Hunting in New Jersey
Welcome to Hunting in the Garden State!
New Jersey offers sportsmen and sportswomen incredible opportunities to participate in their favorite outdoor activity. For hunters, this means more than a hundred days of deer hunting, including seasons for bow, shotgun and muzzleloading rifle, and some of the best small game, upland bird and waterfowl hunting on the east coast! For those looking for a place to hunt, New Jersey has hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands open to hunting. This includes more than 358,000 acres in 122 wildlife management areas statewide specifically managed to conserve and enhance wildlife populations and provide for wildlife-oriented recreation.
Getting started hunting in New Jersey has never been easier and the Division of Fish and Wildlife has made significant changes in many of our programs to help you get out in the field. These changes include an updated Hunter Education program that now includes a free online course; an improved electronic license sales system providing more options and easier use; an Apprentice License that provides the opportunity to actively participate by hunting with a licensed hunter before you take the required hunter education course, and programs, workshops and mentoring opportunities through the Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) program.
Never hunted before? Here’s how to start.
Complete a Hunter Education Course
A hunter education course must be completed if a person has never had a hunting license or has no record of a previous license or completion of hunter education from New Jersey or another state. Visit NJFishandWildlife.com/hunted.htm to learn all about New Jersey’s Hunter Education program and how to take the free online HunterCourse.com Interactive Hunter Education Course. Information about signing up for the live-fire session after successful completion of the online course is also found there. Remember to print your online course completion voucher and bring it with you to the in-person, live-fire test.
Purchase Your Hunting License
After completing the Hunter Education program and receiving your certification, you will be ready to purchase a hunting license! First time hunting license purchasers can buy their license one of two simple ways:
- In-person at a license agent. A list of agents is found on Where to Buy Your License of this Digest and on the Fish and Wildlife website. Be sure to bring your Hunter Education Course Completion Card and driver license (if you are of age) when purchasing your license.
- Online. After our Hunter Education staff enters your information electronically, you will receive an email confirmation to allow you to purchase your license from the comfort of your home.
Remember, always keep your hunting license in a safe place and take it with you whenever you go hunting. Your hunting license must be displayed on your outer clothing whenever you are afield.
Visit NJFishandWildlife.com for more information about hunting in New Jersey and follow the Division on Facebook at facebook.com/NJFishandWildlife and on Instagram at instagram.com/newjerseyfishandwildlife. Also check out the NJ Hunting & Trapping Explorer app at NJFishandWildlife.com/hunt for interactive maps and specific hunting and trapping zone information.