What Is New
Hunting and Trapping News and Notices -- Stay current on hunting-related changes that happen throughout the year, such as new hunting areas and opportunities, changes to hunting areas, and more.
Hunting and fishing licenses, stamps, and permits can be purchased 24/7 on the DEEP’s Online Outdoor Licensing System. These items can also be purchased at outdoor equipment retailers and some town halls (please check with your local town hall to find out about availability or any restrictions).
Starting June 1, 2021: The Wildlife Division’s Sessions Woods (Burlington; directions) and Franklin (North Franklin; directions) Field Offices and DEEP's Western District Headquarters (Harwinton; directions) will be open for hunting and fishing license sales, Monday – Friday, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Face coverings must be worn by all visitors at all times when inside the buildings. No public restrooms are available inside the Sessions Woods and Franklin offices.
- License sales may be limited at DEEP’s Eastern District (Marlborough; 860-295-9523) and Marine District (Old Lyme; 860-434-6043) Headquarters at this time. Please check with one of the offices before you go. Face coverings must be worn by all visitors at all times when inside the buildings.
New to hunting or interested in taking up the activity again? The Hunting Roadmap helps you get started!
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Changes are coming to 2021 HIP permits purchased through third-party license vendors. Learn how the changes affect you. There are no changes if you purchase your HIP permit through DEEP's Online Licensing System.
Hunters who have encountered problems purchasing the federal Duck Stamp at local post offices can purchase the Electronic Duck Stamp, or E-Stamp, online for immediate use. You may purchase the E-Stamp from another state as DEEP's online system currently is unable to process federal Duck Stamp purchases. The actual stamp will be mailed to you after purchase, but you will have an E-Stamp to use until you receive the actual stamp. Details on how to purchase an E-Stamp are on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.
NOTE: Online permits for Permit-Required Hunting Areas (except for Yale Forest) are available through the Online Outdoor Licensing System. New this year, all permits launch at 7:00 AM. (This information is not included in the printed version of the Hunting Guide. Permits previously launched at 12:01 AM.)
Bowhunting on Aquarion Water Company Property
As part of the Aquarion Water Company's deer management plan, the Conservation Land Committee will permit bowhunting for deer this year on approximately 4,397 acres of land in the Centennial Watershed State Forest. Specific details, maps, and an application to receive an access permit can be found on the Aquarion Water Company website. A limited number of access permits will be issued free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.
Correction: The website for applying to bowhunt deer on South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority property is incorrect in the printed version of the 2021 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide. The correct website is https://www.rwater.com/learn-more/sustainable-solutions/our-water-sources.
2021 Deer Lottery Update: The 2021 State Land and Controlled Hunt Lottery closed on January 30. On March 15, at 9:00 a.m., any unsold lottery permits can be purchased online on a first-come, first-serve basis. All unsold lottery permits must be purchased at the end of the transaction. (Instructions for purchasing unsold lottery permits) Deer lottery questions can be directed to email@example.com. 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. (More details on unsold 2021 Deer Lottery Permits)
Please note that Area 27 (Camp Columbia SF), Area 53 (Nu-Maromas), and Area 54 (Nu-Skiff Mtn.) are NO LONGER part of the deer lottery. These areas are now No-lottery Deer Hunting Areas for the season dates of Nov. 17 - Dec. 7, 2021. This information is not reflected in the printed version of the 2021 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide.
ATTENTION: When visiting or hunting at State Forests, State Parks, or Wildlife Management Areas, please DO NOT park in front of closed gates. Even though the gates are closed to the public, DEEP staff may need to use those gates to access the road/area behind them.
New Property Added to Salmon River State Forest Now Open for Hunting: Salmon River State Forest recently expanded by 207.68 acres when DEEP acquired the Lord property with the help of funds from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program. A portion of the property borders Jones Hollow Road and Parker Road in Marlborough. The boundary of the new property has been marked with state land markers and “Hunting Permitted” signs. Check DEEP’s Interactive Hunting Area Map to find the new location and types of hunting allowed (the PDF map of Salmon River State Forest will be updated in the near future). Note: This property was not included in the printed version of the 2021 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide. The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program is funded by hunters and those who participate in shooting sports. Any properties acquired with Federal Aid funds are for the approved purpose of protecting in perpetuity, wildlife and wildlife habitat and to allow compatible wildlife associated recreational uses.
Revisions to the Pelt Tagging process have been put in place for the 2020-2021 Trapping Season due to COVID-19 precautions.
Hunting at National Wildlife Refuges in Connecticut
Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge (NWR): Opportunities for hunting at this federally-owned NWR have been expanded to include archery deer hunting on 4 units, archery turkey hunting on 1 unit, and waterfowl hunting on 3 units. The Stewart B. McKinney NWR consists of 10 units located along the coast of Connecticut from Westbrook to Greenwich. Select the links below for each unit to obtain information on allowable hunting, accessibility, regulations, maps, and more, as well as to print out a Hunt Brochure that needs to be signed and carried on your person while hunting at these areas. (This information is not included in the printed version of the 2020 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide.) Use the Find Your Hunt mapping application provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to see maps of the national wildlife refuges in Connecticut.
- Calf Island Unit, Greenwich: Waterfowl and archery deer hunting only. Hunters must have a signed USFWS Hunt Brochure at all times.
- Great Meadows Unit, Stratford: Waterfowl and archery deer hunting only. Waterfowl may be hunted on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday during the regular state season. After the close of the regular waterfowl season, Canada and snow goose hunting is permitted every day except Sunday. Hunters must have a signed USFWS Hunt Brochure at all times.
- Chimon and Sheffield Islands, Norwalk: Waterfowl and archery deer hunting only. Hunters must have a signed USFWS Hunt Brochure at all times.
- Salt Meadow Unit, Westbrook: Fall archery deer (tree stand) and turkey hunting only. Hunters must have a signed USFWS Hunt Brochure at all times.
Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge: Hunting and fishing information for the Conte NWR, including a Hunt Brochure for hunters to print and carry with them when hunting on Refuge lands, can be found at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Silvio_O_Conte/visit/hunting.html. Hunters must have a signed USFWS Hunt Brochure at all times. (This information is not included in the 2020 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide.)
2021 Hunting Season Summary (from the 2021 printed guide)
Public Hunting Area List (From 2021 printed guide. Includes information on type of hunting permitted, town, acreage, and any special conditions.)
Hunters: Help Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade
Content last updated in August 2021.