The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds sportsmen that the 2018 fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey opens on September 15.
Fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey extends to the end of December on private lands and state land bowhunting only areas, and to the end of January 2019 on private lands in Deer Management 11 and 12.
On state lands also open to firearms hunting, the archery season runs from September 15 to November 13 and from December 19 through the end of the month.
Starting October 1, 2018, archery deer hunting is allowed on private lands on Sundays in all Deer Management Zones.
“The outlook for the 2018 hunting season is good because mild winters and abundant acorn crops over the past two years have made it easy on deer and challenging for hunters as harvest numbers have been low,” said Andy LaBonte, DEEP Wildlife Division Biologist. “It is expected that acorn production will be lower this year due to gypsy moth infestation, so if pending weather conditions are favorable, harvest numbers this fall should increase from 2017.”
“The best hunting opportunities are in the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns, especially for bowhunters,” continued LaBonte. “Many landowners use the archery deer hunting season as a safe and effective means of reducing deer populations, especially in the more developed areas of the state where firearms hunting may not be feasible.”
Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp: A Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp was established in 2016, which replaces all turkey permits and the Pheasant Stamp, and is required to hunt any resident (non-migratory) game birds, including wild turkey, pheasant, ruffed grouse, partridge, and quail. The cost of the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp is $28 for adults and non-residents and $14 for Connecticut hunters ages 12 through 17. All revenues from the sale of Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps will be deposited into a separate, non-lapsing account to use exclusively for game birds and their habitat.
Wild turkey hunters planning to hunt in fall 2018 will need a 2018 Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. Landowners (who own 10 or more contiguous acres) may take turkeys on their property with the Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp or Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. There is no additional bag limit for turkeys due to the Free Landowner Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
Sunday Archery Deer Hunting: From September 15 to September 30, 2018, Sunday archery deer hunting on private lands is permitted in all but three of the state’s Deer Management Zones – the exceptions are Deer Management Zones 2, 3, and 4A, which are in north central Connecticut, including portions of Hartford, Litchfield, and Tolland Counties. Due to a new public act, starting October 1, 2018, Sunday archery deer hunting on private lands will be permitted in all Deer Management Zones. Wild turkeys CANNOT be taken on Sunday anywhere in the state. The Connecticut Deer Management Zone map can be found on the DEEP website at http://go.usa.gov/3MNPT.
Harvest Tags: When hunters harvest a deer or turkey, they are required to fill out a Harvest Tag, sign it, and keep the Harvest Tag with the animal until it is processed for consumption. Copies of Harvest Tags and instructions for their use are on page 34 of the 2018 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, as well as on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.
Report Harvest: Hunters are required to report their deer and turkey harvest within 24 hours either on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting) or by calling a toll free number (1-877-337-4868). Deer hunters in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12 who take advantage of the Replacement Antlerless and Earn-a-Buck tag programs must complete this same tagging and reporting procedure prior to going to a check station that issues replacement tags. A listing of replacement tag vendors is available on the DEEP website. After reporting their harvest via the Internet or by telephone, hunters will be given a confirmation number to write on their Harvest Tag. This confirmation number serves as proof that the harvest was legally reported.
Wear Fluorescent Orange: Bowhunters are reminded that they must wear 400 square inches of fluorescent orange while walking to and from their tree stands during the firearms deer hunting season. However, once in a tree stand, elevated at least 10 feet off the ground, bowhunters may remove the fluorescent orange clothing. All private land archery hunters are required to carry a DEEP consent form signed by the landowner and dated for the current season. Consent forms can be found in the Hunting Guide or at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting. Deer permits and Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps can be purchased online at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing or at participating town halls, vendors, and at some DEEP offices. Hunters should consult the DEEP website for an up-to-date listing of new state lands open to archery hunting.