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Busiest Hunting Week of the Year!


December 4, 2019

The week of December 9-14 is likely the busiest week of the year for hunters in New Jersey:

  • Six-day Firearm Deer and Black Bear hunting seasons (Segment B) open Monday 1/2 hour before sunrise
  • Permit Bow season continues in zones governed by Deer Regulation Sets #4-8
  • Permit Shotgun and Permit Muzzleloader seasons are open for antlerless deer only in zones governed by Regulation Sets #7-8

Visit the Deer In New Jersey page for general hunting season information, including use of the automated reporting system (AHRS). Hunters are encouraged to use the Deer Hunting Location Viewer to determine zone, unit and other information.

Hunters should consult the 2019-20 Hunting Digest for specific information on all seasons. Deer Regulation Sets are found on pages 38-40; the table on page 34 clarifies which firearms, bows and ammunition are legal for each deer season. Bear season information begins on page 50.

See the Black Bear Hunting Season page for season information. Hunters should note that if a 30 percent harvest rate of bears tagged in 2019 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.

Hunters should also remember that all DEP owned, managed or otherwise controlled lands remain closed to bear hunting during the December season segment. The closure includes, but is not limited to, state forests, parks, recreation areas and natural areas, and wildlife management areas. You may hunt bears on any private, municipal, county, or federal land open to bear hunting and for which you have permission.

All hunters are reminded to observe the 450-foot "Safety Zone" around buildings and playgrounds when firearm hunting; bow hunters have a 150-foot safety zone.
Safety Zone Information (pdf, 60kb)

The Small Game Seasons close on December 8 and reopen December 16. Pheasant/quail stocking resumes with birds available beginning December 21 on 24 Wildlife Management Areas. See the Small Game Information page for the stocking schedule and additional small game season information.
NOTE: Beginning this year, pheasants and quail will NOT BE STOCKED the Saturday before the Six-day Firearm Deer/Black Bear Segment B seasons. This decision was made by the Fish and Game Council. Because the pheasant/quail season is closed during the week of those season, and since there is no pheasant/quail hunting allowed on that Sunday, it would only provide hunters with birds for that one day. Since most birds not harvested on Saturday are not likely to hold over during the pheasant season closure, it was decided to move the birds stocked that day to a later date when hunters would have better access to them. Pheasant stocking resumes for Saturday, December 21.

Pheasant and quail hunters should take advantage of stocking schedules and maps available online:

Hunting In New Jersey

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

Last Updated: December 5, 2019