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Recreational Licenses in New Jersey

New Jersey is not the largest state in the U.S., but it more than makes up for that with its diversity of fish and game. The Division of Natural Resources (DNR) manages the wildlife populations and makes sure that the hunting and fishing opportunities throughout the state will be available for many more generations of hunters and fishers to come. New Jersey has several hunting seasons you can enjoy throughout the year. For those who are avid hunters, it is possible to hunt as many as 100 days of every year. Fishing opportunities are even more plentiful as in the springtime the state sees an annual shad migration, and the trout available in inland streams provide an exciting experience for anglers. In order to take advantage of the hunting and fishing opportunities within the state, anglers and hunters are required to have and carry the appropriate licenses, tags and permits. Multiple bag limits are offered but must be accompanied by the required permits and tags. The following will give you a brief overview of the licensing that is required to hunt and fish in New Jersey.

New Jersey Fishing Licenses

Because of its location, New Jersey offers you the opportunity to fish both freshwater and salt water. Many people visit NJ each year just to fish. That is not unimaginable since the state offers over 80 miles of shorefront and even more miles of coastline some of which borders the Atlantic Ocean. This means that you can freshwater fish on one day, then switch gears and enjoy saltwater fishing the next day. The basic fishing license is required for those residents and nonresidents who are 16 years of age or older. With the basic license, you can fish with a rod and reel, or you can try your hand at longbow fishing. If you own your own farm in New Jersey, then you will not need a license to fish on your own property. However, you do need a license if you fish on someone else’s private farm or property. You do not need a separate license to fish in the ocean in New Jersey, but there are some exceptions to this. If you are looking to take certain types of fish from the Atlantic, you have to purchase additional permits or stamps. If you plan to fish in saltwater, then you need to register with the Saltwater Recreational Registry Program.

Trout stamps will be needed if you plan to fish for trout in the state and is an additional fee. You have to first have the regular license in order to purchase a trout stamp, unless you are visiting the state and only have a temporary license. Likewise, if you want to fish in the ocean and would like to take tuna, then you will need a special permit for this. The same is true if you want to go clamming or crabbing in the state. Fees vary between the resident and nonresident licenses.

New Jersey Hunting Licenses

You can get a hunting license as young as ten years of age in New Jersey. However, hunter’s education classes have to be completed prior to issuance of a first NJ hunting license. Hunting licenses in NJ are good for a year and, regardless of when you purchase them, will expire on December 31. The basic permit will allow you to hunt basic game, but for larger game, such as turkey, deer, duck, waterfowl or bear, special permits have to be obtained. Rifle permits must also be purchased in addition to other sorts of permits and stamps. The rifle permit allows the use of certain types of guns, for example a .22 caliber rifle, muzzleloader or center fire rifle. The rifle permit is only good from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

Hunting licenses are sold as resident and nonresident with temporary licenses which allows visitors to the state to enjoy hunting while in NJ. However, this will not be allowed to be used if the visitor wishes to hunt for turkey. Fees vary between resident, temporary and nonresident licenses. As with the fishing licenses, residents who own their own land and wish to hunt on it can do so without a license.

In order to hunt game birds, such as quail or pheasant, in a wildlife management area, you need to get a stamp. The same is true for hunters who wish to hunt waterfowl or ducks. For hunters who wish to hunt deer, or specific types of deer, there are permits that must be purchased. Special permits for hunting bear or turkey are also required during the appropriate season.

How to Get a Hunting and Fishing License in New Jersey

Licenses are quite easy to obtain in New Jersey. The Division of Natural Resources (DNR) offers them through their website, where you can decide which licenses you would like to have, then print them out, and/or keep a copy on your smart phone. You can also get paper copy licenses from various approved DNR vendors throughout the state.

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