deer hunting

Each hunting season more than 3,500 hunters register to hunt deer at Trust preserves through our Hunter Registration process. The Trust allows deer hunting only at many of its preserves to maintain biodiversity. The deer population in New Jersey is far greater than the ecosystem can sustain. Over-browsing by deer depletes native vegetation resulting in impacts to animal and plant habitat, such as decreased food sources and increased invasive plants.

To hunt deer at selected Trust preserves, hunters access the Trust’s website, electronically submit information to the Trust, and print their own hunter registration letter with the required accompanying preserve map. The Trust can use this information to sort hunter registrations by preserve. Trust staff may reach out to hunters registered at a specific preserve to determine their interest in volunteering for clean-ups and maintenance projects.

It is important to note that the Trust does not allow hunting for waterfowl, small game, turkey or bear, as it maintains that only over-browsing by deer poses a threat to biodiversity. In addition, Sunday bow hunting is not authorized on Trust preserves as it is on state wildlife management areas and private property during deer season.

While hunting on Trust preserves, all rules and regulations in the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife game code must be followed. Hunting deer by bow and arrow, shotgun or muzzleloader are acceptable, depending on the preserve. No target shooting or discharge of weapons other than for deer hunting purposes is permitted. Permanent deer stands are not allowed, and portable deer stands, while permitted, must be removed after the hunting season is completed or are subject to confiscation by the Trust.  All deer stands must be clearly labeled with your Conservation Identification Number (CID #) and contact information.

The Trust allows hunting on its preserves to control deer for ecological purposes. In keeping with the Trust’s mission to preserve land in a natural state to protect biodiversity, please do not cut or maintain trails that could facilitate deer access throughout the preserve. Damaging or destroying vegetation is a violation of the Trust’s rules. Please visit our Public Use page for more information on what is allowed and prohibited on our Preserves.

Baiting and deer/game feeders of any type of PROHIBITED on New Jersey Natural Lands Trust Preserves.