Welcome to 2022-23 New Jersey Hunting
Assistant Commissioner's Message
This year marks New Jersey Fish and Wildlife’s 130th Anniversary. Since 1892, our dedicated wildlife professionals have been working to restore, maintain and protect the health and diversity of the state’s fish and wildlife resources. This has resulted in the successful restoration of many species and abundant wildlife throughout the state. The hunters, trappers, and anglers of New Jersey have been great partners in our success over the past 130 years. They support professional wildlife management and provide funding through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses. This is an excellent example of sensible wildlife management being accomplished with the public’s participation and cooperation. Collectively, we help keep species healthy and stable across the state.
New Jersey offers a wide diversity of habitats for hunting and trapping. With more than 800,000 acres of public open space, our state has abundant opportunities for outdoor pursuits. Consider scouting your new hunting spot on one of the state’s Wildlife Management Areas, State Parks, or State Forests this year. There is room for all of us, but please remember to be respectful and courteous of others also enjoying open space. If hunting or trapping private lands is a better fit for you, consider using the Landowner-Hunter/Trapper Agreement Card to get yourself started.
Whether you decide to hunt public or private lands, consider bringing a young hunter into the field with you this year. Special youth days are offered for deer, turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl. These exclusive offerings provide unique experiences and great memories for both the young and experienced hunter alike. See Take a Kid Hunting for more information about youth days and visit https://dep.nj.gov/njfw/hunting/hunter-education/ if you have not yet completed New Jersey’s mandatory Hunter Education course. Our “R3 Mentoring Program” helps introduce hunting to new participants. Refer to the Mentored Hunting section to see how you can share your experience with a new hunter.
If you are one of those successful deer hunters that fills their freezer early in the season and then stops hunting because there is no more room for venison in the freezer, consider extending your season this year by participating in the Hunters Helping the Hungry program. This program works with deer processors across the state to donate venison to food banks in New Jersey. Hunters can bring their field-dressed deer to a participating butcher and contribute it to the program free of charge during the 2022–2023 season. This is a terrific way to spend time afield and help local families in need. Last year the program donated 26,054 pounds of venison (104,216 servings from 839 hunter-provided deer) to food banks and charitable organizations. Refer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry section in Deer Hunting Regulations for more information on how you can participate.
It is with great excitement that we launched our new agency website during the summer of 2022 (NJFishandWildlife.com). With a very user-friendly interface, our new website offers information on a wide range of wildlife-oriented activities. Details of the programs mentioned here along with license and regulation information can all be easily found on the new site. Check it out and stay updated on all that’s happening with New Jersey Fish and Wildlife!
Remember that a successful hunt is a safe and legal hunt. Review the information in this Digest to make sure you are current on all the pertinent regulations before you set out on your hunt. Make great memories in the field as a legal, ethical hunter and share your experience with new hunters so they can also be successful. Who are you going to take with you this year?
Dave Golden, Assistant Commissioner NJDEP Fish and Wildlife