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General Deer Seasons vs. Permit Deer Seasons

Hunting Regulations Icon New Jersey Hunting

New Jersey has six distinct deer hunting seasons, all of which require a hunting license and three that also require a zone-specific permit.

General Deer Seasons

Three general seasons include the Fall Bow, Winter Bow and Six-day Firearm (buck) statewide seasons open to any hunter bearing a valid license corresponding to the season. During these statewide seasons, hunters are not restricted to hunting particular deer management zones but still must abide by the specific season dates and bag limits regulated on a zone-basis.

For these general seasons, a deer Harvest Report is an integral part of every hunting license valid for taking deer.

Permit Deer Seasons

Three permit seasons include the Permit Bow, Permit Shotgun and Permit Muzzleloader zone-specific seasons open to any hunter bearing a valid license corresponding to the season plus an appropriate deer permit (bow, shotgun or muzzleloader) for the deer management zone in which you are hunting. These deer permits are valid only for taking antlerless deer. To harvest an antlered buck during any permit season, the hunter must purchase a buck permit (one per person per season) which is not zone-specific but may be used only in a zone for which the hunter possesses the antlerless zone permit.

During the Permit Bow Season hunters must possess a valid Bow and Arrow or All-around Sportsmen license plus a Bow Permit for the specific zone being hunted.

During the Permit Shotgun and Permit Muzzleloader seasons hunters must possess a valid Firearm or All-around Sportsmen license plus either a Shotgun or Muzzleloader Permit for the specific zone being hunted. For the Permit Muzzleloader season, the hunter must also possess a valid Rifle Permit.

Expiration Dates

All licenses (Firearm, Bow and Arrow and All-around Sportsman licenses) are valid for the calendar year from January 1 through December 31.

All deer permits (Shotgun, Muzzleloader, Bow permits and their respective Buck permits) are valid for the duration of the season—even when the season crosses into the new year. Numerous deer management zones have seasons that begin in November/December and end in January/February of the following year.

All Rifle Permits (not the deer muzzleloader permit) are valid for the fiscal year from July 1–June 30.

Find Regulations by Season

Know the deer management zone where you will hunt — use the Deer Hunting Location Viewer at NJFishandwildlife.com/ahrs_deer_viewer.htm to determine zone if unsure. Zones numbers are listed below each regulation set column heading. Confirm season dates and bag limits according to the chosen sporting arm and the corresponding dates. Several deer seasons may be open concurrently.