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Turkey Hunting Seasons

Hunting Regulations Icon New Jersey Hunting

Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Turkey Hunting Regulations

  • Bag Limit: During the fall season, turkeys of either sex may be taken. During the spring season, only male turkey may be taken; bearded hens may not be taken in the spring. During both seasons, the bag limit is one turkey per permit, but only one bird may be taken in a given day, regardless of the number of permits a hunter holds.
  • The fall lottery for turkey permits has been eliminated. A permit is still required and may be purchased at license agents or online at Fish and Wildlife’s Internet license sales site www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com.
  • Artificial decoys may be used while turkey hunting, except the use of electronically-operated decoys is prohibited. Dogs may be used for turkey hunting only during the fall season. 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.
  • Hunting methods during the spring gobbler season are restricted to calling or stand hunting.
  • 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, during the fall season only, 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. Shotguns must be plugged to be capable of holding no more than three shells.
  • Fluorescent hunter orange is not required to hunt turkeys.
  • Properly licensed hunters may use archery tackle to hunt turkeys. Bows used for turkey hunting (long, recurve, compound or crossbow) must have a minimum draw pull weight of 35 pounds at the archer’s draw length (long and recurve bow), or peak weight (compound bow), or 75 pounds minimum draw weight (crossbow). Arrows must be fitted with a well-sharpened metal broadhead with a minimum width of 3/4 inch.
  • While turkey hunting, a weapon may not be in possession within 300 feet of any baited area.

Mandatory Turkey Check Requirement

All harvested turkeys must be tagged immediately with a completed transportation tag. A turkey must be taken by the person who killed it, on the day killed, to the nearest turkey check station where personnel will issue a legal possession tag. See list of official turkey check stations to locate one closest to your hunting area.

NOTE: During Youth Turkey Hunting Day, hunting periods A, B, C and the first three Saturdays of hunting period E, the turkey must be taken to the nearest check station by 3 p.m. During hunting period D and the last Saturday of hunting period E, the turkey must be taken to the nearest check station by 9 p.m. During the Fall Turkey Season, the turkey must be taken to the nearest check station by 7 p.m. In the event a turkey is killed too late to register at a check station, call the nearest Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Office and leave a message including your name, phone number, CID number and the Turkey Hunting Area where the bird was taken. The bird must be checked the next day. If it was butchered, bring all remaining parts (beard, head, legs, etc.) to the check station.

In the future turkey hunters will be able to report their turkeys via the Electronic License System. Once this is active, complete instructions will be available on Fish and Wildlife’s website at NJFishandWildlife.com and printed in the next hunting Digest. Subscribe to our email lists at NJFishandWildlife.com/lstsub.htm to be notified of Fish and Wildlife updates and events, including any changes to the harvest reporting system.

Turkey Season Dates and Hunting Hours

The 2017 fall turkey season will consist of one seven day hunting segment, N, (excluding Sunday) from Saturday, Oct. 28 through Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Fall hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

Hunting hours for the spring season are one-half hour before sunrise until noon daily, except 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 one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. These expanded hunting hours during the last two weeks of the season allow opportunities for working and youth hunters.

Coyotes may be harvested incidentally while turkey hunting.

Spring Turkey Hunting Supplement and Permit Information

Printing a separate Spring Turkey Hunting Supplement booklet has been discontinued. All regulation and permit information are contained in this Digest.

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 our website for the seminars scheduled during March or April.

2018 Spring Gobbler Hunting Season Dates

Hunting Period

Dates

Youth Turkey Hunting Day

(10–16 years of age)

Hunting Period Y

Sat., April 21
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 23–Fri., April 27
Hunting Period B Mon., April 30–Fri., May 4
Hunting Period C Mon., May 7– Fri., May 11
Hunting Period D Mon., May 14– Fri., May 18; Mon., May 21–Fri., May 25
Hunting Period E All Saturdays, April 28, May 5, May 12 and May 19

Youth Turkey Hunt Day

April 21, 2018

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.

All youth turkey hunters 10 to 16 years of age must possess a valid spring turkey hunting permit in addition to their youth hunting license.

Youth hunters must be accompanied by a properly licensed, non-hunting adult age 21 or older who may not shoot on this youth day.

This season is considered an extension of the regular season permit held by the youth.

If youth hunter harvests a turkey on this youth hunting day, the “Y” Period permit is no longer valid for future hunting.

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

Turkey Hunting Areas

Map for general reference only. For a complete description of the Turkey Hunting Area boundaries, scan this QR code with your mobile device or visit our website at NJFishandWildlife.com/qr/turkeyareas.htm.

Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Turkey Check Stations

Atlantic

Butterhof’s Farm & Home Supply,
5715 White Horse Pike, Egg Harbor City(609) 965-1198

Ted’s Taxidermy, 713 Rt. 40, Buena(856) 697-8585

Burlington

Mighty Joe’s Texaco, 1231 Rt. 206 S., Shamong(609) 268-0303

Sportsman’s Center, Rt. 130, Bordentown(609) 298-5300

Camden

Atco Sports Center, 177 Atco Ave., Atco(856) 767-9446

Cape May

Belle Plain Supply,
346 Handisville Ave., Belle Plain(609) 861-2345

CUMBERLAND

Beaver Dam Boat Rentals,
514 Old Beaver Dam Rd, Newport(856) 447-3633

Blackwater Sports Center,
2228 Delsea Dr., Vineland(856) 691-1571

GLOUCESTER

Sportsman’s Outpost,
Fries Mill Rd., Williamstown(856) 881-3244

The Bottle Barn, 65 West Broad St., Gibbstown(856) 423-3608

HUNTERDON

Boan’s Marine, 1296 Rt. 179, Lambertville(609) 397-3311

The Corner Store, Rt. 12 and Rt. 519, Baptistown(908) 996-7648

Carousel Deli And Bakery,
Rt. 179 and Wertsville Rd., Ringoes(908) 788-5180

Jugtown Mountain Campsites,
1074 Rt. 173 East, Asbury(908) 735-5995

MIDDLESEX

Sayreville Sportsmen,
52 Washington Ave., Sayreville(732) 238-2060

Monmouth

Ken’s Taxidermy, 389 Rt. 79, Morganville(908) 670-9497

Cream Ridge Sports Shop,
445 Rt. 539, Cream Ridge(609) 758-0616

L&H Woods and Water, 2045 Rt. 35, Wall(732) 282-1812

MORRIS

Mount Hope Deli, 662 Mount Hope Ave., Wharton(973) 328-7259

OCEAN

Tips Hardware, 218 Main Street, West Creek(609) 296-3192

PASSAIC

Tackle and Field, 81 Ringwood Ave., Wanaque(973) 835-2966

Greenwood Lake Sports Center,
1745 Greenwood Lake Turnpike, Hewitt(973) 728-1000

SALEM

Salem Boat Exchange,
1163 South Broadway, Pennsville(856) 935-2515

Sam’s Super Service, 290 Rt. 40, Elmer(856) 358-3488

SOMERSET

Puskas Dairy Farm,
170 South Middlebush Rd. Somerset(732) 690-0380

SUSSEX

Garden State Bow & Reel,
2760A Rt. 23N, Stockholm(973) 697-3727

Hainesville General Store,
283 Rt. 206 South Hainesville(973) 948-4280

Mountain Mike’s Sport Shop,
7 Old Rudetown Rd., McAfee(973) 827-6527

Mountain View Country Store,
300 Rt. 519, Wantage(973) 875-6000

Simon-Peter Bait And Tackle,
Rt. 206 And Brighton Rd., Newton(973) 786-5313

Swartswood Deli,
911 Newton-Swartswood Rd., Stillwater(973) 383-5470

WARREN

Alpine Meats, Rt. 94 N., Blairstown(908) 362-8568

Hi-Way Sport Shop,
Box 253, Rt. 31 North, Washington(908) 689-6208

Smitty’s Liquor & Deli, 89 Rt. 46, Delaware(908) 475-5933

The Owl’s Nest, 97 Rt. 519, Warren Glen(908) 995-7903