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Farmer Hunting & Permit Information

Regulations in red are new this year.

Farmer License Exemption

All farmers hunting deer must have a Conservation Identification number (CID#). Farmers who already receive free farmer deer or turkey permits, and farmers who have purchased a hunting license/permit and/or freshwater fishing license since 2006 already have an assigned, permanent CID#. A CID# is required to utilize Fish and Wildlife’s Automated Harvest Report System. Farmers who are exempt from the license requirement and hunt only during non-permit seasons still must obtain a CID# in order to report their harvested deer. Register for a free CID# online at No purchase is required but you must create a profile in the online license sales site. From our homepage at, click ‘Buy your licenses and permits’ and follow the instructions to create a profile. There will be options to purchase a license, apply for permits or print an identification card. Choose ‘Print an Identification Card.’ A card will print with your 9-digit CID#.

All Farmer Deer Hunters: Before going hunting, be sure to go to Fish and Wildlife’s website ( and write down the DMZ, county, township and Deer Management Unit of your hunt location prior to harvesting a deer! Record this info on your license, permit or the Deer Harvest Report Card to have accessible for when you report your deer and to record your assigned Confirmation Number. When reporting a deer harvest on your farm property, farmers do not need a Harvest Number during the non-permit deer seasons. To report a deer call (855) I HUNT NJ or (855) 448-6865 or online at See Deer Hunting Regulations for additional information.

A farmer and members of the immediate family (see definition below) who also reside on the farm may hunt, trap and fish on the farm without being licensed or possessing a valid rifle permit. (See Deer Harvest Report Card for a cut-out Harvest Report Card.) All hunting, fishing and trapping must be conducted in the manner provided by law during the prescribed seasons. A farm is defined as an area of at least five acres and having gross income of at least $500, and tax assessed as farmland. This exemption does not apply to a tenant or employee who is not an immediate family member.

Immediate Family: For the purpose of farmers hunting and trapping, “immediate family” includes the spouse, mother, father, child, grandchild, stepchild, stepparent, legal guardian, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, great grandparent, brother, sister, stepsister, stepbrother, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the farm owner or lessee who resides thereon.

Farmer Regulations

The occupant of a farm may allow his or her dog to run at large on land he or she occupies, except during the firearm deer seasons.

Farmers and their lessees occupying or farming their land, members of their immediate family (see definition above), or their farming employees may kill crows, woodchuck and fox on farm property at any time when found destroying livestock or crops. However, they must use legal firearms, ammunition and other lawful procedures. See also Wildlife Damage Control, General Hunting Regulations.

Farmers must possess the appropriate permit to legally hunt the farm during any hunting or trapping season which requires a permit. Permits are provided free to all qualified farmers for the following seasons: Permit Bow, Permit Muzzleloader and Permit Shotgun deer seasons plus the spring and fall Turkey Permit seasons and the Black Bear Season.

Sunday bowhunting for deer is legal only on state wildlife management areas and private property.

Farmers may trap fox destroying poultry, crops or property at any time, subject to state law and local ordinances. Farmers or their agents may shoot or trap coyotes by lawful procedures at any time when found destroying livestock or crops. A regional Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement office must be notified within 24 hours of killing a coyote. See Telephone Directory.

Permits for Farmers

Fish and Wildlife reviews the Farmer Permit database periodically to ensure compliance. Our Bureau of Law Enforcement will contact you if additional information is required during the re-evaluation process. Farmer status will be inactivated and farmers notified if the information on file is no longer accurate.

New farmers must submit an application to obtain free turkey, deer and/or bear permits. Applications are available on our website at under Farmer Certification Application for Deer and Turkey Permits. Print out both pages and use the instruction sheet to fill out the application.

Applications are also available at your local county agricultural extension office.

The preferred application period for farmers is June 1–August 1.

Once approved, farmers may claim their farmer permits by going to any license agent. The dates when permits will become available are listed below.

Farmer Deer Permits

  • Farmers may claim deer permits beginning TUESDAY, September 8, 2015 at 10 a.m. at any license agent.
  • Approved farmers are eligible for one free bow, shotgun and muzzleloader permit and one free Antlered Buck Permit for each of the three permit seasons. See Farmer License Exemption, above. See also Farmer Regulations, above.
  • Two types of farmer permits—occupant and non-occupant farmer—allow the applicant to decide for which permit it is easiest to qualify; see below. Farmers who must change the occupancy status for their deer permit should call (609) 292-1473.
  • Only a qualified farmer and members of the immediate family (see definition on this page) who reside on the farm, are eligible to apply for occupant and non-occupant farmer deer permits.
  • Farmers may also apply for (or purchase at any license agent) regular deer permits in addition to the free farmer permits. See Deer Season Permits.
  • Farmers are eligible for a Farmer Buck Permit which are limited to only one per person per season. If a farmer claims their FARMER Buck Permit they cannot purchase an Antlered Buck Permit. Likewise, if a farmer first purchases an Antlered Buck Permit, the farmer cannot claim a Farmer Buck Permit. The Antlered Buck Permit is valid for any zone in which the farmer has an antlerless permit for the season.

Occupant Farmer Deer Permits

  • Applicants must be the owner, lessee or members of the immediate family (see definition on this page) who actually reside on the farm property.
  • Land must be at least five acres, tax-assessed as farmland.
  • Occupant permits are valid only on the farm property where the applicant resides.

Non-Occupant Farmer Deer Permits

  • Applicants are not required to live on the farm property.
  • Farmer(s) and members of their immediate family (see definition on this page) may qualify, up to a total of five people.
  • Must actively till at least 30 acres of land which is tax-assessed as farmland.
  • Woodlots do not qualify.
  • To apply for hunting leased farmland, a copy of all leases authorizing the agricultural and hunting uses of the land must be attached to the application.
  • Non-occupant permits are valid only on private land within the deer management zone designated on the permit and are not valid on public lands within that zone.
  • An applicant who lives on a farm and actively tills at least 30 acres may apply either as an occupant or a non-occupant.

Farmer Turkey Permits

Farmers may claim fall season turkey permits beginning TUESDAY, September 8, 2015 at 10 a.m. at any license agent. Farmer Turkey Permits are only for Occupant Farmers. Fall Turkey Season is now open in all Turkey Hunting Areas. If you experience a problem obtaining the fall permit at a license agent, call (609) 292-1473.

Farmer turkey permits are available only to the farmer and immediate family who reside on the farm. See definition of “immediate family” above.

Farmers may also apply for (or purchase at any license agent) regular turkey permits in addition to the free farmer permits. See the turkey permit supplement, distributed each January or on our website for details.

Farmer Bear Permits

Only the owner or lessee of a farm, who resides thereon, or members of his immediate family 10 years of age or older who also reside thereon, may apply on forms provided for a special farmer black bear permit. See definition of “immediate family” above. Under this section a farm is an area of five acres or more, producing a gross income in excess of $500 and is tax assessed as farmland. Special farmer black bear permits will be issued only in those Black Bear Management Zones where a season is prescribed.

Farmers who applied for a farmer black bear permit in the past, do not need to re-apply this year provided that their information and farm situation has not changed. New farmers and those who did not apply in the past must submit an application. These will be reviewed and approved by Law Enforcement.

Application forms may be obtained from Fish and Wildlife’s website or at county agricultural extension offices.

Include on the application your Conservation ID Number; fill in the entire form. Properly completed applications will be accepted in the Trenton office no later than October 15. There is no fee; all qualified applicants will receive a Special Farmer Black Bear Permit via mail.

Submit only one farmer application per individual during the initial application period. Application for a farmer black bear permit shall not preclude a farmer (as a holder of a valid hunting license) from applying for—and Fish and Wildlife issuing—one regular black bear season permit. However, the season bag limit remains one black bear regardless of the numbers of permits held.

Special Farmer Black Bear Permits will NOT be issued via the electronic license system for the 2015 Black Bear Season. Permits will be mailed to qualified farmers only after receiving valid applications approved by Fish and Wildlife’s Bureau of Law Enforcement.

10 Safety Tips for Crossbow Shooting Success

  1. Always read the manufacturers directions and use the recommended arrow (bolt) weight and length.
  2. Always visually inspect crossbow and accessories before shooting to ensure all are in good condition.
  3. Keep fingers and thumb low on the crossbow forearm, below the rail; the flight path of string and cable can cause serious personal injury.
  4. Never walk with a crossbow cocked and arrow loaded.
  5. Never cock a crossbow while in a treestand, except for crank-type models.
  6. Always raise and lower unloaded crossbows from a treestand using a haul line.
  7. Before shooting, check that bow limbs will hit nothing when they flex forward during the release. Crossbow limbs store enough energy to knock a hunter to the ground should the bow contact the tree or your stand.
  8. Carry in your quiver an arrow with either a field point, judo or blunt. Uncock the crossbow at day’s end by shooting that arrow into a target or soft ground.
  9. Never dry-fire a crossbow; releasing the trigger without an arrow in place can damage to the bow limbs or cause serious personal injury.
  10. Never store or transport a crossbow in the cocked position.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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