Beginning on September 28, hunters in New Jersey ages 10 and older will be allowed to use air guns to target rabbits and squirrels.

In this article posted on, The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) noted modern air guns are quieter and lighter than shotguns, but can be equally effective when it comes to dispatching rabbits, hares and gray squirrels when the state’s small-game hunting season opens this coming Saturday.

“Squirrels are probably our most abundant yet underutilized small game species,” said DFW spokesman Larry Hajna. “Squirrel hunting with shotguns doesn’t draw the interest of rifle or air gun hunting, which adds a level of marksmanship to the sport. We expect that this season will not only be popular with youth hunters but adults as well.”

The DFW defines an air rifle as a firearm, meaning someone needs a firearm’s purchaser’s ID to buy one. Legal guns must have a muzzle velocity of at least 600 feet per second and calibers between .177 and .22.