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July 18, 2001


For more information contact:
Larry Herrighty at 609-292-6685

The New Jersey Fish and Game Council and the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife recently announced the Council's changes to the 2001-02 Game Code. The Fish and Game Council is responsible for adopting annual revisions to the Game Code which describes procedures, dates, locations and harvest limits regarding the hunting, trapping and possession of game birds, game mammals and furbearers in the State.

A summary of changes to the 2001-2002 Game Code follows:

1. Pheasant boundaries have been adjusted, including slight modifications to major zone boundaries to account for new highways, name changes, etc. Cocks-only pheasant zones in South Jersey are eliminated.

2. Turkey Season

a. Youth turkey hunters no longer must be accompanied by parent/guardian. Licensed hunters over 21 may take youth hunters afield.

b. There will be a Youth Turkey Hunting Day on Saturday, April 13, 2002. Youth hunters under the direct supervision of a non-shooting adult (21 years or older), may use either a shotgun or bow and arrow, and must possess a current and valid Youth Hunting License and a valid permit for the hunting area. All other hunting requirements for the regular Spring Wild Turkey Gobbler Season will apply.

c. The general & private turkey hunting permits are eliminated. An additional week has been added onto the front of the season to allow more permits to be available. This will allow a fifth day for the "G" Saturday segment. Quotas for zones with an abundance of private land have been increased.

d. In an effort to increase participation, the Fall Turkey Season for 2002 will be one 6-day segment Monday, October 28 - Saturday, November 2, 2002. During this time, there will be no fall turkey hunting in Turkey Hunting Areas 12, 14, 15, 16, 21 and 22.

3. Coyote Season

The February 2002 Coyote season will include night hunting with shotgun only. In order to gauge participation, the permit requirement is re-instituted for both day and night hunting.

4. Deer Seasons

a. A Youth Deer Hunt is scheduled for Saturday, November 17, 2001. Youth hunters with a valid Youth Hunting License will be allowed to hunt in all zones open for the Six-Day Firearm Season for one deer on Saturday, November 17, 2001. The youth hunter MUST be under the immediate supervision of a person who is at least 21 years old and who has a valid firearm license. For the purposes of this section, direct supervision is defined as both the youth hunter and parent/guardian set up together at the same location, hunting as a unit and not hunting independently of each other. The adult CANNOT hunt or possess a firearm. The adult can grunt call or rattle for the youth. In addition to the youth, the adult accompanying the youth should wear the required orange. Youths can hunt with either a shotgun or muzzleloader for one deer of either sex. If the youth is hunting with a muzzleloader, the youth and the adult must have a valid rifle permit. Neither the earn-a-buck requirement nor antler point restrictions will apply on that day for the youth hunter. This hunt will be an extension of the Six-Day Firearm season so no special season deer permit is required. The youth hunter must tag his/her deer with a homemade transportation tag. The tag must include the youth hunting license number, sex of deer, number of antler points, date, zone, county and township the deer was taken from, and must say "taken during the 6-Day Firearm Season Youth Hunt." The youth hunter will not be given a supplemental tag when he/she checks in the deer. The bag limit for the youth hunt day is only ONE deer of either sex.

b. In an effort to simplify deer regulations, eight sets of regulations regarding season dates and bag limits have been established and will apply to all but special area zones. The most conservative "Set 1" applies to Zone 4 only. The most liberal "Set 8" will apply to Earn-a-Buck zones. See the Regulation Sets document which is in PDF format. (PDF files are viewable and printable with the Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free from Adobe's Web site.)

c. The Fish and Game Council and the Division of Fish and Wildlife are initiating a new trial sale process for deer permits starting this fall. As part of this new procedure, permits for most zones will be available for over-the-counter sale at participating license agents throughout the state. In an attempt to curb a growing deer population, permit quotas in most zones have been greatly increased over the past several years. Based on the quota numbers and total amounts of permits sold in these zones during the last deer season, the Division does not anticipate that these zones will sell out. As a result, these zones will be available for over-the-counter sale via license agents.

Hunters should note, however, that there will be a lottery for the following more limited zones: 3, 4, 18, 23, 24, 37, 38, 43, 46, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64 and 67 ONLY. Applications are found in the Deer Permit Supplement currently available at license agents statewide. The application period is June 1 through August 31.

Bow permit sales at license agents will begin on Saturday, September 1. Shotgun and muzzleloader permit sales will begin on Saturday, October 13. All permit sales at license agents will end on December 31, 2001. If a hunter wishes to purchase a permit from January 1, 2002 through the end of the deer season, he or she will be able to do so at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and the Division office in Trenton ONLY.

d. The type of gunpowder that is legal to use with muzzleloaders has been clarified. Legal powder will be "black powder, pyrodex or black powder equivalent." Smokeless powder is prohibited.

The small game season dates are available in PDF format. PDF files are viewable and printable with the Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free from Adobe's Web site.