Losing access to a hunting spot on private land and/or thinking there are no places to hunt are among the top reasons cited by those who stop hunting or hunt less in New Jersey. While it is true that private land hunting access is becoming more challenging, New Jersey is fortunate to have a steadily increasing amount of public land open to hunting.
More than 750,000 acres of public lands are available to the hunter in New Jersey. These acres include an exceptional diversity of habitats harboring an equally exceptional diversity of game. Whether you are pursuing deer, wild turkey, small game or waterfowl it is never hard to find spectacular hunting opportunities in the Garden State.
Public lands open to hunting are administered by various entities including Federal, State, County and Municipal governments. They include more than 352,000 acres in the state Wildlife Management Area System as well as acreage in 27 State Parks and Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, county parks and municipal parks and holdings. These areas are distributed throughout New Jersey, so hunters should have no problem finding a prime spot of their own.
In addition to government owned lands, other properties such as those owned by non-governmental conservation organizations may also be open to hunting. It is imperative though, that interested hunters check with the appropriate organization regarding their land use policies before venturing onto these lands.
The links below provide access to a variety of information resources for finding public land in New Jersey and public land, which may be open to hunting. Since hunting is not allowed on all public land, hunters should ground check each parcel they would be interested in hunting to verify the areas open to hunting.
Where to Hunt in New Jersey
- Public Deer Hunting Land
- Lands Open or Closed to Sunday Bow Hunting
- Public Turkey Hunting Land (pdf, 565kb)
- Wildlife Management Areas and Maps
- State Parks and Forests
- State Park and Forest Hunting Land Maps
- NJ Natural Lands Trust Preserves
- The NJ Hunting & Trapping Explorer
- NJ-GeoWeb – NJDEP’s GIS data, and query related environmental information application
The following allow hunting in designated areas.
County Park Systems
- Atlantic County Parks
- Hunterdon County Parks
- Mercer County Parks (DMZ 41 – Baldpate Mt. and Howell Living Farm)
- Middlesex County Parks – Phone 732-745-8278
- Monmouth County Parks – Phone 732-842-4000
- Morris County Parks
National Wildlife Refuges
- Cape May National Wildlife Refuge
- Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
- Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
- Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
- Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge
- Newark-Pequannock Watershed/Newark Camp Watershed – 973-697-1724