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Notice of Rule Proposal
Division of Fish and Wildlife Rules – Proposed Amendments to 2009-2012 Game Code N.J.A.C. 7:25-5

Public Notice
Take notice that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Game Council is proposing amendments to N.J.A.C. 7:25 – 5, the Game Code.  A statement of the substance of the proposal follows: The Game Code governs the activities relating to the taking of wildlife classified as game animals, game birds or furbearers.  Proposed amendments include the following: The opening day of the rabbit and hare hunting season is moved forward from the second week in November to the last Saturday in September.  The hunting season for ruffed grouse south of Route 70 will be reduced by three weeks.  Hunters will be allowed to apply for and obtain a second bear permit for an additional zone through the lottery, however the bear hunting  season remains closed at this time.  The spring turkey hunting season is reduced by one week; the boundaries of Turkey Hunting Areas (THA) 15, 20 and 21 are adjusted; and Turkey Hunting Areas 6, 7 and 10 have been removed from fall hunting.  The beaver trapping permit quotas are adjusted for Beaver Management Zones (BMZs) 13 and 26 based upon recent beaver population assessments.  Fisher (Martes pinnanti) is added to the list of furbearing animals subject to a closed season.  The taking of Canada geese will be allowed from August 1 to August 31on private agricultural lands if there is a Federal Conservation Order or Managed Take Option in place, as defined by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  King rail is proposed to be added as a migratory game species with a closed season.  The season length for the special permit season for coyote, red fox and gray fox, is increased by four weeks, and the bag limit for coyote is removed.  The administration of any chemical or drug to any regulated wildlife species is prohibited, unless specially permitted by the Division.  The definition of “bow” is expanded by removing the prohibition on all draw locking and draw holding devices and by including crossbows in the definition.  Bows may be used during the six-day firearm deer season by hunters holding a firearm license in addition to an archery license.  Two new deer season regulation formats or sets are created and the Fish and Game Council will be allowed to shift Deer Management Zones (DMZs) up or down Regulation Sets thereby increasing or decreasing the season lengths and bag limits if the antlered or antlerless harvest falls above or below 15 percent of the harvest goal for that specific zone for at least two consecutive years.  A table listing antlered harvest goals and management strategies for each deer management zone is added.  Zones 21, 23, 24, 34, 43, 45 and 46 have been re-assigned to Regulation Set 0 in order to reduce the deer harvest since deer populations have been reduced below the management objective.  A Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) is established to allow additional antlerless deer harvest by landowners or administrative agencies/organizations which can not adequately control the deer population on their property utilizing the season bag limits within the existing season format.  

The proposal is scheduled to be published in the New Jersey Register on April 6, 2009 and a Public Hearing concerning the proposed amendments will be held on April 21, 2009 starting at 6:30 PM at:

            New Jersey State Museum
            205 West State Street
            Trenton, NJ 08625

A copy of the proposal is available from: Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) website(PDF); LexisNexis Customer Service at (800) 223-1944 or Be advised that there may be a fee for obtaining a copy of the proposal from some sources.

Written comments may be submitted by June 5, 2009 to:

David Chanda, Director
Division of Fish and Wildlife
DEP Docket No. 05-09-03/718
Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 400
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0400

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Last Updated: January 27, 2022