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Deer Hunting Seasons

2020 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide

White-tailed Deer Buck

Deer Hunting: DEEP provides hunters with a variety of opportunities to harvest deer in Connecticut. Unique deer seasons are based on equipment used to harvest deer. These seasons include:

To participate in the archery deer season, a hunter must purchase a Small Game and Deer Archery Permit. Whereas all firearms season hunters must first purchase a Firearms Hunting License and a separate permit which corresponds to a specific equipment type. To hunt with a revolver, a hunter must purchase a Firearms Hunting License, Private Land Shotgun/Rifle Deer Permit, and a Revolver Deer Endorsement.

Review additional deer hunting information, such as chronic wasting disease, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, replacement tags, prohibited activities, hunter surveys, and more.

 

Archery Deer Season

Season Dates

  • Jan. 1 - Jan. 31 Private Land (Zones 11-12)
  • Sept. 15 - Dec. 31 Private Land (All zones)
  • Sept. 15 - Nov. 17 State Land
  • Dec. 23 - Dec. 31 State Land
  • Sept. 15 - Dec. 31 State Land Bowhunting Only Areas

Bag Limit: 2 either sex and 2 antlerless (4 total); additional bag of 1 either sex and 1 antlerless (2 total) during the Jan. 1-31 season on private lands in zones 11 and 12.

License and Permits: Small Game and Deer Archery Permit. All bowhunters must show proof when purchasing a small game and deer archery permit that they have completed the CE/FS bowhunting course (since 1982) or its equivalent from another state or country. If you have previously purchased a 2002, or later, Connecticut bowhunting permit you have already provided such proof.

Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.

Sunday Hunting: Archery deer hunting is allowed on private land only on Sundays in ALL Deer Management Zones (zone map). All archery deer hunting on Sundays must take place at least 40 yards away from blazed hiking trails.

Legal Bows: For the purposes of hunting deer and turkey, legal bows include long, recurved, or compound bows with a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds and crossbows. Mechanical string release devices are permitted. Projectiles coated with any drug, poison or tranquilizing substance are prohibited.

Crossbows: The use of crossbows for hunting deer, turkey and all other species is permitted. Legal crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and permanent fixed rifle type stock with a functional mechanical safety device. Adjustable crossbow stocks are permitted, but folding stocks are not. The bolt (arrow) length must be at least 18 inches, excluding the broadhead. Crossbows are considered loaded when fully drawn with a bolt in place. Telescopic sights are permitted.

Arrowheads: Legal arrowheads for hunting deer and turkey must have at least two blades and must be at least 7/8 inch wide at its widest point. Arrowheads that are designed to open on impact are legal provided they meet the above requirement.

Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.

Special Conditions:

Possession of a Firearm - Possession of a firearm while archery hunting is prohibited.

Private Land Permission - Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for the current season must be carried while hunting.

State Land Hunting - See the CT Interactive Hunting Area Map for a listing of lands open to archery deer hunting. Certain state lands that do not allow firearms deer hunting are designated as bowhunting only areas. These lands are open to deer bowhunting during the state land shotgun and muzzleloader deer seasons (Nov. 18 - Dec. 22).

Fluorescent orange  - Bowhunters are required to wear 400 sq. in. of fluorescent orange from Nov. 18 - Dec. 31. Bowhunters may remove fluorescent orange clothing while in a tree stand at least 10 feet off the ground.

Decoys - Decoys may be used during the early and late archery deer seasons, but must be covered with 400 sq. in. of fluorescent orange during transport. Decoys cannot be used during the Nov. 18 - Dec. 31 time period.

Replacement Tags - Available for this permit type.

Notice: Saturday, November 7 through Saturday, November 14, 2020, (excluding Sunday) are Junior Deer Hunter Training Days and junior hunters with firearms deer permits may be hunting with firearms.

 

Archery-only Lottery Deer Hunting

Season Dates

  • Sept. 15 - Dec. 31

Bag Limit: 2 either sex and 2 antlerless; hunters will use the archery deer permit tags.

License and Permits: Archery deer/small game license and an archery-only lottery permit. Only one archery-only lottery deer permit may be bought each year.

Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.

Legal Bows: Description of legal bows and arrows for deer hunting. Mechanical string release devices are permitted.

Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.

 

State Land Lottery Deer Hunting

A new regulation concerning the A and B Deer Hunting Seasons DOES NOT currently apply to the 2020 Deer Lottery Areas because the lottery has already been conducted. The 2021 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide will contain details regarding the 2021 Deer Lottery.

Season Dates

  • Nov. 18 - Nov. 27 State Land and Controlled Hunt "A" Season
  • Nov. 28 - Dec. 8 State Land and Controlled Hunt "B" Season 

Bag Limit: 1 either sex on state land areas; variable on Controlled Hunt Areas.

License and Permits: Firearms hunting license and a state land lottery permit or a controlled hunt area lottery permit. Only one Firearms State Land Lottery Deer permit may be bought each year.

Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.

Legal Firearms: 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Shotgun must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells. Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.

Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.

Special Conditions: Junior Deer Hunter Training Days through Saturday, November 7 and Saturday, November 14, 2020, (excluding Sunday).

 

State Land No-Lottery Deer Hunting

New Regulation: No-lottery A and B Deer Hunting Seasons have been combined. Regardless of the permit (A or B Season) printed on your license, you can hunt deer from November 18 – December 8, 2020 (3 weeks total).

Season Dates:

  • Nov. 18 - Dec. 8

Bag Limit: 1 either sex

License and Permits: Firearms hunting license and either a State Land “A” No-Lottery permit or a State Land “B” No-Lottery permit. You may buy only one type of State Land Shotgun Deer Permit. So, you should not purchase a State Land No-Lottery Permit if you plan on applying for a State Land Lottery or Controlled Hunt Lottery Permit.

Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.

Legal Firearms: 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Shotgun must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells. Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.

Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.

Open Areas: See the CT Interactive Hunting Area Map 

Special Conditions: Junior Deer Hunter Training Days through Saturday, November 7 and Saturday, November 14, 2020, (excluding Sunday).

 

Private Land Shotgun/Rifle/Revolver Deer Hunting

Season Dates:

  • Nov. 18 - Dec. 8

Bag Limits:

  • Statewide (except Zones 2 and 4A): 1 either sex and 1 antlerless
  • Zones 2 and 4A: 1 either sex
  • Zone 7: 1 additional antlerless
  • Zones 11 and 12: 2 additional antlerless

License and Permits: Firearms hunting license and Private Land Shotgun/Rifle Deer permit. Note: Revolver Deer Endorsement is also required if using a revolver.

Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.

Legal Firearms: 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Centerfire rifle 6mm (.243 caliber) or larger or revolver .357 caliber or larger may be used if the landholding is 10 or more acres and the landowner has authorized use on the consent form. To use a revolver, you must also have Revolver Deer Endorsement for the current season. Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted. No minimum acreage required for shotguns or muzzleloaders.

Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.

Special Conditions:

Zones 2 and 4A Restriction - “Antlerless Only” tag NOT valid in deer management zones 2 and 4A. Only the “Either-sex” deer tag will be valid in zones 2 and 4A.

Private Land Permission - Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for the current season must be carried while hunting.

Replacement Tags - Available for this permit type.

Junior Deer Hunter Training Days - Saturday, November 7 through Saturday, November 14, 2020, (excluding Sunday).

 

Landowner Deer Hunting

Season Dates:

  • Nov. 2 - Dec. 31

Bag Limit: 2 deer; 1 either sex and 1 antlerless

Free Landowner Permits are available only to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land. Additional permits are available for their spouses, lineal descendants, parents, grandparents, and siblings. Archery deer hunting is allowed on private land only on Sundays in ALL Deer Management Zones (zone map).

License and Permits: Free Landowner Deer Permit. Appropriate hunting license required if landowner does not live on qualifying property. Note: Revolver Deer Endorsement is also required if using a revolver. For hunting with a bow or crossbow, landowners must have a certificate indicating successful completion of a Connecticut Conservation Education/Firearms Safety bowhunting course (or recognized equivalent).

Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.

Legal Firearms: 12, 16, or 20 gauge shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Centerfire rifle 6mm (.243 caliber) or larger, revolver .357 caliber or larger, or muzzleloader (.45 caliber minimum). To use a revolver, you must also have Revolver Deer Endorsement for the current season. Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.

Legal Bows: For the purposes of hunting deer and turkey, legal bows include long, recurved, or compound bows with a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds and crossbows. Mechanical string release devices are permitted. Projectiles coated with any drug, poison or tranquilizing substance are prohibited.

Crossbows: The use of crossbows for hunting deer, turkey and all other species is permitted. Legal crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and permanent fixed rifle type stock with a functional mechanical safety device. Adjustable crossbow stocks are permitted, but folding stocks are not. The bolt (arrow) length must be at least 18 inches, excluding the broadhead. Crossbows are considered loaded when fully drawn with a bolt in place. Telescopic sights are permitted.

Arrowheads: Legal arrowheads for hunting deer and turkey must have at least two blades and must be at least 7/8 inch wide at its widest point. Arrowheads that are designed to open on impact are legal provided they meet the above requirement.

Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.

Fluorescent Orange - Landowners hunting deer on their own land are not required to wear 400 square inches of fluorescent orange, but their spouses, lineal descendants, parents, grandparents, and siblings are required to do so.

 

State Land Deer Muzzleloader Hunting

Season Dates:

  • Dec. 9 - Dec. 22

Bag Limit: 1 either sex

License and Permits: Firearms hunting license and State Land Muzzleloader Deer Permit.

Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.

Legal Firearms: Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.

Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.

Special Conditions: State Land Hunting - See the CT Interactive Hunting Area Map for a listing of state lands open to muzzleloader deer hunting.

 

Private Land Deer Muzzleloader Hunting

Season Dates:

  • Dec. 9 - Dec. 31

Bag Limits:

  • Statewide (except Zones 2 and 4A): 1 either sex and 1 antlerless
  • Zones 2 and 4A: 1 either sex
  • Zone 7: 1 additional antlerless
  • Zones 11 and 12: 2 additional antlerless

License and Permits: Firearms hunting license and Private Land Muzzleloader Deer Permit.

Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.

Legal Firearms: Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted. No minimum acreage required for muzzleloaders.

Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.

Special Conditions:

Zones 2, 4B Restriction - “Antlerless Only” tag NOT valid in deer management zones 2 and 4B. Only the “Either-sex” deer tag will be valid in zones 2 and 4B.

Private Land Permission - Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting.

Replacement Tags - Available for this permit type.

 

Deer Lottery

A lottery is conducted to award a limited number of permits for deer hunting on certain state lands and controlled hunt areas. To hunt these areas you must apply for a deer lottery permit.

A new regulation concerning the A and B Deer Hunting Seasons DOES NOT currently apply to the 2020 Deer Lottery Areas because the lottery has already been conducted. The 2021 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide will contain details regarding the 2021 Deer Lottery.

State Land and Controlled Hunt Lottery

Season Dates
Nov. 18 – Nov. 27 Lottery “A” Season
Nov. 28 – Dec. 8 Lottery “B” Season

Bag Limits: 1 either sex on state land areas; variable on controlled hunt areas.

Hunting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License and Permits: Firearms hunting license and a state land lottery permit or a controlled hunt area lottery permit. Only one of these permit types may be bought each year. Lottery permits for state land and controlled hunt areas may be applied for starting January 1. Persons rejected for a lottery permit may obtain a state land no-lottery permit.

Legal Firearms: 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Shotgun must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells. Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.

Archery-only Lottery

The Archery-only Lottery distributes a limited number of permits, providing access to new controlled hunt areas and allowing landowners to develop hunt programs that may consist of hunters attending a mandatory pre-hunt meeting and/or passing a background check. The archery-only lottery will not affect the hunter’s ability to receive a firearms lottery permit nor will it impact the ability to bow hunt other state lands. In the future, when multiple archery-only lottery areas are available, like the firearms lottery, bowhunters will only be allowed to receive one archery-only area permit. Follow existing deer lottery application instructions for the archery-only controlled hunt lottery. The archery-only lottery will run through February 29 and no permits will be available to youth hunters 12 to 17 years old.

Season Dates: Sept. 15 – Dec. 31

Bag Limits: 2 either sex and 2 antlerless; hunters will use the archery deer permit tags.

Hunting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License and Permits: Archery deer/small game License. Only one of this permit type may be received each year. Lottery permits for archery only controlled hunt areas may be applied for starting on January 1. Persons rejected in the archery-only lottery may hunt any state or controlled hunt area that is open to bowhunting. The archery-only controlled hunt lottery is completely separate from the firearms deer lottery.

Legal Bows: Description of legal bows and arrows for deer hunting. Mechanical string release devices are permitted.  

Deer Lottery Instructions

Starting January 1, 2020, lottery permit applications can be submitted online beginning at 12:01 AM (online application instructions), or on January 2, 2020 (during office hours) at select DEEP locations (79 Elm St, Hartford; Franklin WMA, North Franklin; Sessions Woods WMA, Burlington; Eastern District HQ, Marlborough; Marine HQ, Old Lyme; Western District HQ, Harwinton). It is recommended that when applying for the deer lottery through the online licensing system, use a desktop computer or switch to the desktop view on your mobile device.

ADULT licensed firearms hunters over the age of 17 can apply individually or as a group. The maximum number of hunters in a group is four. Applicants may apply for up to six areas and can designate a preference for either the “A” or “B” season.

Upon submission of your application, you will know instantly whether you are successful. If successful, the permit for the area and season will automatically be added to your “shopping cart.” If you apply as a group, the associated permit will also be added to each group member’s “shopping cart.” The permit may be purchased at the time of selection or at a later date. Each group member is responsible for purchasing their own permit. All permits must be purchased by February 29. If a permit is not purchased by that date, it will be forfeited.

YOUTH licensed firearms hunters (12 through 17 years old) can only apply individually. All youths will apply by means of a separate lottery program called Youth Lottery Permits. Applicants can apply and receive their area of choice, unless quotas are filled. Youth permits are purchased at the end of the transaction. We recommend that the adult hunter participate in the lottery first before purchasing the Youth Lottery Permit. This will ensure that the youth and adult receive a permit for the same area.

All sales are final and DEEP is unable to switch hunting areas or refund fees.

Select lottery permits not purchased by February 29 will be made available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting March 15. Unsold lottery permits can be purchased online or at select DEEP offices up until sold out or the season ends. All unsold lottery permits must be purchased at the end of the transaction. (Instructions for purchasing unsold lottery permits)

Lottery questions? Email michael.gregonis@ct.gov or call the Wildlife Division's Deer Program at 860-418-5957.

2020 Deer Lottery "A" Season Areas

SF - State Forest WMA - Wildlife Management Area SP - State Park

Area

Town(s)

Acres

Area 27 (Permit quota: 22)
Camp Columbia SF
Morris 470

Area 51 (Permit Quota : 70)
Yale Forest
No access during Junior Hunter Training Days.
Harvest of coyotes and foxes prohibited.

Union* 7,700
Area 53 (Permit quota: 70)
NU-Maromas (Co-op)
Middletown  1,400
Area 54 (Permit quota: 35)
NU-Skiff Mt.
Sharon 710
Area 58 (Permit quota: 40)
MDC Nepaug Reservoir - Valentine/Pine Hill Block
Hunters must be at least 18 years of age to apply for this area. Selected hunters will be required to attend a mandatory pre-hunt meeting on September 10, 2020, at 6:30 PM at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington (directions); pass a background check conducted by MDC; and sign a waiver of liability before receiving access for hunting. If a hunter cannot meet these requirements, please do not apply. Successful hunters will receive pre-hunt information by August 15. If notification is not received by this date, hunters must contact Michael.gregonis@ct.gov.
New Hartford* 1,400
Area 64 (Permit quota: 40)
MDC Barkhamsted Reservoir - East Block
Hunters must be at least 18 years of age to apply for this area. Selected hunters will be required to attend a mandatory pre-hunt meeting on September 10, 2020, at 6:30 PM at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington (directions); pass a background check conducted by MDC; and sign a waiver of liability before receiving access for hunting. If a hunter cannot meet these requirements, please do not apply. Successful hunters will receive pre-hunt information by August 15. If notification is not received by this date, hunters must contact Michael.gregonis@ct.gov.
Barkhamsted* 4,282
Area 67 (Permit quota: 40)
MDC Barkhamsted Reservoir - West Block
Hunters must be at least 18 years of age to apply for this area. Selected hunters will be required to attend a mandatory pre-hunt meeting on September 10, 2020, at 6:30 PM at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington (directions); pass a background check conducted by MDC; and sign a waiver of liability before receiving access for hunting. If a hunter cannot meet these requirements, please do not apply. Successful hunters will receive pre-hunt information by August 15. If notification is not received by this date, hunters must contact Michael.gregonis@ct.gov.
Barkhamsted* 3,700
 * and adjacent town or towns

2020 Deer Lottery "A" and "B" Season Areas

SF - State Forest WMA - Wildlife Management Area SP - State Park

Area

Town(s)

Acres

Area 26 (Permit quotas: A=15 B=15)
Trout Brook Valley SP
Easton 330
Area 28 (Permit quotas: A=25 B=25)
Naugatuck SF - Quillinan Reservoir Block
Ansonia 511
Area 52 (Permit quotas: A=75 B=75)
Bristol Water Co.
No access during Junior Deer Hunter Training Days except for junior hunters and mentors who have been awarded a permit for this area.
Harwinton 4,500
Area 56 (Permit quotas: A=170 B=170)
Centennial Watershed SF
No access during Junior Deer Hunter Training Days except for junior hunters and mentors who have been awarded a permit for this area.
Easton* 3,450
Area 60 (Permit quotas: A=20 B=200)
Tankerhoosen WMA
Vernon 449
Area 62 (Permit quotas: A=20 B=20)
Aldo Leopold WMA
Southbury 553
Area 63 (Permit quotas: A=15 B=15)
Mohawk SF - Ziegler/Johnson Tract
Cornwall* 329
 and adjacent town or towns

Lottery Archery-only Area

Area 

Town(s)

Acres

Area 66 (Permit quota: 30)
MDC Nepaug Reservoir - Sweethear Mt. Block

Canton* 500
 and adjacent town or towns    

 

Deer Lottery Hunting Area Map

2020 Deer Lottery Map

 

Additional Deer Hunting Information

Antlerless Deer

Some deer tags allow the harvest of antlerless deer only. An antlerless deer is defined as any deer which has no visible antlers. "Button bucks" are considered antlerless deer. Either-sex deer tags allow the harvest of antlered or antlerless deer.

Replacement Tags

In deer management zones 11 and 12, two types of supplemental tags are available: Replacement Antlerless Tags and Earn-a-buck Tags.

Replacement Antlerless Tags: For a hunter to receive a replacement antlerless tag, he or she must go to one of several vendor deer check stations and complete the following:

  1. Report the deer harvest and obtain a confirmation number within 24 hours of harvest;
  2. Bring the antlerless deer carcass or head to a check station within 72 hours of harvest;
  3. Submit the deer harvest tag with a confirmation number to the vendor;
  4. Sign the replacement antlerless tag that is received from the vendor.

"Earn-A-Buck" Tags: If you register a total of 3 antlerless deer from private land during the same season, you may qualify for a replacement either-sex tag.

Note: Antlerless deer harvested in other zones may be brought to a check station for the purpose of receiving replacement tags; however, the replacement tags (both Antlerless and Earn-a-buck) may ONLY be used in zones 11 or 12 (more info). Replacement tags are available in zones 11 and 12 during the private land archery season, shotgun/rifle season, and  muzzleloader season. Consult the Private Land Deer Management Zone Map for a description of zones. All replacement tags will be issued in limited numbers based on a zone's deer population management goals.

Deer Hunting Prohibited Activities

  • Hunting with or allowing any dog in your charge to hunt, pursue, or kill deer.
  • Hunting deer or any other wildlife while in or on a motor vehicle, snowmobile, or all terrain vehicle (See Hunting Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities for special exemptions).
  • Hunting deer by aid or use of a light. 
  • Taking or attempting to take any deer with the aid of real or artificial bait in Deer Management Zones 1 to 10, or on state land in Zones 11 and 12. (Any food, mineral, or chemical product designed to be eaten by deer is considered bait.) 
  • Use of a decoy during the shotgun/rifle and muzzleloader deer seasons. 
  • Taking of spotted fawns.
  • NEW! All use of natural deer urine products is prohibited, particularly for the purposes of taking or attempting to take or attract deer, or for the surveillance or scouting of deer.

Use of Attractants for Deer Hunting

The following attractants may be used while hunting deer in Connecticut:

  1. Deer decoys during the early and late archery seasons only.
  2. Most types of scent attractants (i.e., doe in heat, buck lure, tarsal glands, food smells, smoke pole) that provide no substance for deer to consume. Hunters are encouraged to minimize the use of natural-based lures, and avoid placing deer lures on cloths, skin, ground, or vegetation where deer can reach them. A new regulation effective in 2020 prohibits all use of natural deer urine products, particularly for the purposes of taking or attempting to take or attract deer, or for the surveillance or scouting of deer. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) can spread through exposure to infected deer urine. This new regulation safeguards Connecticut’s native deer population against unnecessary risk of contracting CWD.
  3. All types of sound attractants (i.e., doe calls, buck calls, antler rattling, electronic calls).
  4. Hunting over planted fields where normal agricultural planting, harvesting, or post-harvest manipulation is used.

In addition to the attractants listed above, the following are allowed on PRIVATE LANDS ONLY while hunting deer in DEER MANAGEMENT ZONES 11 and 12.

  1. Minerals or chemicals that may be safely consumed by deer (i.e., salt licks).
  2. Artificial or natural foods placed, scattered, distributed or deposited (i.e., hay, grains, fruit, nuts and other foods that may be safely consumed by deer).

Note: It is strongly recommended that individuals hunting on private lands in zones 11 and 12 consult with landowners prior to placing attractants on their property. 

Tagging and Transporting Deer

See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.

Deer Check Stations

Hunters only need to bring their antlerless deer or antlerless deer head, along with a deer kill report and confirmation number, to a deer check station if they wish to obtain a replacement tag for use in deer management zones 11 and 12. All other deer must be reported within 24 hours using the phone or internet.

Deer Hunter Survey

Deer hunters may be contacted by mail, email, or telephone for surveys regarding their deer hunting activities. Even if you did not hunt, you should complete the survey. Information gathered from the survey is important to the management of Connecticut's white-tailed deer population. 

Tree Stands on State Properties

The construction or placement of permanent tree stands involving damage to any tree or shrub is prohibited on state land. The use of portable tree stands (climber, ladder, or hang-on) is permissible. However, all tree stands must be removed from state properties at the conclusion of the hunting season. The use of a full-body safety harness when using a tree stand is strongly recommended. 

What to Do If You Harvest a Deer with a Neck Collar

DEEP Wildlife Division researchers have captured and placed neck collars on over 150 white-tailed deer throughout Connecticut. The marked deer may have a leather or nylon brown-colored collar; ear tags may or may not be present. Hunters should know that it is both completely legal and safe to harvest and consume these animals. The Wildlife Division asks that if hunters come across a collared deer during the hunting season, that they should hunt as they normally do – intentionally targeting collared deer or passing on them biases the mortality data. We also ask that if you do harvest a collared deer, please contact us using the phone number on the collar, or at 860-418-5921. We would like to collect the collar and jawbone from the animal if possible.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

In October 2017, the first ever cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) were confirmed in Connecticut. At the time, dead deer were reported in Portland, Middletown, Chester, Haddam, and Lyme all displaying symptoms associated with EHD. Symptoms of hemorrhagic disease in deer include swollen head, neck, tongue, or eyelids with a bloody discharge from the nasal cavity; erosion of the dental pad or ulcers on the tongue; and hemorrhaging of the heart and lungs, causing respiratory distress. The virus also creates high feverish conditions, causing infected deer to sometimes be found near water sources. Not all symptoms are necessarily present in every infected deer.

EHD is transmitted by tiny biting flies (midges). All documented outbreaks of EHD tend to occur during late summer and early fall due to an increase in midge numbers and cease with the onset of a hard frost, which kills the midges carrying the virus.

Hemorrhagic disease is transmitted by tiny biting flies (midges). All documented outbreaks of hemorrhagic disease tend to occur during late summer and early fall due to an increase in midge numbers and will cease with the onset of a hard frost, which kills the midges carrying the virus.

(Fact sheet on Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease from the Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative.)

The DEEP encourages anyone who observes deer appearing emaciated, behaving strangely, or lying dead along the edge of waterbodies during summer to report the information, along with the closest address, to DEEP’s 24-hour Emergency Dispatch Center at 860-424-3333, the DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-418-5921, or send an email to Andrew.labonte@ct.gov.  

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Connecticut, along with many other states, has taken measures to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease, including banning the importation of live cervids (species in the deer/elk family) across state lines.

An emergency regulation that was adopted in October 2005 to address concerns about CWD became permanent in September 2007. This regulation prohibits hunters from transporting into Connecticut any deer or elk carcasses or part thereof from any state where CWD has been documented, unless the meat has been de-boned. Specific wording of the regulation follows:

Section 26-55-4: No person shall import or possess whole carcasses or parts thereof of any deer, moose, or elk from wild or captive herds from other states or Canadian Provinces where chronic wasting disease has been confirmed, including, but not limited to, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New York, West Virginia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Any additional states* and provinces where chronic wasting disease is confirmed will be published in the Department's annual Hunting and Trapping Guide and on the Department's website. This provision shall not apply to meat that's de-boned, cleaned skullcaps, hides or taxidermy mounts.

*CWD also has been documented in Michigan, Virginia, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee, Ontario, and Quebec (captive herd). In 2016, the first documented case of CWD in free-ranging reindeer occurred in Norway.

To date, no evidence of CWD in Connecticut's deer herd has been detected. Hunters interested in donating deer heads for testing should keep the heads cool (not frozen) and arrange for them to be picked up by contacting Timothy McKinney, Contractor with the Wildlife Management Institute at the CT DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-418-5989 (more info about CWD)

Hunting and Trapping Guide Table of Contents

Content last updated on September 15, 2020.