or April.

Youth Turkey Hunt Day

April 23, 2016 (See Take A Kid Hunting)

If no turkey is harvested on this youth hunt day, Period Y permits may be used by the youth hunter in the designated zone for the balance of the season until a bird is harvested (see Take A Kid Hunting).

Non-hunting adults accompanying youth turkey hunters need only have in possession a valid hunting license. Turkey hunting is by permit only. Spring and fall turkey hunting is by permit only. See Turkey Hunting Permits, General, License Information. For farmers, see Farmer Turkey Permits, Farmer Hunting & Permit Information.

Turkey Hunting Areas

Map for general reference only. For a complete description of the Turkey Hunting Areas, see the supplemental document Wild Turkey Hunting Season Information.

2016 Spring Gobbler Hunting Season

Hunting Period


Youth Turkey
Hunting Day
(10–16 years of age)

Hunting Period Y

Sat., April 23

If no turkey is harvested on this youth hunt day, Period Y permits may be used in the designated zone for balance of season until a bird is harvested

Hunting Period A

Mon., April 25–Fri., April 29

Hunting Period B

Mon., May 2–Fri., May 6

Hunting Period C

Mon., May 9– Fri., May 13

Hunting Period D

Mon., May 16– Fri., May 20; Mon., May 23–Fri., May 27

Hunting Period E

All Saturdays, April 30,
May 7, May 14 and May 21

Stalking is Illegal

Use of a hand-held decoy or a turkey tail-on-a-stick as camouflage to sneak up on a turkey is prohibited. In New Jersey, stalking of wild turkeys is illegal, both for ethical reasons and for personal safety.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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