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Farmer Hunting and Permit Information

Farmer License Exemption

All farmers should now have a Conservation Identification number (CID). Apply now for a free CID either at a license agent or online at No purchase required. All hunters will need a CID when Fish and Wildlife transitions to an automated deer checking system in the near future.

A farmer and the immediate members of the family who also reside on the farm may hunt, trap and fish on the farm without being licensed or possessing a valid rifle permit. (See  farmer deer transportation tag.) 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.

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 families, 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. See also General 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.

Sunday bowhunting for deer is now 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 maintains a farmer database. Farmers who received farmer deer or turkey permits at any time during the last three years are already in our database and need not reapply.
  • New farmers or farmers who have not received permits nor applied for permits since 2006 MUST apply. Applications are available on Fish and Wildlife’s Web site or at your local county agricultural extension office.
  • Fish and Wildlife will send notification when your farmer status is due for re-evaluation. Farmer status will be inactivated if you delay the re-evaluation process.
  • The preferred application period for farmers is June 1–August 1.
  • Once approved and in the new license system, 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, Oct. 5, 2010 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 the Permit Hotline at (609) 292-9192.
  • Only a qualified farmer or the spouse or children of that farmer who reside in the farmer’s household, 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 immediate family (spouse and children only) 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 their immediate family members (spouse and children only) 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 Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) Permits

Farmers whose property lies within deer management zones having restricted antlerless bag limits and who need to manage problematic deer populations under current deer hunting seasons may apply for the Deer Management Assistance Program. For details visit or call your regional deer biologist:

  • North—(908) 735-7040
  • Central—(609) 259-6965
  • South—(609) 748-2043

Farmers and their immediate family members may qualify for one free DMAP permit if accepted into the program.

Farmer Turkey Permits

Farmers may claim fall season turkey permits beginning TUESDAY, Oct. 5, 2010 at 10 a.m. at any license agent.

Qualified farmers may apply only if their land is in a turkey hunting area open to hunting.

Farmer turkey permits are available only to the farmer and immediate family who reside on the farm.

For the purpose of farmer turkey permits, “immediate family” includes the spouse, mother, father, child, 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.

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 Web site for details.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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