NJ DEPARTMENT of ENVIRONMENTAL
Natural and Historic Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
Notice of Rule Proposal
2015-2016 Game Code N.J.A.C. 7:25-5
Take notice that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection is proposingamendments. A statement of the substance of the proposal follows: The proposed 2015-2016 Game Code, N.J.A.C. 7:25-5, provides when, under what circumstances, in what location, by what means, and what amounts and numbers, game-birds, game animals and fur-bearing animals may be pursued, taken, killed or had in possession. Since the early 1900s, the Game Code has provided a system for the protection, propagation, increase, control and conservation of game birds, game animals, and fur-bearing animals in this State and for their use and development for public recreation and food supply. Biennial revisions of season dates, bag limits and other regulations based on scientific investigation and research ensures the greatest likelihood of success in reaching these goals.
Amendments include the following:
- The requirement for trappers is proposed to be amended to report an incidentally-caught bobcat.
- Wild turkey checking requirements are amended to change the reporting of a harvested turkey from live-check stations to the Automated Harvest Report System.
- Turkey Hunting Areas formerly closed to fall hunting are proposed to be opened.
- Trapping opportunities for mink, muskrat and nutria, beaver and river otter are proposed to be increased by allowing trapping on all WMAs prior to January 1.\
- Amendments are proposed to allow for the reporting of coyote harvests via the Automated Harvest Report System.
- The trapping section is proposed for amendment to allow for the use of enclosed foothold traps.
- Portions of the general trapping section are proposed to be amended by requiring all live capture cable restraints to include a relaxing-type lock.
- Sections are proposed to be amended to allow the use of air guns for the dispatch of legally trapped furbearing animals.
- The prohibition of leaving any staked, anchored or floating waterfowl hunting blinds in the field overnight or for extended periods of time is being proposed.
- The Council proposes to amend the language allow for the harvest of foxes with center-fire or rim-fire rifles during the special permit season.
- Twenty-gauge shotguns are proposed to be allowed for coyote and fox hunting during the special coyote and fox season.
- A wanton waste regulation for game mammals and birds is being proposed.
- Bear hunters are proposed to be added to the regulation requiring the use hunter orange when hunting in ground blinds during the firearm deer seasons.
- Hunter tagging of all harvested deer is being proposed.
- Allowing bowhunters to kill two deer before meeting the reporting mandate in certain DMZs is being proposed.
- The movement of four DMZs into more liberal regulation sets is being proposed.
- An increase in the permit bow season for Regulation Set 4 by 31 days is being proposed.
- Portions of the Rockport Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are proposed to be added to the list of WMAs where a Pheasant and Quail Stamp is required.
- The proposal includes language that will mandate the wearing of a hunter orange hat by all those engaged in firearm hunting for small game on WMAs stocked with pheasants or quail.
The proposal is scheduled to be published in the New Jersey Register dated (March 16, 2015). A copy of the proposal is available from: DEP website at http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/20150316a.pdf and LexisNexis free public access to the New Jersey Register, www.lexisnexis.com/njoal.
A public hearing(s) concerning the proposal is scheduled as follows:
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.
NJ State Museum
205 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
Written comments may be submitted electronically by May 15, 2015 at http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/comments; or
In hard copy to:
ATTN: DEP Docket No. 01-15-02
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Office of Legal Affairs
Mail Code 401-04L; PO Box 402
401 East State Street, 7th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402