- Parks & Recreation
- Controlled Hunting Program
Controlled Hunting Program
2022 to 2023 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 Permit||Then You Can Hunt on These Dates||With This Sporting Arm|
|Fall Bow||September 10 to October 28, 2022||Bow|
|Permit Bow||October 29 to November 26, November 30 to December 3, 2022||Bow|
|Winter Bow||January 2 to February 18, 2023||Bow|
|Shotgun||December 5 to 10, 14 to 16, 2022. January 7 to February 11, 2023||Shotgun|
|Muzzleloader||November 28, 29, December 12, 13, 17, 19 to 24, 26 to 31, 2022, January 2 to 6, 2023||Muzzleloader|
|Special Hunt||December 5 to 10, 14 to 16, 2022||Shotgun|
- There is no Sunday bow hunting on Park Property.
- Each permit is valid for only one area.
- Permit fees are $25 for Hunterdon County Residents, $40 for non-residents for all permits except the Special Hunt permit. The fee for Special Hunt permit will be $20 for Hunterdon County residents, $30 for non-residents.
- Permit sales begin at 8 am. Sale Dates Will Be:
- Bow, Permit Bow, and Winter Bow - August 17 (Hunterdon Co. residents); August 18 and after (all hunters)
- Shotgun, Muzzleloader, and Special Hunt - October 26 (Hunterdon Co. residents); October 27 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.
- Hunters who fail to return their survey cards on-time will not be eligible to purchase a permit the following year until the 3rd day of permit sales, (the day after permits go on sale to non-county residents.)
- Survey cards must be filled out and returned by March 1, 2023:
- Note: These forms are PDF forms that can be downloaded and completed on the computer or can be printed and mailed in. Once you have completed your form, please either email it to email@example.com or print the form and send a hard copy per the instructions on the form.
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.
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:
- Charlestown Reserve (PDF), Bethlehem Township (215 acres; 7 hunters max., DMZ 7)
- Cold Brook Reserve (PDF), Tewksbury Township (179 acres; 6 hunters max.; DMZ 8)
- Crystal Springs Preserve (PDF), Lebanon Township (247 acres; 8 hunters max; DMZ 8)
- Cushetunk Mountain Preserve (PDF), Readington Township (380 acres; 20 hunters max.; DMZ 12)
- Deer Path Park, Round Mountain (PDF), (North of summit) Readington Township (145 acres, 5 hunters max. DMZ 12)
- Drag Strip Property (PDF), Franklin Township (198 acres; 8 hunters max.; DMZ 10) *Not a County Park
- Jugtown Mountain Preserve (PDF), Bethlehem Township (211 acres 8 hunters max.; DMZ 7)
- Landsdown Meadows (PDF), Franklin Township (172 acres; 5 permits max; DMZ 10)
- Musconetcong Mountain Preserve (PDF), Ellis Road, Holland Township (227 acres; 8 hunters max. DMZ 10)
- Miquin Woods (PDF), Lebanon Township (302 acres; 10 hunters max; DMZ 8)
- Musconetcong Gorge Preserve (PDF), Musconetcong River Reservation, Holland and Bethlehem Township (523 acres, 25 hunters max.; DMZ 10)
- Pearson Property, Sourland Mountain Preserve (PDF), East Amwell Township (90 Acres; 4 hunters max.; DMZ 12)
- Point Mountain "North" section (PDF), (Northeast of Penwell Road), Lebanon Township (217 acres; 8 hunters max.; DMZ 8)
- Point Mountain "South" section (PDF), (Formerly Wattles), Mt. Top Road, Lebanon Township (508 acres; 18 hunters max.; DMZ 8)
- Rockaway Creek Preserve (PDF), Tewksbury Twp. (75 acres; 3 hunters max; DMZ 8), Alexandria Township (305 acres; 12 hunters max.; DMZ 10)
- South Branch Reservation - Three Bridges Section (PDF), Raritan Township (84 acres, 3 hunters max; DMZ 12)
- South Branch Reservation - Valinsky Section (PDF), Clinton Township (64 acres; 3 hunters max; DMZ 10)
- South Branch Reservation, Wings Section (PDF), Readington Township (88 acres; 3 hunters max; DMZ 12)
- South Branch Reservation - Melick's Bridge Section (PDF), Clinton Township (61 acres; 3 hunters max., DMZ 10)
- South Branch Reservation - Stanton Station Section (PDF), Raritan Township (151 acres; 5 hunters max, DMZ 10)
- South County Park (PDF), (formerly "Delago") West Amwell Township (220 acres; 9 hunters max., DMZ 41)
- Sourland Mountain Preserve (PDF), East Amwell Township (292 acres; 12 hunters max.; DMZ 12)
- Teetertown Preserve, Mountain Farm (PDF), Lebanon Township (298 acres; 15 hunters max.; DMZ 8)
- (Closed for hunting from 5 pm on Fridays to 5 am on Mondays through November 15th only.)
- Tower Hill Reserve, Mountainview Road (PDF), Bethlehem Township (290 acres; 11 hunters max.; DMZ 7)
- Tower Hill North, Mine Road, Bethlehem Twp. (99 acres; 4 hunter max; DMZ 7)
- Turkey Top Reserve (PDF), Lebanon Township (244 acres, 8 hunters bow, 6 hunters gun; DMZ 8)
- Union Furnace Preserve (PDF), Union Township (167 acres; 8 hunters max.; DMZ 7)
- Wescott Nature Preserve (PDF), Delaware Township (180 acres; 7 hunters max.; DMZ 11)
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
- Deer Path Park, Round Mountain Section South (PDF) (South of summit, North of West Woodschurch Road only), Readington Township (71 acres; 3 hunters max.; DMZ 12)
- Point Mountain Central Section (PDF), (Formerly "South"), Musconetcong River Reservation South of Penwell Road, Lebanon Township, (475 acres; 15 hunters max.; DMZ 8)
- Uplands Reserve (PDF), Raritan Township (100 acres; 4 hunters max.; DMZ 10)
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.
- Arboretum (PDF), Clinton Township (74 acres; 3 hunters max.; DMZ 12)
- Case Farm (PDF), Raritan Township (15 acres; 2 hunters max.; DMZ 11) *Not a County Park
- Clover Hill, (Merck) (PDF), Raritan Township(116 acres; 3 hunters max.; DMZ 12)
- Deer Path Park, Round Mountain Section South (PDF), Readington Township (71 Acres; 3 hunters max; DMZ 12)
- Dove's Landing Section - Charlestown Greenway (PDF), (Charlestown Greenway), Bethlehem Township (59 acres; 3 hunters max,: DMZ 7)
- Echo Hill Park (PDF), Clinton Township (90 Acres; 3 hunters max.; DMZ 10)
- Furnas Section - Arboretum Extension (PDF), Clinton Township (51 acres; 3 hunters max.; DMZ 12)
- Hoffman Park (PDF), (125 huntable acres; 7 hunters max.; DMZ 10)
- Pine Hill Section, South Branch Reservation (PDF), Franklin Township (42 Acres; 3 hunters max.; DMZ 10)
- Riverfield Hunting Section, South Branch Reservation (PDF), Clinton Township (25 Acres; 2 hunters max; DMZ 8)
- Uplands Reserve (PDF), Raritan Township (100 acres; 4 hunters max.; DMZ 10)
- Van Leight Property (PDF), Bethlehem Township (53 acres; 3 hunters max.; DMZ 7)
- Wings South Branch Reservation (PDF) (Front Section Only along Deerpath Road; 20 acres; Two hunters for Winter Bow)
Permit Application Instructions
Note: Incomplete or incorrect applications may be rejected. Persons who submit falsified applications are subject to prosecution.
- Fill in name, address including zip, phone, driver's license number, and vehicle license plate number.
- Fill in hunting license number appropriate for the season you are applying for, and indicate the license year.
- 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.
- Check the type of permit you are applying for.
- 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.
- Bring your permit application with your state hunting license to the park office on the correct sales day, with check payable to "HCDPR" or exact cash. 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.