Exploring New Jersey's Public Hunting Lands

When it comes to hunting, New Jersey offers a plethora of public hunting lands that cater to the diverse tastes of hunters. From small game to big game, including deer, turkey, pheasant, and migratory birds, the Garden State has it all. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the various hunting opportunities available on these public lands, providing you with valuable insights and resources to make your hunting adventures truly memorable.

Hunting Destinations Across the State

New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) provides an extensive list of hunting areas and destinations that beckon to hunters of all levels of expertise. These public lands not only offer rich wildlife experiences but also boast picturesque landscapes that add to the thrill of your hunting journey.

Key Game Species to Pursue

  1. Small Game: In New Jersey, small game hunting is a popular pursuit, featuring species like rabbits, squirrels, and upland game birds. These public lands are your canvas for an exciting small game hunt.

  2. Deer: Whether you favor archery or firearms, New Jersey's public lands cater to all types of deer hunters. Discover the prime locations for whitetail and mule deer hunting.

  3. Turkey: New Jersey boasts a vibrant turkey hunting scene. Explore our hunting areas to chase after these wily birds and savor the excitement of a successful turkey hunt.

  4. Pheasant: Upland bird hunters will find their paradise in New Jersey's public lands, which provide suitable habitats for these game birds.

  5. Migratory Birds: Waterfowl and migratory bird hunting enthusiasts can revel in the wetlands and waterways of New Jersey, where various species converge for thrilling waterfowl hunting experiences.

Accessing Invaluable Resources

To access detailed information about each hunting area, maps, regulations, and more, visit the official NJDEP website at dep.nj.gov/njfw/hunting/where-to-go/. Here, you'll find a treasure trove of resources to help you plan your hunting trips effectively.

Don't miss out on the chance to explore New Jersey's public hunting lands and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and diverse wildlife that the state has to offer. Whether you're an experienced hunter or just embarking on your hunting journey, our public lands provide endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Hunting & Trapping Explorer: A Guide to Zone Identification

Embark on your hunting journey with confidence by leveraging the convenient online Hunting & Trapping Explorer available at NJFishandWildlife.com/hunt. This user-friendly tool is essential for accurately identifying your specific hunting zone/area, unit, township, and county. Utilizing this resource is not only a wise choice for pre-trip preparation but also a crucial step to ensure smooth and swift harvest reporting post-successful hunt.

The Hunting & Trapping Explorer stands out for its ease of use, speed, and accuracy, making it an indispensable part of your hunting toolkit. Additionally, for detailed information on harvest reporting procedures, the Deer Hunting Regulations section provides comprehensive guidelines. This online explorer simplifies your hunting planning process, allowing you to focus more on the hunting experience itself.

National Wildlife Refuges: 2023-2024 Hunting Seasons Overview

General Guidelines for Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges

Hunting activities within National Wildlife Refuges are highly regulated to ensure the safety and conservation of wildlife. It is crucial to understand that hunting is strictly prohibited unless explicitly permitted in the designated areas listed below. Key regulations include:

  • Baiting and Sunday Hunting: These practices are uniformly banned across all National Wildlife Refuges.
  • Access Confirmation: Always verify whether access to a refuge is open by visiting its official website.
  • Licensing and Permits: Hunters must hold valid state licenses and are also required to purchase specific Refuge hunt permits. These can be acquired at https://wallkillriver.recaccess.com, with discounts available for seniors, Golden Age, Access, or Golden Access pass holders, and youths with a valid New Jersey youth hunting license.

Specific Refuge Information

Cape May National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)

  • Location: 24 Kimbles Beach Rd., Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
  • Contact: (609) 463-0994; Cape May NWR Website
  • Hunting Opportunities: Deer hunting (contact refuge for details), migratory game birds (specific zones), turkey, rabbit, and squirrel hunting (limited areas). Special conditions and a refuge permit are required.

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

  • Location: 32 Pleasant Plains Rd., Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
  • Contact: (973) 425-0215 ext. 1; Great Swamp NWR Access
  • Hunting Opportunities: Deer (see Deer Special Areas Information).

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

  • Location: 800 Great Creek Rd., Oceanville, NJ 08231-0072
  • Contact: (609) 652-1665; Edwin B. Forsythe NWR Website
  • Hunting Opportunities: Deer, waterfowl, rail, spring turkey, and squirrel (select areas only). An Annual Refuge Hunting Permit is required, available at Forsythe Permit Purchase.

Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

  • Location: c/o Cape May NWR, 24 Kimbles Beach Rd., Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
  • Contact: (609) 463-0994; Supawna Meadows NWR Website
  • Hunting Opportunities: Deer, migratory birds, and small game. Specific conditions apply.

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge

  • Location: 1547 County Rt. 565, Sussex, NJ 07461-4013
  • Contact: (973) 702-7266; Wallkill River NWR Website
  • Hunting Opportunities: Deer, migratory birds, turkey (spring and fall), and small game (squirrel and rabbit only). Additional opportunities include:
    • Disabled Hunter Area: Located at 119 Owens Station Rd., Sussex, NJ. Requires a valid NJ Permit to Hunt or Shoot from a Stationary Vehicle and a Disabled Refuge Hunt Permit.
    • Mentored Hunts: Offered in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation for youth, women, and disabled hunters. Registration required; contact for dates and details.


For hunters planning to explore the 2023–24 seasons at National Wildlife Refuges, it's essential to be well-informed about the specific regulations, permits, and hunting opportunities available at each refuge. Always check for the latest updates and details on the respective refuge websites or contact the refuge offices directly for the most current information.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.