Category: Hunting

Visit NJ State Parks Free With NJ Parks Vax Pass, And Other Vaccination Incentives Announced

May 19, 2021

BERKLEY TOWNSHIP – ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK, NJ (OCEAN)–Governor Phil Murphy today announced several new vaccination incentives as part of “Operation Jersey Summer”, the statewide public awareness campaign aimed at vaccinating all eligible individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey against COVID-19. The new incentives include a State Parks Vax Pass, providing free access to New Jersey’s 51 state parks and facilities including Island Beach State Park; a free glass of wine at participating New Jersey wineries; and dinner with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy.

“Millions of New Jerseyans have rolled up their sleeves and received a vaccination to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19, but there is still much work to be done in order to reach our goal of 4.7 million fully vaccinated New Jersey adults by June 30,” said Governor Murphy. “In partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Garden State Wine Growers Association, we are giving New Jerseyans more reasons to step up and visit one of our 1,700 vaccination sites to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. We are determined to reach our vaccination goals and make this the best Jersey summer yet.”

“With continually improving public health indicators, we want every New Jersey resident to get a State Parks Vax Pass and get out to enjoy our incredible State Parks with their families and friends,” said Shawn LaTourette, Acting Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “From High Point in the northwest to Cape May Point in the southeast, our state parks provide a great place for New Jerseyans to connect with one another and with nature. A free State Parks Vax Pass is just one small way that we can thank our fellow residents for taking good care of themselves and each other by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.”

“New Jersey state parks are second to none and offer a great diversity of outdoors recreational experiences,” said New Jersey Parks and Forestry Director John Cecil. “We look forward to welcoming everyone this summer and truly hope many people take advantage of this opportunity to save money while doing the right thing to help end the pandemic.”

“The Garden State Wine Growers Association is proud to have nine of our member wineries join in raising awareness for the Covid-19 vaccination program by offering a free glass of wine to all those of age that show they’ve received their first vaccination dose this May,” said Tom Cosentino, Executive Director, Garden State Wine Growers Association. “We encourage all New Jersey residents to get vaccinated so they can come out this summer to our vineyards and enjoy the award-winning wines New Jersey vintners are producing.”



Vax and Visit with the State Parks Vax Pass

Beginning Thursday, May 27, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a free State Parks Vax Pass under the new “Vax and Visit” campaign to all New Jersey residents who receive at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccination by July 4, 2021. The State Parks Vax Pass, which will be of the same value as the Annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to all of New Jersey’s 51 State parks and forest facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees, from Thursday, May 27 through December 31, 2021. New Jersey residents who have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to request a State Parks Vax Pass upon entry at any one of the state’s 51 parks, including Island Beach State Park. The Department of Environmental Protection will also provide refunds to residents who already purchased Annual State Park Passes this year and have been fully vaccinated.


Vax and Visit with the State Parks Vax Pass

Beginning Thursday, May 27, 2021, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a free State Parks Vax Pass under the new “Vax and Visit” campaign to all New Jersey residents who receive at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccination by July 4, 2021.

The State Parks Vax Pass, which will be of the same value as the Annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to New Jersey’s 51 State parks and forest facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees, from Thursday, May 28 through December 31, 2021. New Jersey residents who have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to request a State Parks Vax Pass upon entry at any one of the state’s 51 parks, including Island Beach State Park. The Department of Environmental Protection will also provide refunds to residents who already purchased Annual State Park Passes this year and have been fully vaccinated.


Uncork the Vaccination

In partnership with the Garden State Wine Growers Association, New Jerseyans ages 21 and over who receive their first COVID-19 vaccination in the month of May can visit one of New Jersey’s participating wineries and receive a free glass of wine. Participating wineries include Amalthea Cellars, Auburn Road Vineyards, Bellview Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Salem Oak Vineyards, Terhune Orchards, Tomasello Winery, Villa Milagro Vineyards in Pohatcong, and White Horse Winery. 



Dinner with the Governor and First Lady

Beginning May 19, individuals age 18 or older who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination in New Jersey since the roll-out of the state’s program in December, can enter to win dinner along with a guest with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy. The winner will have the choice between dinner at Drumthwacket, the official Governor’s residence located in Princeton, or the Governor’s residence in Island Beach State Park. Entries must be submitted by May 31. To enter, visit covid19.nj.gov




Road Repair And Paving Scheduled For Assunpink WMA

May 6, 2021

UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–There will be road repair/paving activity at the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area Tuesday, May 11 through Wednesday, May 19, 2021. There will be no road closures but traffic may be reduced to one lane. The Conservation Center parking lot will be closed one day for paving during the work period.



Hunting Regulation Change – Deer Urine Lure Ban

April 30, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Effective May 10, 2021, a change in state hunting regulations will ban the possession, sale and use of all natural, deer-derived hunting lures (urine and glandular secretions) in New Jersey to help safeguard the health of the state’s deer herd from the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). All natural, deer-derived hunting lures must be disposed of in your household trash.

The ban has been put in place to strengthen safeguards against CWD entering New Jersey. These scents and lures are derived from captive deer where the risk of CWD is greatest. The production of deer urine is not regulated; there is no federal or state agency that can certify deer urine-based products as CWD-free, and no level of exposure is acceptable.

Synthetic lures and lures not made from any deer fluid or tissue are legal to possess, sell and use.

CWD is a progressive and always fatal neurologic disease affecting members of the Cervid family such as deer, elk, moose and reindeer, and is caused by an infectious protein called a prion. It results in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death, and is readily spread from deer to deer. While CWD has not yet been documented in New Jersey, it poses a real and significant risk to deer herds and New Jersey’s deer hunting tradition if it arrives here.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife is doing everything in its power to prevent CWD from entering New Jersey and to protect the long-term health of our deer herd and our deer hunting heritage.

More information about Chronic Wasting Disease can be found at www.njfishandwildlife.com/cwdinfo.htm

Water Lowered For Dam Repairs At Two Assunpink WMA Lakes

Dam repairs to take place at Stone Tavern Lake and Rising Sun Lake though December 1, 2020.

October 23, 2020


UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP-MILLSTONE TOWNSHP, NJ (MONMOUTH) –The Division is currently working on two dam repair projects on the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area. Stone Tavern and Rising Sun Lakes have been lowered approximately four feet to provide construction crews access to the dam and water control structures. Concrete work will be completed on the spillways and repairs to trash gates.

Both projects should be completed around December 1, at which time the lakes will be returned to their normal water levels. Access is currently open to these locations, however, it may be impacted by construction activities during the project. The Division will provide updates on the website should any changes regarding the completion date or access occur.

Both lakes have adequate depths to fully support the fish population during the duration of the project.



Governor Phil Murphy Tweets That 2020 Bear Hunt Will Be The Last

October 5, 2020 – Updated to include press release

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Murphy announced today that the NJ Fish and Game Council has proposed an amendment to end the bear hunt after the 2020 season.

The 2020 bear hunt will be the LAST. The New Jersey Fish and Game Council has proposed an amendment to the Game Code that will:

☑️SUSPEND the bear hunt following the conclusion of the 2020 season

☑️Remove the current Comprehensive Black Bear Management Police from the Game Code


Bear attacks in NJ:


July 24, 2020 West Milford a black bear attacked an 82 year old man in his garage after the bear took several swipes at the man. The man required over 30 stiches to his face.


September 2014: Darsh Patel, 22 was a Rutgers University Student hiking with friends in the Apshawa Preserve was killed by a 4 year old, 300 pound black bear. Wildlife officials stated that the last prior death from a black bear in NJ was in 1852

The video below explains the September 2014 attack:



Press release from the Governor’s Office:

Governor Murphy Announces Proposed Changes to New Jersey Fish and Game Code to End Bear Hunt in 2021

TRENTON – Today, Governor Phil Murphy announced that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council has proposed changes to the state’s Game Code that would end bear hunting in New Jersey after 2020. The Fish and Game Council, which has authority over the hunt, has proposed an amendment to the New Jersey Game Code that suspends the hunt and removes the current Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy from the Game Code.

These changes enable the Council and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to engage in a thorough review of the current scientific data to develop a new policy that promotes public safety and welfare while protecting New Jersey’s wildlife, with a focus on non-lethal bear-management techniques.

“With today’s announcement, we will end the bear hunt under my Administration and develop a new black bear policy that keeps public safety at the forefront of our concerns while protecting wildlife in the State,” said Governor Murphy. “I am grateful to the Fish and Game Council for their commitment to working with the Department of Environmental Protection to address this issue and chart a better way forward.”

“The DEP’s Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW), in coordination with the independent Fish & Game Council, is committed to protecting public safety and wildlife,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “As DFW and the Council embark upon the data and policy analysis necessary to develop a new Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy, we will rely on the best available science, engage often with the public, and work to achieve the best balance. We look forward to continuing our productive dialogue with the Council on this and other important natural resource management priorities.”“New Jersey’s Bear Hunt has had the reputation of being one of the cruelest bear hunts in the country,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “I am very thankful to Governor Murphy for making 2020’s Bear Hunt the last one ever in the state of New Jersey. This inhumane practice has gone on far too long, and it is time to eliminate it in its entirety on public and private lands.”

The rules proposed in today’s New Jersey Register are subject to a 60-day comment period. Pending the public comment process, the current Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy will be removed from the Game Code, which means that no bear hunt may proceed unless and until a new Policy is adopted. The Murphy Administration will prioritize non-lethal bear management strategies in any future Policy. Bear hunting will not proceed after the 2020 season under the Murphy Administration.

In August 2018, Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order directing the DEP to close all public lands under the Department’s jurisdiction to bear hunting for the 2018 season. That order prohibited bear hunting in all State forests, State parks, State recreation areas, State historic sites, State Wildlife Management Areas and State natural areas.

NJ Div of Fish and Wildlife and USDA Remove Plastic Container From Baby Deer’s Head

August 13, 2020

BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife reports that the USDA Wildlife Services a (NJDFW partner) removed a plastic pretzel container stuck on a baby deer’s head on Monday, August 10. Technicians carefully immobilized the fawn deer, removed the container, and released the deer on site.