Hunting in New Jersey - Top 5 Spots


The ‘Garden State’ may be the most populous state in the US, but as its nickname suggests, there are also large swathes of beautiful green areas to be found here, and that includes public land. 

And this means outdoor recreational activities aplenty, including hunting. In this article, we’ll be counting down the top 5 areas of public land open to hunters. With over 100 hunting days available every year, whether you’re after big game or small, this small state has big potential!

If you’re really serious about making the most of this potential, you’ll need the aid of a trail camera. Take a look here at the 22MP, 0.3-sec trigger speed WingHome 350C trail cam. For more information, feel free to contact us by email or chat with us directly on Facebook or Twitter

Let’s begin by taking a look at the kind of hunting you can look forward to…

Bear hunting in New Jersey

Without doubt, black bears are the largest mammal you’re going to find in New Jersey. And they’re doing pretty well, with numbers at an all-time high and sightings in every New Jersey county. However, bear hunting on public land, as of August 2018, is prohibited, therefore you’re going to have to look to private land for opportunities. 

Permits, which are limited to one bear, should be purchased early in the season, September and October, to avoid missing out. 

Deer hunting in New Jersey

Go even a little off the beaten track in New Jersey and it won’t be too long till you spot a deer. Combine that with the fact that there are more than 750,000 acres of public land available for deer hunting, and it’s easy to see why New Jersey attracts deer hunters nationwide, with 100 million dollars a year of the state’s economy drawn from just this one activity. 

Pheasant hunting in New Jersey

Don’t miss out on the approximately 50,000 pheasants stocked every year in the state’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). And if you’re going for the pheasant, you might think about hunting partridge too, with the same hunting season for both species (see table below).

Duck hunting in New Jersey

As a coastal state, with numerous inland wetlands, ponds and lakes, New Jersey features some terrific waterfowl hunting opportunities. 

Black ducks, brant, buffleheads and green-winged teal are just some of the duck varieties on offer, and that’s not even to mention the huge numbers of geese, including the snow and Canada species. 

That’s what you can hunt, the next important question is to find out when you can hunt…

Hunting Season in New Jersey

Season dates vary by zone. 

Spring turkey hunting permits are awarded on a lottery basis. You must apply for a permit between January and February to be entered into the lottery. There is no lottery for the fall season.


Fall General Season

Spring General Season


Youth Archery


Youth Firearm



Sept. 28-Oct. 25

Sept. 21

Dec. 9-14

Nov. 23

Black Bear

Oct. 14-19

Dec. 9-14 and Dec. 18-21

Oct. 17-19

Wild Turkey

Oct. 26 and Oct. 28-Nov. 2

Apr. 20-May 22


Sept. 28-March 14

Pheasant & Partridge

Nov. 9-Dec. 7, Dec. 16-17, and Dec. 19-Feb. 17 (except Sundays)


Sept. 28-Dec. 7, Dec. 16-17, Dec. 19-Feb. 17 (except Sundays)


Sept. 28-Dec. 7, Dec. 16-17, Dec. 19-Feb. 17 (except Sundays)


Let’s now begin our countdown of the top 5 hunting spots in New Jersey…

5. Stokes State Forest

Size: 16,447 acres (open to hunting: 90%)

You can explore the mountainous woods of the Kittatinny Mountains in this beautiful forest, located in the far north of the state. Hike to the top of Sunrise Mountain for a breath-taking view of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, whilst enjoying the numerous deciduous tree species and plants that are homed here. A large amount of both small and large game can also be found within, including bears, white-tailed deer and squirrels, as well as coyotes and bobcats. 

Hunting: deer, small game, waterfowl, turkey.

Address: 1 Coursen Rd, Branchville, NJ 07826, USA
Phone: (973) 948-3820

4. Bass River State Forest

By Christine_Ray -, CC BY 2.0, 


Size: 23,563 acres (open to hunting: 93%)

Named after the Bass River that passes through it, this park contains a good part of the Pine Barrens and is known for its numerous recreational activities, centred around the man-made Lake Absegami. Fishing is a firm favourite here, together with deer, rabbit and grouse hunting. 

Hunting: deer, small game, waterfowl, turkey.

Address: Tuckerton, NJ 08087, USA
Phone: (609) 296-1114

3. Wawayanda State Park

By User:Mwanner - Own work by the original uploader, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Size: 34,350 acres (open to hunting: 94%).

Not far from Stokes State Forest, you can find this large state park, famous for its 60 miles of hiking trails, including a 20-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Named after the 1,300-foot Wawayanda Mountain and Lake, it’s also comprised of a variety of swamps, hardwood forests and ponds. Bring your bow and arrow, or shotgun, for some great deer and small game hunting, including woodchuck, grouse and raccoon. 

Hunting: deer, small game, waterfowl, turkey.

Address: 885 Warwick Turnpike, Hewitt, NJ 07421, USA
Phone: (973) 853-4462

2. Brendan T. Byrne State Forest

By Famartin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Size: 37,242 acres (open to hunting: 90%)

Split between the counties of Burlington and Ocean counties in central Jersey, this is the state’s second largest state forest, lying within the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion. It contains the 735-acre Cedar Swamp Natural Area and is well-known for its excellent camping grounds. Also popular is deer bow hunting. 

Hunting: deer, small game, waterfowl, turkey

Address: Highway Route 72 East, New Lisbon, NJ 08064, USA
Phone: (609) 726-1191

1. Wharton State Forest

By Mwanner at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Size: 122,880 acres (open to hunting: 88%) 

Located in the heart of south Jersey’s Pine Barrens, this is the largest area of public land within the New Jersey State Park system. It comprises mostly flatland, dotted with numerous marshes and small streams, and offers excellent hunting opportunities via its miles of unpaved sandy soil roads. 

Deer hunting is primary, situated as it is within New Jersey Deer Management Zones 23 and 24. Thanks to the recent preservation efforts in the Pine Barrens, the local deer herd is in good condition and you can look to bag some large bucks. 

Hunting: deer, small game, waterfowl, turkey.

Address: Hammonton, NJ 08037, USA
Phone: (609) 561-0024


Hopefully this article proves just what a hunter’s paradise the US really is, when even the most heavily populated state can provide such amazing forests and parks for the hunter! If you live in New Jersey or make your way there, we’d love to hear about your experiences. 

Send to us, together with any trail camera or hunting related questions, on Facebook or Twitter, where we’ll be happy to respond.

Till then, happy trails from the WingHome team!

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