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Rules and Regulations for Hunting with Dogs in New Jersey

Hunting with dogs can be some of the most gratifying times you will spend in the outdoors, but you have to be legal, so check out the regs from New Jersey.

Whether you enjoy watching all of those long hours of training your dog pay off, or you just love sharing the sunsets with your best bud, hunting with dogs is an American pastime.

For hunters, it’s our duty to enjoy Mother Nature and the majestic outdoors to the full extent , but we also need to remain ethical. If you plan on hunting with dogs in New Jersey, check out the rules and regulations before you hit the trail.

  • All hunting dogs must be properly licensed in the municipality where their owner lives. Proof of rabies vaccination will be required.
  • Dogs may never be used for hunting bears or turkeys.
  • Exercising or training hunting dogs in New Jersey Wildlife Management Areas is permitted during most spring and summer months only in designated dog-training areas. These WMAs offer dog areas: Assunpink, Glassboro, Pequest, Tuckahoe, Black River, Hainesville (water dogs only), Salem River, Whittingham (upland and water dog areas), Clinton, Manasquan, Winslow, Colliers Mills, Millville, and Stafford Forge.
  • In the fall and winter, hunting with dogs and training them is allowed in most areas except on specific dates each year.
  • Dogs may not be used to hunt raccoons, opossums, foxes, or coyotes during some periods.
  • Training dogs for hunting raccoons or opossums is permitted only after dark on designated dates in early fall and spring.
  • When training your hunting dog in a New Jersey Wildlife Management Area, you may release pheasants, quails, and partridges, but you must buy the birds from a licensed game breeder and have a “Game Animal – Game Bird Sales Receipt” with you.
  • You may use pigeons for dog training, but you’re not allowed to shoot them.
  • Dead game birds, such as last year’s frozen catch, are OK, as long as they were legally shot during a hunting season.
  • Rabbits, hares, raccoons, foxes, woodchucks, and other furbearing game may not be released for dog-training purposes.
  • Any live birds you release on New Jersey Wildlife Management Areas for dog training may not be brailed, tethered, or restrained in any way. Before release, you may keep the birds confined with a mechanical bird-holding device. Call back pens aren’t allowed.
  • If you use live birds when training your hunting dog, you must comply with all New Jersey rules and regulations regarding seasons, bag limits, and methods, just as if you were on a regular hunting expedition.
  • Except during hunting season, you may not use firearms for training hunting dogs. Noisemakers such as starter pistols and dummy launchers are OK, as long as they’re not capable of firing a projectile that could hurt someone.

Enjoy that special time you have in the outdoors this year, but always know the rules. It’s our duty as ethical outdoorsmen.

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Rules and Regulations for Hunting with Dogs in New Jersey