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New Jersey's Black Bear Hunting Season


All state lands, including all state forests, parks, recreation areas, historic sites, natural areas and wildlife management areas, were closed to hunting of black bears as of August 30, 2018 (per Administrative Order 2018-24) and will remain closed for the 2019 season.

Segment A, Archery Only: October 14-16, 2019
Segment A, Archery and Muzzleloader: October 17-19, 2019
Segment B, Firearm Only: December 9-14; and 18-21, 2019 (if extended)
Legal Hunting Hours: ½ Hour Before Sunrise To ½ Hour After Sunset

Bear Season Permits On Sale

Harvest Information
2016 Bear Hunter Survey Results (pdf, 225kb)

General Information

All hunters are reminded to observe the 450-foot "Safety Zone" distance around buildings and playgrounds when firearm hunting and the 150-foot distance when archery hunting (except 450-feet around playgrounds).

There are two segments to the New Jersey black bear hunting season:
Segment A in October, with the first three days for archery only; the final three days for both archery and muzzleloading rifle hunters.
Segment B is for firearms only and is held concurrently with the Six-day Firearm Deer Season in December; the season will be extended the following week if harvest objectives are not met.

  • Participants are required to have a Black Bear Hunting Permit for the zone(s) they hunt in and a valid NJ hunting license.
  • Five bear hunting zones are open to hunting; hunters are restricted to hunting only in the zone(s) for which they possess a permit.
  • Hunters may possess permits for two separate zones. Permits are valid for the entire season (Segments A and B).
  • In Segment A (October) use of bow or firearm is dependent on the day a person is hunting. A permit remains valid in Segment B if no bear is harvested with it in Segment A.

The season bag limit is two bears, but only one bear per permit and per segment. Once a harvest is made, that permit is no longer valid. Hunters can initially purchase two permits for two different zones. If a permit is used (i.e. a bear harvested) in Segment A, a second permit for the same (or different) zone may be obtained for Segment B if available.

Permits are available at licence agents and online.

The NJ bear season will close if the harvest rate of bears tagged that year reaches 30%. In the event of a season closure, notification will be on the permit hotline number (609-292-9192), this page and via the NJ Hunting E-mail list. A season closure will become effective 24 hours from the daily legal closing time of the day on which the decision is made and announced.

In the event the bear harvest after Segment B does not meet a minimum of 20% harvest of bears tagged that year, the season will be extended four days during the following week in December.

2019 Regulations Summary (pdf, 275kb)
Detailed information about the 2019 season is found on pages 12 and 50-52 in the 2019-20 Hunting and Trapping Digest.

Bear Season Frequently Asked Questions
Black Bear Hunting Zones Maps and Descriptions (Updated for 2019)


After Harvesting a Bear — Mandatory Bear Check Requirement

Properly licensed hunters who harvest a black bear shall immediately complete and affix to the bear the "Black Bear Transportation Tag" from their Black Bear Hunting Permit. Information included on the black bear transportation tag shall include: the hunter’s name, address, Conservation ID Number (CID#); date and time of kill; nearest road, county and municipality of kill; and the sex of the black bear.

Successful hunters must take the black bear to a designated check station by 9:00 p.m (October segment) and 7:00 p.m. (December segment) on the day of the kill. Hunters shall surrender the black bear transportation tag and will be issued a legal possession seal.

Any legally killed black bear recovered too late to be brought to a designated black bear check station before closing time above on the date of the kill must be reported immediately by telephone to the Bureau of Law Enforcement (908-735-8240). Hunters must provide their name, address and a telephone number where they can be reached on the telephone message recording device (if a Division representative is not available). Said black bear must be brought to a designated black bear check station the next day to be registered and to receive a legal possession seal. Hunters reporting bears to the law enforcement office after check stations close on Saturday will be contacted by a biologist on Sunday to legally check the bear and collect biological data on Sunday.


Harvest data will be updated daily.
All data is preliminary and subject to revision.
Last updated 7:30 p.m., October 20, 2019.

Bear Hunting Zone Bears Harvested in Segment A, 2019 Segment A Total Bears Harvested in Segment B, 2019 Segment B Total Season Total
10/14 10/15 10/16 10/17 10/18 10/19 12/9 12/10 12/11 12/12 12/13 12/14 12/18 12/19 12/20 12/21
Zone 1 19 13 3 5 3 5 48                       48
Zone 2 35 23 6 5 15 23 107                       107
Zone 3 34 17 7 1 5 17 81                       81
Zone 4 6 5 3 3 4 6 27                       27
Zone 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 2                       2
Total 94 58 19 14 27 53 265                       265
Harvested Bears
Tagged This Year
7 4 0 2 2 3 18                       18
Harvest Rate*
4.7% 7.3% 7.3% 8.7% 10% 12.0% 12.0%                       12.0%
*Based On 150 Tagged Bears Available for Harvest

Black Bear Harvest by County
County Bears Harvested in Segment A, 2019 Segment A Total Bears Harvested in Segment B, 2019 Segment B Total Season Total
10/14 10/15 10/16 10/17 10/18 10/19 12/9 12/10 12/11 12/12 12/14 12/15 12/18 12/19 12/20 12/21
Sussex 45 29 11 8 10 26 129                       129
Warren 19 15 3 4 11 9 61                       61
Passaic 8 5 2 0 2 7 24                       24
Morris 22 9 1 1 4 7 44                       44
Bergen 0 0 1 0 0 1 2                       2
Hunterdon 0 0 1 1 0 3 5                       5
Somerset 0 0 0 0 0 0 0                       0
Mercer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0                       0
Total 94 58 19 14 27 53 265                       265



Frequently Asked Questions
Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy

Hunting Permit Information
Non-Resident Hunting Information
NJ Hunting License Information

Bear Facts - Black Bears in New Jersey

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

Last Updated: November 12, 2019