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Game Code Amendments Proposed
Public Hearing April 18, Comment By June 1

April 3, 2017
Updated April 5, 2017

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is advising the public that amendments for the 2017-2018 Game Code, approved for proposal by the Fish and Game Council at their September 21, 2016 meeting, have been posted on the NJDEP website. The Game Code includes regulations governing hunting and trapping in the state; amendments may include adjustments to season dates, bag/creel limits, or the means by which game and furbearers may be taken and possessed.

The Notice of Rule Proposal was published in the March 3, 2017, NJ Register, which commenced a 60-day comment period. Written comments can be submitted via US mail or online, and oral comments may be made at the April 18, 2017 public meeting to be held at the Conservation Center on the Assunpink WMA at 6:30 p.m. Please see for more information and instructions for submitting comments.

Comments must be submitted by June 1, 2017.

NOTE: The 2017-2018 Game Code proposed amendments DO NOT include proposed amendments to bear hunting regulations or to the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy.

Also note that the comment period is ONLY to opine on proposed amendments, NOT to submit new ideas for changes. New ideas will not be considered for this amendment cycle, but will be retained for the 2019 Game Code amendment cycle.

The proposed amendments to the 2017-2018 Game Code include the following:

  • the initiation of an apprentice license for both firearm, and bow and arrow hunting
  • the extension of the youth pheasant hunt from one to six days
  • a ban on the liberation of quail by private individuals on Wildlife Management Areas where quail restoration efforts are underway
  • an increase in trapping for mink, muskrat, and nutria
  • an increase in the permit quota for trapping river otter
  • an earlier trapping season with encapsulated foothold and cage traps to control quail predators
  • the closure of Barnegat Inlet to waterfowl hunting
  • a prohibition of the use of drones and "smart rifles" during hunting
  • giving the Fish and Game Council the authority to repeal the Earn-a-buck (EAB) deer regulation prior to the opening of a deer hunt season based upon specified criteria in order to ensure achievement of deer management goals

A copy of the proposal can be found at (PDF format) on the DEP website.

For information regarding the revision of hunting and fishing regulations in the state visit

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: April 5, 2017