Regulations in red are new this year.
See Licenses, Permits & Fees for license and permit types, fees, requirements and additional information on how to buy. You must have a current NJ license to hunt or trap. The minimum age to hunt is 10 and to trap is 12. Hunting licenses are valid for the calendar year and expire on Dec. 31 regardless of purchase date.
New hunters and new-to-NJ hunters must go in person to a license agent unless they are certain that their hunter education/proof of prior license has already been added to their profile in the license system. For new hunter education students, this can take 2–3 days after successful completion of the live-fire field session.
All hunters and trappers must visibly display their license on their outer clothing (not covered by a pack or harness) and must show their license to any law enforcement officer or any person requesting to see it. Farmers hunting their own land must also display any deer season permit.
Do NOT heat laminate the durable license or permit. High temperature will destroy these waterproof, heat-sensitive documents.
The Apprentice Hunting License allows any age-appropriate U.S. citizen to try shotgun (18 years or older) or archery hunting (14 years or older) before completing a Hunter Education Course. Apprentice Hunters MUST hunt under the direct supervision and guidance of a hunting mentor, hunting together as a unit in the same location. Mentors must be 21 years of age or older and must possess a valid New Jersey Hunting License for the hunting method (bow or firearm) being used.
Apprentice hunters must adhere to hunting laws and regulations, and must purchase all hunting permits, stamps, or the HIP certification, as required.
Apprentice Licenses are available at license agents and online. Apprentice license holders are NOT eligible for a Rifle Permit, Coyote Permit, or Muzzleloader Deer Permit and may not hunt with any type of rifle. Apprentice hunters may not hunt for coyote or fox. An air gun is not considered a rifle.
Individuals are limited to two apprentice licenses per type per lifetime. Due to New Jersey Firearm ID Card regulations, Firearm Apprentice Licenses are limited to individuals 18 years of age and older. An Archery Apprentice License holder must be 14 years of age or older. Regular fees apply. There are no free youth apprentice licenses.
Disabled Veteran Licenses, Stamps, & Permits
Free hunting and fishing licenses, stamps and permits are available for resident disabled veterans.
For the purposes of this program, legislation defines eligible disabled veterans as “…any resident of New Jersey who has been honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service from any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States and who has been declared by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, or its successor, to have a service-connected disability of any degree…”
New applicant disabled veterans may obtain their hunting and fishing licenses and stamps by mailing their application to the address listed. NJ Fish & Wildlife offices will no longer accept Disabled Veteran Certifications in person. For more information and updates, go to dep.nj.gov/njfw/licenses-and-permits/disabled-veteran-license-information/.
Applications for disabled veteran certification and your first disabled veteran license may be made via the mail by sending the application and all required documentation to:
NJDEP Fish & Wildlife
Attn: Disabled Veteran Licensing
MC 501-03, PO Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420
All licenses, stamps and permits for which the veteran is eligible will be free of charge. Disabled Veteran status does not give preferential treatment in any lottery. For questions call (609) 292-2965.
Disabled Veteran Applicants:
- Documentation of current benefits for a service-connected disability and proof of honorable discharge (such as a copy of your DD-214, VA card or monthly check stub) must be presented to be certified for disabled veteran status in our license system.
- Applicant must provide a hunter education (archery, firearm, shotgun or rifle) course certificate applicable to the license for which he or she is applying or a previously issued resident archery or firearm license or Rifle Permit. Resident licenses from other states issued to hunters in New Jersey will be accepted if the license indicates the sporting arm for which it was valid. Non-resident licenses from other states are not acceptable.
- See Veterans/Active Military Waterfowl Hunting Days section in Migratory Bird Regulations for Veteran Related events.
Hunter and Trapper Education Requirements
New Jersey requires that everyone, age 10 and above, applying to hunt with a firearm or bow must show a previous resident license of the appropriate type from this or any state, or a course completion card from the appropriate hunter education course to obtain a regular license, see Apprentice License exemption, above. Anyone, age 12 and above, applying to trap furbearing animals must show a previous resident trapping license from this or any state, or a trapper education course completion card.
All hunter education students must first complete the HunterCourse.com online program (huntercourse.com/usa/newjersey/), which covers both firearm and bow, then pass the 100-question test. Print your home study voucher.
Next, students must register for a specific date/time at one of the mandatory live-fire sessions listed on the Hunter Education Registration Site (a registration code is not required): NJFishandWildlife.com/hunteredregistration.htm.
Students must register for each discipline (firearm or bow) separately and for different times. Do not register for two sessions in the same time slot. Students must bring their home study voucher to the live-fire session. For more information, visit dep.nj.gov/njfw/hunting/hunter-education/. Any questions, please email [email protected] or call the Hunter Education office at (856) 629-0552. Trapper Education courses are offered in the spring and in the fall. To enroll in a trapper education course, go to dep.nj.gov/njfw/hunting/trapping-season-information/.
All deer permits may be purchased beginning Sept. 11, 2023 through the last day of the season for that zone. RECOMMENDATION: Purchase your Antlered Buck Permit and zone-specific permit(s) for each season in the same transaction. Hunters who initially purchase only an antlerless, zone-specific permit before the season opens should remember the following deadlines:
- Antlered Buck Permits for Permit Bow Season must be purchased by Oct. 28 at 11:59 p.m.
- Antlered Buck Permits for Permit Muzzleloader Season must be, purchased by Nov. 27 at 11:59 p.m.
- Antlered Buck Permits for the Permit Shotgun Season must be purchased by Dec. 13 at 11:59 p.m.
For hunters who do not purchase any antlerless, zone-specific deer permit until after the season opens, an Antlered Buck Permit may be purchased only with the initial antlerless zone-specific permit. There will be no other chance to purchase an Antlered Buck Permit.
Know the Deadline to Claim Your Permit!
Claim your permit by 11:59 p.m. on these dates:
- Beaver/otter permit claim deadline: Nov. 26, 2023
- Spring turkey permit claim deadline: March 20, 2024
IMPORTANT: Check your permit award status in your customer profile; don't rely on e-mail or postcard notification. There is only a short window to claim the awarded permit(s). You MUST claim your permit BEFORE the claim period has ended! Unclaimed permits become available for over-the-counter sales. NO EXCEPTIONS! Check your application status online at NJFishandWildlife.com/licensesalessite.htm.
License Purchase Requirements
To purchase a hunting or trapping license, you must have:
- A resident hunting or trapping license from any state, or a Hunter or Trapper Education Course Completion Card unless purchasing an Apprentice License. (See Apprentice License section above)
- U.S. citizens must provide their Social Security Number. Non-citizens must provide their passport, visa, green card, or non-U.S. driver license. Driver licenses are required for everyone 18 and older when using the online license system.
- A completed Child Support Certification. (must be completed annually.)
- New residents and new customers should be prepared to show proof of residency. One must be a resident of NJ for six months prior to purchasing a resident license. Residents of New Jersey must provide one of the following forms of identification:
- N.J. Driver License
- N.J. Voter Registration Card
- N.J. Non-driver photo ID issued by the N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission
Child Support Certification Requirement
The Child Support Program Improvement Act requires NJ Fish & Wildlife to collect and maintain Social Security numbers and child support obligation certification for all license applications. Certifications must be completed prior to a customer's first purchase each license year regardless of whether the purchase is made online or at a license agent. If your first purchase of the year is at a License Agent then the customer must be present to complete the Child Support Certification in person. The online child support certification allows an individual to complete the form from the privacy of their home. Once done, the certification remains valid for the calendar year in which the certification was completed. When the child support form is completed online the customer does not need to be present at the license agent for a purchase to be made on or for their behalf.
Where To Buy Your License & Permits
Licenses and permits can be purchased online at any time day or night at NJFishandWildlife.com/licensesalessite.htm.
Want to make your purchase at a license agent? Locate one directly through the Fishing & Hunting License Agent Locator application or directly at NJFishandWildlife.com/dfwlicenseagents. You can also find a listing by county at dep.nj.gov/njfw/licenses-and-permits/license-agents/
ALL online purchases:
- Print from home on plain paper. (Credit card and convenience fees apply.)
- Are valid immediately.
- Have free unlimited home reprints.
- Allow for ordering on green, durable stock for $2. Every purchaser of a Firearm or All-Around license will automatically be sent a durable stock license by mail at no additional cost. The PDF paper license for Firearm and All-Around licenses is a temporary license only and will not be able to be reprinted after the temporary term ends. If a Firearm or All-Around license is lost, customers must purchase a duplicate which cost $2 each. Duplicates will also generate a new temporary PDF print-at-home license and a new durable stock, green copy will be sent in the mail.
Purchasing at a License Agent
License agents can create customer profiles and add hunter education and/or prior hunting license information on profiles. If making your first purchase at a license agent, please bring all documents required (see License Purchase Requirements section above) with you to the store.
When licenses are purchased at a license agent customers can walk out of the store with their purchases in hand. Items are printed on durable stock and a copy of your receipt is able to be emailed to you for your records. In the event you lose any purchase that was made at a license agent you will be charged $2 for duplicates regardless of where you make your duplicate purchase. (See Where to Buy Your License & Permits section above for information on agent locations.)
Purchasing for More Than One Person
The license system allows for transactions to contain purchases for more than one customer at a time. License agents are able to do this provided each individual in the group is either present or has already completed their Child Support Certification online.
A person may purchase a permit for an absent hunter only when the following conditions are met:
- The absent hunter has already completed a Child Support Certification (see Child Support Certification Requirement section above) online or at a license agent AND
- The buyer shows the absent hunter’s valid hunting license and identifying information (date of birth and Conservation ID Number or Social Security Number). License photocopies not accepted
Online, one person must login, add items to the shopping cart for one person and then click the 'Add Profile' button to add an additional customer profile to the transaction. It is important that each customer already have a completed profile and completes their Child Support Certification PRIOR to starting this process. Each individual included in the transaction will have the ability to access their items by logging into their own account.
Non-residents must show either a resident license from their state or proof of successfully completing an appropriate hunter education course to obtain a license to hunt or trap in New Jersey. Non-immigrant aliens who temporarily import firearms to the United States must first obtain an application for the permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). For importation of firearms, use form ATF Form 5330.3A. The approval may take up to 12 weeks. Contact ATFs New Jersey field office at (609) 989-2155 or download forms from their website at www.atf.gov/firearms/firearms-forms. For more information on non-resident hunting, go to dep.nj.gov/njfw/hunting/buy-a-license/.
A one-day license is valid for hunting on a licensed commercial shooting preserve only. This license may be obtained at the shooting preserve and is valid only on the day issued for the species covered by the preserve’s license. Hunter Education requirements still apply.
A license, permit, or stamp can be replaced at any license agent or at NJ Fish & Wildlife’s Internet license sales site, NJFishandWildlife.com/licensesalessite.htm. A $2 fee is charged for each duplicate license/permit. Items that were initially purchased online can be reprinted for free. Reprints are PDFs that will print on plain paper. Reprints can be found by logging into your profile online, then clicking the 'Reprint Licenses' button. In the case of All-Around and Firearm licenses, temporary PDFs are only able to be reprinted during their term of validation, otherwise the customer must click on 'Purchase Duplicate Licenses' button and pay the $2 duplicate fee for a new temporary PDF to be generated and a new durable stock copy to be printed and mailed.
Farmer License Exemption
Military Licenses, Active Duty
Any person on active duty in the United States armed services, regardless of their current residency, may buy a New Jersey resident hunting license. Service personnel may obtain an Apprentice License (see Licenses, Permits & Fees) or present a previous resident license (from this or any state) of the appropriate type or show proof to the license agent of successful completion of the appropriate hunter education course along with proof of your current active-duty status in the armed services.
Veteran / Active Military Waterfowl Hunts
Veterans and Active Military are welcome during two statewide, Veterans/Active Military Hunting Days on Nov. 4, 2023 and Feb. 3, 2024. See Veterans/Active Military Waterfowl Hunting Days section in Migratory Bird Regulations for details.
New Jersey National Guard Licenses
New Jersey National Guard personnel in good standing are entitled to free licenses, permits, and stamps. These privileges are available at all license agents; however, hunters and anglers should first confirm with the DMVA office to ensure they are certified in that system. The NJNG will only certify individuals for six months at a time. Call (609) 530-6866, e-mail [email protected] or write to: MSG (Ret.) Robert Greco, NJ DMAVA, 101 Eggert Crossing Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
Revocation of Licenses
Anyone convicted of a second fish and game violation, in this or any other state, within a period of five years will have their New Jersey hunting and fishing privileges revoked for a minimum of two years.
Certain violations carry greater periods of revocation, ranging from three years to lifetime revocation. Two convictions of any wildlife management area regulation will result in a five-year revocation of all sporting privileges. Two convictions of the following will result in lifetime revocation: safety zone violation, causing damage to real or personal property and negligent use of a firearm or bow. NJ Fish & Wildlife may revoke any special use permit or other authorization granted by NJ Fish & Wildlife (excluding hunting or fishing licenses, which are revoked under statutory authority) for violation or due cause. See Law Enforcement for New Jersey's participation in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
All persons in possession of a rifle (modern or muzzleloading rifle including a smoothbore muzzleloader firing a single projectile) while hunting or trapping must have a valid Rifle Permit. See the specific regulations for each game or furbearing animal for the specific rifles allowed. A Rifle Permit is not required for hunting with an air gun. Initial Rifle Permit applicants must be at least 10 years old and have successfully completed the Firearms or (now discontinued) Rifle Hunter Education Course or have a resident license or Hunter Education card from any state that includes use of a rifle. See Licenses, Permits & Fees for Rifle Permit fees.
- Rifle Permits may be purchased at license agents or at NJ Fish & Wildlife’s Internet license sales site. Rifle Permits are valid for all ages of permit holders.
- Rifle Permits are valid from July 1–June 30.
Permits to Shoot from a Standing Vehicle for Hunters with Permanent Disabling Conditions
A permit to hunt or shoot on private property from a standing vehicle that is parked off the road may be issued to licensed hunters who:
- Have a permanent or irreversible physical disability that limits their ambulatory ability,
- Suffer from cardiovascular disease and are classified as Class 3 or 4 heart patients according to American Heart Association standards, or
- Suffer from chronic lung disease.
This permit will be issued if the need is certified by a licensed physician or chiropractor. The application period is Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 of each year.
Individuals hunting with a permit to hunt or shoot from a motor vehicle must mark the vehicle from which they are hunting either with handicapped license plates issued by the Motor Vehicle Commission or by displaying a notice provided by NJ Fish & Wildlife in the rear window of this vehicle.
For more information call (609) 292-1473. Submit application to: NJDEP Fish & Wildlife, Handicapped Permits, MC501-03, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420 or downloaded directly from our website: dep.nj.gov/njfw/hunting/information-for-hunters-with-disabling-conditions/.
Deer Road-kill Permits
Deer accidentally killed by motor vehicles may be possessed only for private consumption by obtaining a free permit from the local police department or from a NJ Fish & Wildlife regional law enforcement office (see Law Enforcement). The permit authorizes only possession of the meat and is valid only for 90 days. The possession of all other parts such as antlers, under terms of this permit, is expressly prohibited. Wrapped venison packages must be labeled with the permit number.
Tracking Dog Permits, Certification
NJ Fish & Wildlife may issue permits to dog handlers who possess a certified tracking dog for the daytime or nighttime search and recovery of deer lost by a hunter during any legal deer hunting season. Minimum certification: UBT-1 from United Blood Trackers, Inc., or the equivalent from another recognized tracking dog organization. A photo of each certified dog must accompany the application. Each handler must possess a valid New Jersey hunting license for the current year. For more information on obtaining a permit, go to: dep.nj.gov/njfw/hunting/certified-deer-tracking-dog-information/. See also Dogs, Hunting and Training section in General Hunting Regulations.