Deer Hunting in New Jersey

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  • B
  • 110,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 75,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $55.50-59.50

    Resident archery license is $31.50 (seniors $16.50); Resident firearm license is $27.50 (senior $15.50); Deer permits are $28.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $163.50

    Nonresident license is 135.50 plus $28 deer permit.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 189 4/8"

    Taken by Scott Borden in Monmouth County in 1995.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 8

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 203 3/8"

    Taken by Darrell Capps in Cumberland County in 2000.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 4

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

The state might be small, but it has some good deer. (John Hafner photo)

Season Dates (2019):

Seasons vary greatly by zone. For most, archery begin in early September and close as late as the end of January with stop/start date between. General firearm season is usually in early to mid-December. The youth season hunt usually falls in September (bow) and November (firearm). Check the hunting guide and the state DNR's website to confirm.

The Grade: B

While New Jersey isn’t the first state to pop into a deer hunter’s mind, it does offer some quality hunting if you can secure a spot. Competition for huntable areas is high, so concentrate on small lots and stick to bowhunting for better access. Bowhunters make up over half the licensed deer hunters and have harvested more deer than firearm hunters every year since 2012.

The NJ harvest numbers were down two years ago and biologists attribute the low numbers more to a massive acorn crop and warm weather than to any problems with the herd. That same acorn crop and a mild winter should mean a bumper crop of mature deer this fall, making NJ a legitimate hunting destination.

With a limit of six antlered deer (depending on weapon choices), New Jersey offers a generous opportunity to put antlers on the wall. Quantity over quality in this state.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

Monmouth County seems to be the hotbed for non-typical bucks, accounting for two of the state’s four non-typical B&C entries and producing a 182 6/8-incher taken by archery last year. Crossbows are legal during New Jersey’s entire archery season, giving hunters who don’t use traditional archery equipment the option of extended season dates.