The Apprentice Hunting License allows 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. The apprentice must hunt with a Mentor Hunter as a hunting companion. An apprentice hunter may not hunt with a muzzleloader or rifle.
There is no upper age limit and there is no limit on the number of times an Apprentice Hunter may hunt with their Mentor Hunter in a license year. An experienced Mentor Hunter can, and should, take out and train an apprentice hunter as many times as necessary. A person may obtain an Apprentice License for no more than two (2) license years (years need not be consecutive) before they must complete a hunter education course.
- An Apprentice must be at least 14 years of age to hunt with archery equipment.
- An Apprentice must be at least 18 years of age to hunt with a firearm.
- An Apprentice Hunter may be a resident or nonresident.
- A driver license or other form of photo ID must be shown when purchasing an Apprentice License.
- If an Apprentice License is being purchased for a minor without proper identification, it is encouraged that parents or legal guardians work with the minor in filling out a customer profile in the licensing system at home to receive and print out a Conservation Identification Number (CID#). An Identification Card can then be printed and used at a license agent as their form of identification to purchase an Apprentice License.
- A parent or legal guardian may also show the minor’s identification at a license agent if a CID# is not procured to purchase an Apprentice License for a minor. A record in the license database, and a CID#, will be issued during the purchase process.
- An Apprentice may complete a hunter education course during their Apprentice License year; Apprentices must register for the class online. For information visit the Hunter Education page.
- Apprentice Hunters may purchase Permit Shotgun and Permit Bow Deer Season permits, Pheasant/Quail Stamps, Waterfowl Stamps and HIP Certification, and both Spring Turkey and Fall Turkey Season permits. Apprentice Hunters are NOT eligible for Bear Season (currently closed) or Permit Muzzleloader Deer Season permits and cannot hunt at night.
- License fees can be found at the bottom of the Hunting License Information page.
Apprentice Hunters must:
1. Possess and carry all required licenses, permits, and stamps for the activity engaged in.
2. Obey all rules and laws regarding hunting in NJ. Details can be found online and in the Hunting & Trapping Digest.
3. Hunt under the direct supervision and guidance of a mentoring hunter, hunting together as a unit in the same location. See the Mentor Hunter Information page for more information.
4. Report all harvested animals as per directions found in the Hunting & Trapping Digest and online.