South Jersey Hunting: Pheasant and Quail Seasons Kick Off Saturday
The eagerly anticipated ringneck pheasant and bobwhite quail seasons commence tomorrow at 8 am.
For the opener, 5,790 pheasants will have been released on 24 statewide wildlife management areas (WMAs), the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA), and Fort Dix.
For the bobs, 1200 (600 each) will have been stocked on the two WMA where quail hunting is still legal, the Peaslee (Cumberland County) and Greenwood (Ocean County) tracts.
Birds will continue to be stocked the evening previous for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday hunting (it’s legal to hunt Monday through Saturday) through Saturday, November 26. The remainder of the stocking schedule which concludes New Year’s Eve will see birds released the night prior for December 1, 13, 17, 20, 22, 24, 29, and 31.
The exception is Fort Dix, which will be stocked for November 19, 22, 24, and December 13 and 17.
When all is said and done, a total of 57,480 ringnecks and 11,000 bobwhites will have been liberated.
A full list of the dates and respective numbers of birds stocked can be found on page 55 of the 2022-23 New Jersey Hunting & Trapping Digest. Maps of the fields stocked are available by scanning the QR code on page 56 in the Digest or by visiting njfishandwildlife.com and going to the hunting page link.
It’s no secret that the WMAs are crowded on Saturdays and Thanksgiving Day. When hunting on Saturday is on our schedule, we remedy this by hunting in the afternoon when the pressure is significantly diminished. Sure, fewer birds are available, but also a lot fewer hunters. Combing the fields on Tuesdays and Thursdays will see about half, maybe even slightly less, than the Saturday scenario. Many a time by late morning we’ve had fields pretty much to ourselves. And yes, there are still birds around.
The daily limit is two ringnecks and four quail. With the exception of this Saturday’s 8 am opening time, hunting hours are from sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. The $40 Pheasant/Quail stamp must be in possession to hunt birds on the stocked tracts.
Blaze orange vests or jackets and caps must be worn.
The seasons will be temporarily closed on December 5-10 and 14.