New Jersey is home to prized hunting game like black bear, white-tailed deer, North American River Otter, and several fowl. Before resident and visiting hunters can test their skill on these and other local wildlife, they need to acquire the appropriate documentation.
In this article, we’ll detail how to get a hunting license in New Jersey, in addition to other relevant licenses and permits hunters will need to legally pursue game in this state.
As you read, you’ll learn how to apply for this documentation, the cost of various licenses and permits, and how the application process varies depending on the game you intend to hunt.
- Requirements for a Hunting License in NJ
- Choose Your Intended Weapon(s) for NJ Hunting License
- Know Your Intended Game in Advance
- Steps to Get a Hunting License in NJ
- Types of Hunting Licenses
- NJ Hunting License Fees and Validity Period
- Final Thoughts
Requirements for a Hunting License in NJ
In order to apply for any hunting license in New Jersey, you must be at least 10 years old and must have completed any eligible hunter education course.
Make sure to completely understand the requirements and eligibility requirements for each license type before applying.
Always adhere to the regulations and guidelines set by the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife agency.
Residency and Age Requirements
You must be at least 10 years old to be eligible for a hunting license. If you are between 10 and 14 years old then you will need permission from your parents or legal guardian to apply for a license. Also, while hunting hunters aged 10-14 must be accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old.
New Jersey offers both resident and non-resident hunting licenses which have different pricing structures. Ensure that you select the correct type of license when applying.
Hunter Education Course
You are required to complete a qualified hunter education course before obtaining your hunting license in New Jersey. This course could be either the New Jersey-specific course or a course completed in another state that New Jersey recognizes. After the completion of course, you will receive a course completion card that you must submit when applying for your NJ hunting license.
If you have held a resident hunting license from New Jersey or any other state before then you can use that as proof of your eligibility to get a new license in NJ.
Choose Your Intended Weapon(s) for NJ Hunting License
When visiting New Jersey’s official website for Hunting and Trapping License Information, anyone could easily become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information provided, specifically regarding license types and fees.
The easiest way to start the application process for a New Jersey hunting license is to know the weapon(s) you intend to use ahead of time. This is because the state provides a variety of licenses for firearms, bow and arrows, and trapping for purchase at different rates depending on the individual’s residency, age, and other relevant factors.
Below is a table depicting the weapons and trapping related licenses and their associated fees for hunting in the state of New Jersey.
|Firearm License Type||Cost|
|Resident Firearm Hunting (incl. Apprentice)||$27.50|
|Senior Resident Firearm (65 yrs & older) (incl. Apprentice)||$15.50|
|Non-Resident Firearm Hunting (incl. Apprentice)||$135.50|
|Non-Resident Two-Day Small Game Firearm Hunting (Consecutive Days Only)||$36.50|
|Special One-Day Hunting (On Commercial Preserves Only)||$12.50|
|Youth License (Resident and Non-Resident)||Free|
|Bow and Arrow Licenses|
|Resident Bow & Arrow Hunting (incl. Apprentice)||$31.50|
|Senior Resident Bow & Arrow Hunting (65 yrs & older) (incl. Apprentice)||$16.50|
|Non-Resident Bow & Arrow Hunting (incl. Apprentice)||$135.50|
|Youth License (Resident and Non-Resident)||Free|
In addition to these licenses, certain weapons will also require a separate permit. One example being the Rifle Permit, which is required for:
- Hunting with a muzzleloader, center-fire or .22 caliber firearm
- Dispatching trapped animals other than muskrat, where allowed by law.
Once you know what weapon(s) you want to use for the upcoming hunting season, you can start the application process online through the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife official website or through a licensed New Jersey DEP Fish and Wildlife agent. Use this online locator to find agencies near you.
What Are the Requirements for a New Jersey Hunting License?
Before you can purchase any hunting license, you will need to have completed a hunter education course and/or already possess a hunting license from New Jersey or any other state.
The only exception to this requirement is if you are an apprentice hunter, in which case, you will need to apply for an apprentice hunting license. This will allow “any age-appropriate person to try shotgun or archery hunting, before completing a Hunter Education Course or if they cannot produce documentation of a course or previous year’s license.”
An apprentice hunter must fulfill the requirements listed here and be joined by a mentor hunter. This individual must adhere to the requirements listed here on the New Jersey Fish & Wildlife official website.
How Long Is a New Jersey Hunting License Valid?
The New Jersey hunting licenses listed in the table above are valid for the calendar year and will expire on December 31st. Come January 1st, hunters will need to reapply and purchase new documentation.
Deer permits are valid into the following year if a season extends into it. Waterfowl stamps and Rifle Permits are valid for the July 1 – June 30 period.
Know Your Intended Game in Advance
Where the application process for hunting licenses and permits becomes really complicated is purchasing the proper documentation for your intended game.
Your New Jersey firearm, bow and arrow, and trapping license alone is not enough to legally hunt within the state. You will also need to purchase a permit and/or allow you to hunt your intended game during its specified season.
Below is a table depicting the various game-related permits and stamps, and their associated fees for hunting in the state of New Jersey.
|Deer Zone Permits (for Permit Bow, Shotgun and Muzzleloader seasons; antlerless only)||$28.00|
|Antlered Buck Permits (for Permit Bow, Shotgun and Muzzleloader seasons)||$28.00|
|Black Bear Permit||$2.00|
|Turkey Season Permit||$21.00|
|Rifle Permit (valid July 1 – June 30)||$10.50|
|Youth Deer Zone Permit (antlerless only)||$12.00|
|Youth Buck Permit||$12.00|
|Youth Turkey Permit||$12.00|
|Youth Rifle Permit (valid July 1 – June 30)||$6.00|
|Pheasant & Quail Stamp||$40.00|
|Resident Waterfowl Stamp (valid July 1 – June 30)||$5.00|
|Non-Resident Waterfowl Stamp (valid July 1 – June 30)||$10.00|
Some stamps and permits have their own requirements and periods of validity, so you’ll want to be aware of these prior to application and payment.
Steps to Get a Hunting License in NJ
You can apply for the NJ hunting license Online or in-person
Apply for NJ Hunting License Online
Before starting the online application process make sure you have the necessary documentation ready. You will need proof of identification, proof of residency and your Hunter Education Certificate or a previous year’s hunting license.
Follow these steps to complete the online application:
- Visit the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife website.
- Create an account or log in to your existing account.
- Select the hunting license option and fill out the required information.
- Pay the appropriate fee for your license type.
- When your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation email with your hunting license details.
Remember to print your hunting license after the approval and always carry it with you when hunting.
In-Person Application Process
You can visit a licensed agent or a participating municipal building to apply for a hunting license in person.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Use the License Agent Locator App to find an agent near you.
- Bring valid identification, proof of residency, and your Hunter Education Certificate or a previous year’s hunting license.
- Fill out the required paperwork and pay the appropriate fee for your desired license type.
- Once your application is processed, you will be issued your hunting license.
Ensure you carry your license with you while hunting and be aware of the regulations and collections associated with the hunting season in New Jersey.
What If I’m Interested In Beaver, Otter, and Turkey?
For the sake of conservation and population regulation, permits for spring turkey hunting and beaver/otter trapping are supplied via a lottery rather than over-the-counter purchase.
To enter the lottery, hunters must submit an application either online or through a licensed agent and pay a non-refundable application fee of $2.00. Hunters and trappers are permitted three applications in each lottery but will receive one permit if selected. All lottery selections are random.
Types of Hunting Licenses
DIfferent types of hunting licenses cater to various circumstances. There are two types of hunting licenses in New Jersey based on residential status.
One is Resident and the one is Non-Resident hunting licenses.
- Residents of New Jersey can apply for a resident hunting license.
- Non-residents need either a hunting a resident license from any state or proof of completing an appropriate hunter education course to apply for a non-resident hunting license.
New Jersey also offers licenses for specific age groups such as the Youth Hunting License. If you’re between the ages of 10 and 16 then you may be eligible for this license.
Note: Keep in mind that hunters over 10 years and under 14 years old require permission from a parent or legal guardian to obtain a license and they must be accompanied by a licensed adult (age 21+) when hunting.
Bow & Arrow License
When it comes to specific hunting methods, New Jersey offers the Bow & Arrow License. This license is available for both resident and non-resident hunters and it allows individuals to hunt with a bow and arrow. This license is free for people aged between 10 and 16.
Freshwater Fishing License
If you plan to fish in the New Jersey freshwater bodies then you will need a Freshwater Fishing License. Hunters 16 years and older must have a valid license to fish with a handline, rod and line, or bow and arrow.
If you plan to use a boat for hunting or fishing then you may need the Boat Ramp Maintenance Permit for launching watercraft on certain Wildlife Management Areas.
Remember that, in order to apply for any hunting license in New Jersey, you must be at least 10 years old and have completed the required hunter education course. Make sure to fully understand the requirements and eligibility for each license type before applying, and always adhere to the regulations and guidelines set by the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife agency.
NJ Hunting License Fees and Validity Period
The fees for hunting licenses in NJ vary based on your residency status, age, and the type of license you’re seeking.
An annual hunting license fee for NJ residents starts at $27.50. The non-resident fee for an annual hunting license begins at $135.50. Youth licenses available for ages 10-16 have a lower cost of $12 regardless of residency status.
In addition to the base license fees, you may need to purchase permits for specific game species such as deer or turkey. These specific game permits also have varying fees based on the type of hunting equipment you’re using and the hunting season.
Here is a brief breakdown of common hunting license and permit fees in New Jersey:
- Resident Annual Hunting License: $27.50
- Non-Resident Annual Hunting License: $135.50
- Youth Hunting License (Ages 10-16): $12
- Resident Deer Permit (Firearm): $28.00
- Non-Resident Deer Permit (Firearm): $46.50
- Resident Turkey Permit: $21.00
- Non-Resident Turkey Permit: $36.00
Note: Fees are subject to change and additional permits may be required for other game species or specific hunting seasons. Always consult the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife website or local licensing agents for the most up-to-date information on hunting license fees and requirements.
NJ hunting license will be valid for one calendar year from the date of purchase. So, plan accordingly to make the most out of your hunting license.
With knowledge of the fees and license validity period, you can better plan your hunting adventures in New Jersey. Good luck, and happy hunting!
What is the cost of a non-resident hunting license in NJ?
The cost of a non-resident hunting license in New Jersey is $10.50. This was introduced in 1902 as the first license required for hunting in the state.
How do I take the NJ hunting license test?
You must first complete a hunter education course to take the NJ hunting license. Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll have a record of it in the license database which is required to purchase a license to hunt or trap in the state.
What types of game can I hunt with a NJ license?
You can legally hunt various types of game with a New Jersey hunting license. The NJ state is home to diverse wildlife, including deer, turkey, bear, waterfowl, small game, and other species. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s specific hunting regulations which may change depending on the season and location.
Can I purchase a NJ hunting license online?
You can purchase a New Jersey hunting license online. The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife website provides the necessary information for obtaining the appropriate licenses, stamps, and permits required for hunting, fishing, and trapping in the NJ state.
For more information on the lottery process and what is required for your lottery application, follow the link here.
Obtaining the necessary documentation to hunt in New Jersey is a process you’ll want to set aside ample time for. You will need a variety of credentials to prove you are eligible and then you will likely need to purchase multiple licenses, permits, and stamps pertaining to your weapon(s) and intended game.
If you are new to this process, it might be beneficial to go through the application with a licensed agent first, and then use the online link for future applications. Feel free to reach out to the appropriate office listed here with additional questions or information.