Controlled Hunting Program

2023 to 2024 Controlled Hunting Program Regulations

Important Information - Please Read This First

  • To hunt county park land, you must purchase a hunting access permit from the Division of Parks and Recreation
  • Six types of hunting access permits (for deer hunting only) are sold:
If You Purchase With This Kind of PermitThen You Can Hunt on These DatesWith This Sporting Arm
Fall Bow September 9 to October 27, 2023Bow
Permit Bow October 28 to November 25, November 29 to December 2, 2023Bow
Winter BowJanuary 1 to February 17, 2024Bow
ShotgunDecember 4 to 9, 13 to 15, 2023. January 6 to February 10, 2024Shotgun
MuzzleloaderNovember 27, 28, December 11, 12, 16, 18 to 23, 26 to 30, 2023, January 1 to 5, 2024Muzzleloader
Special HuntDecember 4 to 9, 13 to 15, 2023Shotgun
  • There is no Sunday bow hunting on Park Property.Buck
  • Each permit is valid for only one area.
  • Permit fees are $40 for Hunterdon County Residents, $50 for non-residents for all permits except the Special Hunt permit. The fee for Special Hunt permit will be $30 for Hunterdon County residents, $40 for non-residents.
  • Permit sales begin at 8 am. Sale Dates Will Be:
    • Bow, Permit Bow, and Winter Bow - August 16 (Hunterdon Co. residents); August 17 and after (all hunters)
    • Shotgun, Muzzleloader, and Special Hunt - October 18 (Hunterdon Co. residents); October 19 and after (all hunters)

All New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife license and permit requirements and regulations must be followed. Hunters are responsible for obtaining and learning state regulations. Hunters are also responsible for knowing safety zones and ensuring that they are at least 450 feet from any structure or playground. 150 feet for Archery seasons.

  • In all seasons and for each permit, every hunter (including alternates), must harvest an antlerless deer on park property before they can shoot an antlered deer. (With exception of the six-day firearm season)

*Only one permit, per season, per hunter. Hunters may purchase additional permits for other park areas beginning the first business day after Opening Day, if permits are available.

Permit Information

Hunting permits are sold to walk-in applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. On the first day of permit sales, only Hunterdon County residents may purchase a permit. On the second day, and any day thereafter, all others can purchase a permit. To be fair, only one permit, per season, per person on line! Permit applications and maps of hunting areas are available at the Park Office. Mail-in applications will no longer be accepted. 

Important Regulations

All state hunting regulations, licensing requirements, and permit requirements are in effect on Hunterdon County Park lands open to hunting. Hunters are responsible for obtaining and learning state regulations and county park regulations.

  • Organized deer drives/pushes on, into, or through park property are prohibited. 
  • All hunters must wear a fall arrest safety harness at all times while occupying an elevated stand and while installing a stand from an elevated position. 
  • In all seasons and for each permit, every hunter, (including alternates) must harvest an antlerless deer on the property the permit is valid for, before they can take an antlered deer. (With the exception of the six-day firearm season.)
  • Transferable permits. Each permit sold will be transferable to a maximum of two alternate hunters. Each hunter is allowed to be an alternate on a maximum of two (2) permits per season. Each alternate hunter must provide their personal information in the designated section on the application and sign the original application before it is processed by this Division. Alternates need not be present in line, however, the person purchasing the permit must have a copy of the "alternate(s)" current hunting license only one hunter may utilize the permit at any given time, and must be in possession of the original permit while hunting. Failure to do so will result in a summons, voided permit and removal from the program. Permits sold to Hunterdon County Residents on "residents only" sale days may only be transferred to other Hunterdon County Residents.
  • Hunters who possess permits for both the Fall and Permit bow seasons for the same park, may "bank" their doe for the permit bow season. In order to "bank" your doe, you must harvest two or more does in the fall bow season. You must indicate this on your survey for the permit bow season. Surveys will be cross-referenced.
  • The use and/or construction of permanent tree stands is prohibited. Hunters found using a permanent tree stand will be subject to prosecution whether they built it or not. Portable tree stands are allowed but are used and left unattended at the user's risk. The permit holder's name or Parks Division permit number must be securely affixed to stand in an obvious location. Unidentified stands will be confiscated! No more than two tree stands / ground blinds may be put up at a time for each issued permit. Tree stands and steps must be removed within 3 weeks of the expiration of your permit (hunters who fall to remove their tree stand within the three-week period may receive a summons and be disqualified from the hunting program for 2 years).
  • Trail cameras must be marked and identified with your current permit number. Any camera without a valid permit number will be removed and confiscated.
  • Possession of a permit to hunt on county parkland does not give hunters permission to cross private property, roads or railroad right-of-ways. Hunters are responsible for knowing park boundaries and safety zones.
  • As indicated on the permit form, one copy of your county park-hunting permit must be kept in your hunting license holder, and one copy must be prominently displayed in your vehicle windshield.
  • Hunters in the Controlled Hunting Program who receive a summons for any violation committed on park lands will have their park hunting privileges revoked for 2 years and will not be able to purchase a permit. Privileges will be permanently revoked for a second offense. A hunter wishing to contest the revocation of their hunting privileges may request a hearing before the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners within 10 days of the issuance of the revocation. Such appeal must be in writing, setting forth your name and address, the summons or violation, your permit number, a brief statement setting forth your position, and any supporting documents you consider useful to your appeal.
  • Hunters should be aware that non-hunting visitors are allowed on park lands open to hunting and must be treated courteously. Non-hunting visitors are encouraged to wear blaze orange or confine visits to Sundays.
  • During the six day firearm season, and from January 7 through February 11, 2023, hunters who possess a Park shotgun permit may elect to use either a shotgun or muzzleloader to hunt with, in accordance with NJ Fish and Wildlife season dates and laws. A valid NJ Rifle and Muzzleloader permit are required to hunt with a muzzleloader.
  • Baiting on Park Property is allowed provided it is consistent with the following:
    • The goal shall be for most of the bait to be available to deer only during legal hours. Nocturnal feeding of deer reduces your chances of seeing and harvesting deer.
    • Hunters may offer bait using timed deer feeders not exceeding 5-gallon capacity set to distribute bait no earlier than dawn, and no later than one hour before sunset. Gravity feeders are prohibited.
    • In addition to this, or alternatively, hunters may also distribute bait by hand, no earlier than one hour before dawn, and no later than one hour before sunset. Bait distributed by hand must be broadcast and not concentrated in a pile.
    • In any case, at no time can the amount of bait available to deer exceed the capacity of a two-gallon bucket.
    • Compressed food and mineral blocks are prohibited.

Bow, Shotgun, and Muzzleloader Permits Will Be Available for These Areas 

The links below contain maps of the areas:

Special Hunt Permits Will Be Available for the Following Areas

These Areas Will Be Open for Hunting, Only During the November and December Portions of the Shotgun Season

Archery Only and Winter Bow Hunting Available for the Following Areas

The following areas are open for fall and permit bow seasons from September to November, as well as winter bow from January to February

Permit Application Instructions

Note: Incomplete or incorrect applications may be rejected. Persons who submit falsified applications are subject to prosecution.

  1. Fill in name, address including zip, phone, driver's license number, and vehicle license plate number.
  2. Fill in hunting license number appropriate for the season you are applying for, and indicate the license year.
  3. Fill in the name of the park you want to hunt. Check these instructions to make sure the park you want to hunt is open for the season you want to hunt. Your permit will be good for only one park.
  4. Check the type of permit you are applying for.
  5. Read and sign on the line at the bottom. Parent or guardian must sign for children under 18. Signatures required for alternate hunters as well.
  6. Bring your permit application with your state hunting license to the park office on the correct sales day, with check payable to "HCDPR", exact cash, or credit card. Sales dates are listed on page one of these instructions. Doors open at 8 am.

Important Contact Information and Park Office Hours

Report illegal activities on County Park Lands as soon as possible to a ranger by contacting the park office at 908-782-1158 (park office hours Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm. For after-hours contact the Park Ranger cell phone at 908-507-5236 or at Hunterdon Communications at 908-788-1202.

Related Document

Printable Hunting Regulations (PDF)