Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Ranges: Regulations and Facilities

WMA Range Regulations

Wildlife Management Area ranges operate under specific regulations to ensure safety and legal compliance. Key aspects include:

  • Operating Hours: Most ranges, except Black River, are open from 8 a.m. to sunset.
  • License Requirements: A member of the shooting party must possess a valid New Jersey hunting license. Apprentice Firearm Licensees must be accompanied by an adult (over 21) with a regular, current NJ firearm hunting license.

Range-Specific Guidelines

Archery Range

  • Equipment Allowed: Crossbow, Compound, Recurve, Long Bows.
  • Projectile Types: Field Tip Only for NJFW backstops; Broadheads with user-supplied targets.
  • Target Types: Bag Target (NJFW); Broadhead (Bag, foam, 3-D, hay - user-supplied).

Shotgun Range

  • Equipment Allowed: All shotgun gauges legal in NJ.
  • Ammunition: Fine shot only (No buckshot/rifled slugs).
  • Target Types: Clay birds, patterning boards.

Muzzleloader Range

  • Equipment Allowed: Muzzleloaders, shotguns (rifled slug, buckshot), rimfire rifles (.17, .22 cal), and legal air guns.
  • Ammunition: Rifle/Sabot Slugs, Buckshot, Fine Shot for muzzleloaders and shotguns; rimfire ammunition for rimfire rifles; pellets for air guns.
  • Target Types: Paper targets, patterning boards.

Centerfire Rifle Range

  • Equipment Allowed: Centerfire rifles (up to .30 caliber), muzzleloaders, and shotguns.
  • Ammunition: Single projectile (e.g., 308, 30-06, 300 Winmag) for centerfire rifles; rifle/sabot slugs, buckshot, fine shot for muzzleloaders and shotguns.
  • Target Types: Paper targets, patterning boards.

Ranges by Region

Northern Region

  • Hunterdon (Clinton): Archery, Shotgun, Muzzleloader (100 Yards).
  • Morris (Black River): Archery, Shotgun*.
  • Sussex (Flatbrook): Archery, Shotgun, Muzzleloader (75 Yards).
  • Warren (Pequest): Archery.

Central Region

  • Monmouth (Assunpink): Archery, Shotgun*.
  • Monmouth (Turkey Swamp): Archery*.
  • Ocean (Colliers Mills): Archery, Shotgun, Centerfire Rifle (100 Yards).
  • Ocean (Stafford Forge): Archery, Shotgun, Centerfire Rifle (100 Yards).

Southern Region

  • Atlantic (Makepeace Lake): Archery, Centerfire Rifle (100 Yards).
  • Gloucester (Winslow): Archery.
  • Cape May (Tuckahoe): Archery.
  • Cumberland (Millville): Archery, Shotgun, Centerfire Rifle (50 and 200 Yards).

Additional Notes

  • Ranges may have specific restrictions; refer to range-specific guidelines.
  • Muzzleloaders can be utilized on centerfire rifle ranges.

Range-Specific Restrictions at Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Ranges

Northern Region: Morris County

Black River WMA Restrictions

  • Shotgun Range Closure: The range is closed on weekends from the third Saturday in May through Labor Day Sunday, including Christmas and Easter.
  • Operating Hours: During the summer period (from the third Saturday in May to Labor Day), the range operates from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. For the rest of the year, the hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Hunter Education Classes: These classes are not affected by the range hours and continue as scheduled.

Central Region: Monmouth County

Assunpink WMA Restrictions

  • Shotgun Range: Only non-toxic shot is permitted; the use of lead shot is strictly prohibited.

Turkey Swamp Park (Georgia Rd., Freehold Twp.)

  • Archery Range: Special regulations apply. For more information, callers can contact 732-842-4000.

Statewide Centerfire Rifle Range Rules (Including Makepeace Lake)

  • Target Frame Requirements: All target frames must be at least 30 inches high from the base to the bottom of the paper target.
  • Target Placement: Frames must be placed on top of target mounds located at 25-yard increments at the range.
  • Safety Compliance: This minimum target height is essential to prevent ricochets, ensuring all projectiles are safely absorbed by the final berm.

WMA Maps and Resources

To explore and utilize the resources available at New Jersey’s Wildlife Management Areas, visit NJFishandWildlife.com/hunt for the Wildlife Management Area Explorer. This interactive tool offers:

  • Access to 122 WMAs: Click on any WMA on the map to display detailed information.
  • Comprehensive Facility Information: Find locations of shooting ranges, dog training areas, boat ramps, fishing access sites, roads, parking areas, and more.
  • Interactive Features: Pop-up windows provide additional information and insights into each WMA’s infrastructure and assets.

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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.