Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced the Opening Days of fall firearms hunting seasons. Peak hunting during these seasons occurs during early morning and late afternoon, primarily during the period from mid-October through mid-December.
The fall firearms turkey season opens on Saturday, October 7, and continues through October 31.
Regular waterfowl season opens on Saturday, October 14.
Small game hunting season opens at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 21, for pheasant, quail, ruffed grouse, chukar and Hungarian partridges, and cottontail rabbit.
Firearms deer hunting season begins Wednesday, November 15.
Junior Hunter Training Days: Junior hunters have the opportunity to hunt on special designated days for pheasants, waterfowl, and deer. DEEP, in cooperation with local sportsmen’s organizations, will be holding several special Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Events in September, October, and November; the first event is scheduled for Saturday, September 30, at Bozrah Road and Gun, in Lebanon. “Hunt on Your Own Pheasant Hunts” are also scheduled for Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day on October 14 at four state areas in northwestern Connecticut, which will be stocked with pheasants thanks to the Northwest Connecticut Sportsman’s Council. Dates for Junior Hunter Training days, including details and registration information about pheasant hunting events, are at www.ct.gov/deep/JuniorHunter.
The Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp replaces the Pheasant Stamp AND turkey permits, and is required to hunt pheasants, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, chukar and Hungarian partridges, and quail. The stamp costs $28 for adults and $14 for Connecticut hunters ages 12 to 17. All revenues from the sale of Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps are deposited into a dedicated, non-lapsing account to use exclusively for game birds and their habitat.
Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp: The Connecticut Duck Stamp has been merged with the HIP permit into a single Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp, which costs $17 ($9 for resident 12 – 17 year olds). It is required for anyone hunting waterfowl, rails, snipe, woodcock, and crows. All proceeds from the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp go into a dedicated account that is used solely for wetland habitat management and acquisition or improving hunter access.
The 2017 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide and the 2017-2018 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide, which contain additional information on laws, regulations, and season dates, can be obtained at any town clerk or DEEP Wildlife Division office, or they can be found on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting. Maps denoting many state-owned hunting areas and most permit-required hunting areas also may be obtained from the DEEP website.
2017 hunting licenses, permits, and stamps can be purchased directly online at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing or at one of the many participating town halls, outdoor equipment retailers, and DEEP offices.
Small Game Season and Permit-required Information
With the exception of opening day (October 21-when hunting begins at 7:00 AM), small game hunting is allowed for most species from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. Waterfowl hunting is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
Permit-required Hunting: In addition to most state forests and wildlife management areas, small game and waterfowl hunting will be available on a number of areas established under the permit-required hunting program. Permit-required areas are open to public hunting via a daily permit system and are made available through the cooperation of private landowners and local sportsmen’s clubs. Details on obtaining permits are on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting; select “Permit Required Hunting Areas” under the 2017 Hunting and Trapping Guide). Sportsmen wishing to hunt any designated permit-required hunting area should consult the DEEP website for locations of vendors issuing daily permits (information published in the print version of the 2017 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide has been revised and is updated on the website). Daily permits are available on-line for most of the permit-required areas, except for NU King’s Island and Yale Forest. Please check the online Sportsmen’s Licensing System (www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing) for further details and a complete list of available areas.
Pheasant Prospects Remain Good
This year, DEEP will purchase a total of 15,000 adult pheasants. Seven areas will be stocked on Saturday mornings and afternoons and will only be open to hunters with a Saturday AM (9:00 AM -12:00 noon) or Saturday PM (1:30 PM – 4:30 PM) permit from October 21 through November 18 at Cromwell Meadows WMA, Durham Meadows WMA, Housatonic WMA, and Simsbury WMA, and from October 21 through November 11 at Nathan Hale State Forest, Naugatuck State Forest (Hunter’s Mountain Block only), and Skiff Mountain Coop WMA. These select areas will be stocked prior to the morning permit and during the afternoon break to assure hunters that birds will be available at these areas on the weekend. All hunters wishing to use these areas on Saturdays must have a Saturday permit and will only be able to be present during the specified time on the daily permit. Saturday permits for these areas will only be available on the Online Sportsmen Licensing System the Monday preceding the Saturday hunts starting at 12:01 AM.
Pheasants will not be stocked at Cockaponset State Forest, Franklin WMA, Mad River Dam, Pease Brook WMA, Pootatuck State Forest, Roraback WMA, and Woodstock Permit-required Area. Additional details, such as area allocations and an updated listing of all major stocking areas, are at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.