Deer Hunting in New Jersey

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  • B
  • 147,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 72,500

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $55.50-59.50

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

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $163.50

    A nonresident license is $135.50. A deer permit is $28.

    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 (2020):

Deer season dates vary greatly by deer management zone. Please check the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife website to confirm deer season dates.

The Grade: B

New Jersey isn’t the first state to pop into a deer hunter’s mind, but it does offer some quality hunting if you can secure a spot to sit. 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. 

With mild winters and bumper mast crops in recent years, it should mean a solid number of mature deer this fall, making this state a legitimate hunting destination. Some deer management zones have unlimited antlerless bag limits.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

For top-end buck potential, focus on Morris, Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Monmouth counties. 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-inch deer. Crossbows are legal during New Jersey’s entire archery season.

This tiny state has 750,000 acres of public land. For its size, that’s incredible. Between wildlife management areas (WMAs), state parks, state forests, and more, there are upward of 70 different tracts of land.

There’s a lot of private land in need of deer management, too. So, get to know a landowner this year. Ask them if you can hunt. The worst they can do is say, “no.”