Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced the opening days of turkey and small game hunting seasons. A variety of hunting seasons are available each fall, including:
The firearms turkey season opens on Saturday, Oct. 5, and continues through Oct. 31.
Small game hunting season opens at 7a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19.
A variety of migratory bird hunting seasons are open on different dates. The 2019-2020 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide contains specific details.
Firearms deer hunting season begins Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Peak hunting occurs during early morning and late afternoon, primarily from mid-October through mid-December.
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 through December. Dates for Junior Pheasant Hunter Training events, including details and registration information, are at www.ct.gov/deep/JuniorHunter. “Hunt on Your Own Pheasant Hunts” are also scheduled for Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day on October 12 at several state areas. A list of areas that will be stocked for junior hunters can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/PheasantHunting.
The Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp is required to hunt all upland game birds (pheasants, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, chukar and Hungarian partridges, and quail), and replaces the pheasant stamp and all wild turkey permits. The stamp costs $28 for resident and non-resident adults and $14 for Connecticut hunters ages 12 to 17. All revenue 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 2019 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide and the 2019-2020 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide, which contain additional information on laws, regulations, and season dates, can be obtained at any town clerk, DEEP Wildlife Division office or 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 at www.ct.gov/deep/HuntingAreaMaps.
The 2019 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 19 – when hunting begins at 7 a.m.), 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 specific permit-required areas and how to obtain permits are on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting; select “Permit Required Hunting Areas” under the 2019 Hunting and Trapping Guide). All daily permits must be obtained through the online Sportsmen’s Licensing System at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing (the only exception is Yale Forest where daily permits must be obtained from JT’s Fly Shop in Union).
Pheasant Prospects Remain Good
This year, DEEP will purchase a total of 20,000 adult pheasants. Six areas will be stocked on Saturday mornings and afternoons and will only be open to hunters with a permit from October 19 through November 16 at Cromwell Meadows WMA, Durham Meadows WMA, Simsbury WMA, Nathan Hale State Forest, Naugatuck State Forest (Hunter’s Mountain Block only), and Skiff Mountain Coop WMA. Details on the number of permits and the designated hunting hours at each area are on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/PheasantHunting. These select areas will be stocked prior to the arrival of each group of hunters 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 a.m. Additional details, such as area allocations and an updated listing of all major stocking areas, are at www.ct.gov/deep/PheasantHunting.
Hunters: Take Precautions Against Mosquitoes and Be Aware of “Hazard Trees”– The State Mosquito Management Program has warned Connecticut residents about the risk of infection by eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV) this season. Residents are being advised to take proper precautions against mosquito bites and to avoid being outdoors from dusk to dawn. Precautions includes applying insect repellent and covering bare skin.
Several years of storms, drought, and insect infestations have severely damaged a significant number of Connecticut’s trees. A “hazard tree” has a structural defect that makes it likely to fail in whole or in part. Such a tree can fall without warning. Follow these guidelines to manage risks associated with hazard trees:
Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dense patches of dead or distressed trees.
Be particularly watchful when it is windy or when branches are covered with snow.
Look up while on trails.
Avoid parking, picnicking, camping, hiking, and hunting in areas where dead trees or dead limbs could fall.