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December Hunting Information: Deer, Bear, Pheasants and More!


November 30, 2016

The week of December 5-10 may be the busiest week of the year for hunters in New Jersey: the concurrent Six-day Firearm Deer and Black Bear hunting seasons (Segment B) open Monday 1/2 hour before sunrise; the Permit Bow season continues in zones governed by Deer Regulation Sets #4-8, and the Permit Shotgun and Permit Muzzleloader Seasons are open for antlerless deer only in zones governed by Regulation Sets #6-8. Coyote/fox and some migratory bird seasons also continue.

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife recommends hunters consult the 2016-17 Hunting Digest ( for specific information on all seasons. Deer Regulation Sets are found on pages 36-38; the table on page 32 clarifies which firearms, bows and ammunition are legal for each deer season. Bear season information begins on page 51.

The pheasant/quail season closes on December 3 and reopens December 12. When stocking resumes with birds available beginning December 13, 8,000 additional pheasants will be stocked on 23 Wildlife Management Areas.

All hunters are reminded to observe the 450-foot "Safety Zone" around buildings and playgrounds when firearm hunting; bow hunters have a 150-foot zone.

For Black Bear Hunting Season information visit Hunters should note that if a 30 percent harvest rate of bears tagged in 2016 is reached the season will close 24 hours from the daily legal closing time of that day; announcement of a closure will be made on the Division's website, in the media and via the Hunting E-mail List.

For Deer Hunting Season information, including use of the automated reporting system (AHRS), visit

For pheasant and quail hunting information, including stocking schedules and maps of stocked areas, visit Pheasant hunters should note that an updated schedule which includes the additional 8,000 birds is now available.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 30, 2016