White-tailed Deer Management Program
Program Rules & Regulations
REVISED May 2013
All Morris County Park Commission Rules and Regulations will be strictly enforced except as modified by the rules outlined below. Attached is a summary of the Morris County Park Commission’s Rules and Regulations. A complete set of Rules and Regulations can be viewed at the Morris County Park Police Headquarters or at the Morris County Park Commission Headquarters.
Notice for Almatong Wellfield Hunters
The following three rules are in place for all hunters assigned to the Almatong Wellfield. Almatong Wellfield hunters must abide by these three rules in addition to all other rules outlined herein.
- The use of all crossbows is prohibited at the Almatong Wellfield unless permitted under ADA standards.
- All hunting at the Almatong Wellfield must take place from an elevated tree stand that is attached to the tree at least six feet above the ground.
- The driving of deer at the Almatong Wellfield is prohibited.
New Jersey State Laws and Division of Fish and Wildlife Regulations
- All hunters with Morris County Park Commission issued access permits must abide by all New Jersey codes, rules, regulations, zones, license and permit requirements applicable to the hunting of deer and administered by the State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (NJDFW) including but not limited to bag limits and the checking of deer using the NJDFW’s Automated Game Check System. In instances where Morris County Park Commission rules, regulations and procedures are more restrictive, all hunters with access permits must abide by the enhanced restrictions in addition to all applicable New Jersey codes, rules, and regulations.
- All shotgun hunters with access permits must wear a cap made of solid daylight fluorescent orange or an outer garment containing at least 200 square inches of fluorescent orange material visible from all sides at all times while participating in the Deer Management Program. A camouflage-orange hat by itself is not adequate.
- All bow hunters with access permits must wear hunter orange if the season overlaps with a shotgun season at that park location.
Annual Access Permits
- In order to participate in the Morris County Park Commission’s Deer Management Program, a Morris County Park Commission issued annual access permit is required. Any person found hunting on Morris County Park Commission land without an annual access permit will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.The permit must be carried on the hunter’s person whenever (s)he is on Morris County Park Commission land for the purposes of the Deer Management Program.
- Hunters must apply to the Morris County Park Commission each year for an annual access permit according to procedures established by the Morris County Park Commission. Participation in the Deer Management Program the previous year is not a guarantee that the applicant will be selected for an access permit the following year, though participants that show satisfactory effort and results as determined by the Morris County Park Commission will be given preference to receive a permit over new applicants or those hunters with unsatisfactory attendance and results.
- The annual access permit will indicate the type of weapon that is allowed by the permit (firearm or bow) and the assigned park location in which the permit holder is permitted to hunt. A permit will only allow for the use of one weapon in one park – additional permits are required if a hunter wishes to use a different weapon to hunt and/or hunt in another location.
- The annual access permit only allows for the hunting of deer by the means and on the dates specified on the permit. All other hunting is strictly prohibited. Hunting on Sundays is prohibited in County Parks by State Law.
- All hunters will be provided with an armband identification holder which must be worn at all times while participating in any Deer Management Program-related activity (hunting, scouting, hiking to or sitting in tree stands, etc.) on Morris County Park Commission property. The armband has a clear plastic pocket in which to hold the hunter’s annual access permit. The annual access permit must be placed within the armband in such a way as to display the individual’s name and permit number for the specific park location. There is a $20 replacement fee for missing armbands.
- In accordance with State requirements, a current New Jersey State hunting license and current applicable New Jersey State Deer Management Zone permit(s) must be displayed on the hunter’s person while hunting in any designated Morris County Park Commission hunting area.
- Under no circumstance shall an individual without a Morris County Park Commission issued annual access permit accompany a hunter with an access permit while (s)he is on Morris County Park Commission property for the purpose of participating in the Deer Management Program.
- Any hunter with a Morris County Park Commission access permit that is under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a licensed hunter who is over the age of 18 and holds a valid Morris County Park Commission annual access permit for the same Park.
- Annual access permits are not transferrable. Any hunter issued an annual access permit that will not be able to utilize their permit for the year in question must contact the Natural Resources Division to relinquish their hunting privileges for that season. Hunters that show no participation effort for more than one year will be removed from the program. Hunters that only use one of two permits for more than one year will only be eligible for one permit in future program seasons. Hunters that forfeit their permits as specified herein will not be penalized.
Designated Hunting Areas and Safety Zones
- No hunter shall have a nocked arrow or loaded firearm while within 450 feet of any building or school playground. This requirement applies to both firearm and bow hunters.
- Hunters with access permits are responsible for being aware of all Park boundaries, safety zones, and restricted areas.
- Hunters with access permits must obey all posted signs. No hunting shall be permitted in any safety zone or restricted area.
- Hunters with access permits shall not enter safety zones or private property for any reason. If a hunter needs to access a restricted area for any reason, (s)he must contact the Morris County Park Police.
- The driving of deer is permitted but the hunters responsible for moving deer may not be armed.
- Under no circumstance is the driving of deer from non-designated hunting areas or private property permitted.
- The driving of deer from Morris County Park Commission property to adjacent areas is prohibited.
- Unless a more specific schedule is specified, hunting may begin one half hour before sunrise and must end one half hour after sunset. Hunters with access permits shall not be in the Park more than 30 minutes before the designated hunting start time, and more than 30 minutes after the designated hunting end time.
- A hunter with an access permit who must remain in the Park for more than 30 minutes after the end of designated hunting hours in order to track a wounded deer or find a lost person must inform the Morris County Park Police directly by cell phone or in person.
Handling of Weapons
- Hunters using crossbows must do so from an elevated tree stand that is attached to the tree at least six feet above the ground. Crossbows must be unloaded, except when the hunter is in the elevated tree stand.
- Firearm hunters are permitted to utilize both shotguns and muzzleloaders but must abide by NJDFW requirements regarding the use of weapons during designated hunting seasons in the applicable deer management zone and must hold all necessary NJDFW permits for the use of the weapon.
- The NJDFW specifies the permitted weapon type; required gauge, caliber or draw weight; type of projectile(s) permitted; and necessary firearm sights and bow releases for each hunting season. All hunters must abide by these requirements.
- No firearm, arrow, or bolt shall be discharged across maintained Morris County Park Commission access roads or official mapped trails.
- No firearm, bow, arrow, or bolt shall be left unattended at any time.
Tree Stand Requirements
- Only commercially manufactured hang-on, climbing, and ladder tree stands are permitted. Such stands shall be attached to the tree by use of a cable, chain or strap to minimize injury to the tree.
- No tree stand shall be located within 50 feet of maintained Morris County Park Commission service or access roads, marked trails, or public roads.
- A tree stand must be marked in an obvious location with the owner’s Morris County Park Commission annual access permit number for the current program season in characters that are visible from the ground. Unidentified stands will be confiscated!
- A tree stand and access devices are permitted to remain in a tree for the duration of the Morris County Park Commission hunting season in that specific park location. No stand or access devices shall be placed in a tree for more than two weeks before the season begins, nor shall a stand or access devices remain in a tree for more than two weeks after the last day of hunting in the park indicated on the hunter’s access permit or after the revocation of a hunter’s access permit.
- A hunter may leave only one tree stand in a Park for which they have an access permit even if the hunter holds both a firearm and bow permit for the same Park. A hunter may use additional hang-on, climbing, or ladder tree stands and access devices in that Park, but they must be removed on a daily basis.
- Access to and from a tree stand is limited to commercially manufactured screw-in steps, strap-on steps, or climbing sticks. Tree gaff climbers, spikes, and nail-on steps are not permitted. A hunter must adhere to the manufacturer’s safety recommendations when using a tree stand and its safety devices.
- A hunter must use a safety harness while in the tree stand, and must use a haul line to raise and lower the firearm and/or bow.
- Removal of vegetation to gain access to, improve line of sight for, or hang a tree stand shall be kept to a minimal amount. Excessive removal as determined by the Morris County Park Commission may result in the revocation of the responsible hunter’s access permit.
- Only reflective tacks, clips, or twist ties may selectively be placed in trees to mark access routes, and must be removed within two weeks of the end of the Morris County Park Commission hunting season in that specific park location. All flagging is prohibited.
Access and Parking
- The annual access permit will specify whether there is a park check-in requirement. If there is such a requirement, hunters must check in with Morris County Park Commission staff at areas designated on the hunt map before they can access the park. Hunters must also check out with staff when leaving the park to report that they have safely exited and report any deer that were harvested. Hunters must also comply with NJDFW Automated Game Check System requirements.
- There shall be no trespassing on private property to gain access to any designated Morris County Park Commission hunting areas.
- All hunters with access permits will be made aware of all designated parking areas available to them within the Park prior to the start of the program season. Maps specifying the same will be supplied along with the annual access permit. Failure to park in designated areas may result in fines or the revocation of a hunter’s access permit. Any hunter with an access permit that chooses to park outside the boundaries of the Park or along a roadside should familiarize themselves with municipal regulations. The Morris County Park Commission will not be held responsible for any tickets or fines issued to a hunter for noncompliance with local traffic ordinances
- Designated parking areas may include areas next to access gates. In these areas, hunters must park in such a way that will allow access to park and emergency vehicles
- Upon receipt of the annual access permit, each hunter will be issued a vehicle identification tag for use during the program season. Each tag will be marked with the appropriate permit number. This vehicle identification tag must be displayed on the dashboard and be clearly visible whenever hunters with access permits are on Morris County Park Commission property for the purpose of participating in the Deer Management Program. Carpoolers are encouraged to display their vehicle tag in addition to the driver’s for the purposes of tracking participation.
- Baiting on Morris County Park Commission property is legal but not encouraged.
- Baiting within safety zones and non-designated hunting areas is prohibited.
- The use of any type of container or feeder to dispense or hold bait is prohibited.
- A maximum of five (5) gallons of non-manufactured, natural baits, such as fruits, vegetables, and shelled grains may be used. The use of minerals, manufactured supplements, liquids, blocks and licks, including molasses is prohibited.
- No baiting is permitted for more than two weeks before the park area deer hunting season begins in that specific park location.
- Field dressing of harvested deer is restricted to areas located at least 25 feet away from Morris County Park Commission trails, access roads, parking areas, and buildings.
- The purpose of the MCPC’s deer management program is to manage the deer population to promote a healthy, native, ecosystem on park properties. The goal of the program is the harvest of female deer, which can be accomplished through the targeted harvest of antlerless deer. The MCPC reserves the right to remove any hunters that are not working towards the goals of the program in terms of focusing harvest efforts on antlerless deer as it deems necessary. The MCPC monitors and verifies all harvest results with the NJDFW records.
- For each antlerless deer harvested, the responsible hunter will receive a $5 credit that will be applied to the following year’s permit fees up to a maximum of $30 per permit. To qualify for this credit, tag numbers must be provided and the sex and harvest location reported to the NJDFW must correspond with the information provided to the MCPC.
- All hunters with access permits will be mailed an end-of-season harvest summary form. Completion of this form and its return by the specified deadline is mandatory. Even those hunters that fail to harvest a deer for the season are required to return this form. Hunters who fail to submit this form or who provide the Morris County Park Commission with false information will be removed from the program.
- Hunters must keep track of the NJDFW Automated Game Check System confirmation numbers received for all deer harvested on Morris County Park Commission property. This information must be submitted along with the end-of-season harvest summary form and is subject to verification against NJDFW records.
- All motorized off-road vehicles, including ATVs, are strictly prohibited from all Morris County Park Commission property.
- The driving of any vehicle on unauthorized roads is prohibited.
- Use or possession of alcoholic beverages while participating in the Deer Management Program is strictly prohibited.
- Any form of littering is prohibited including but not limited to shotgun shell casings.
Participation in the Morris County Park Commission’s White-tailed Deer Management Program is not a right. The Morris County Park Commission reserves the right to suspend or reject individuals as it deems necessary. Any hunter found violating any of the above stated rules will have their annual access permit and hunting privileges within the Morris County Park Commission suspended indefinitely.