The goal of Chester Township’s controlled hunting program is to manage wildlife on Township owned park preserve and open space areas without excessively conflicting with park users or park neighbors. The specific objective of the controlled deer hunting program is to reduce the population of white-tailed deer on six Township-owned tracts totaling approximately 700 acres, to reduce agricultural crop damage, to reduce motorist collisions with deer, and to restore or improve forest health by reducing over browse of the forest understory. A multi-year controlled hunting program has been designed to decrease the deer herd on these lands to an average of 20 deer per square mile, in a program consistent with state regulations.
In the Township of Chester, we are fortunate to have many acres of preserved parkland. Some of our parkland is managed by Chester Township, some by Morris County, and some by the State of New Jersey. Separate management plans mean that schedules for hunting can differ from park to park.
Township Parks all follow same deer hunting dates. Township parks include: Evans Family Forest Preserve, Tiger Brook Park, MacGregor Preserve, Highlands Ridge Park, Parker Rd. Preserve, and Tannersbrook Preserve. Hunting is for white-tailed deer only, and requires a township permit. No hunting on Sundays, or on the Thanksgiving Holiday, 12/25 (Christmas Day), and 1/1 (New Year’s Holiday).
Permit bow – November 1–December 31, 2021
Permit muzzleloader – November 29, 2021 to February 12, 2022; Days set per Regulation Set
Six day firearm – December 6-11, 2021
Permit shotgun – December 15, 2021 to February 12, 2022 – Days set per Regulation Set
Winter bow – January 3 to February 19, 2022
NJ State Parks (Black River Wildlife Management Area, Hacklebarney State Park) Hunting Information – At Hacklebarney State Park, hunting allowed on 620-acre parcel of land separated from the day use area by the Black River. The hunting area is accessible from three parking areas on Pottersville Road. No hunting 12/25. No firearm hunting on Sundays; limited bow hunting is allowed on Sundays.
For more information about the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife Service’s hunting programs, click here.
For information on New Jersey’s black bear hunt, including bear permit availability, and information on past years’ bear harvest results, visit:
For the state’s Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/
For more information on black bears, including black bear biology and behavior, and bear safety tips, visit: http://www.njfishandwildlife.