News and Notes
Hunters and other outdoor users are advised to take precautions against mosquito bites, such as applying insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when biting mosquitoes are most active. The State Mosquito Management Program is warning Connecticut residents about the risk of infection by eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV). As of September 12, 2023, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has detected EEE-infected mosquitoes in: Canterbury, Colchester, Griswold, Hampton, Killingly, Ledyard, Mansfield, Plainfield, Stonington, Thompson, Tolland, Voluntown, Willington, and Woodstock. In addition, WNV-infected mosquitoes have been detected in 33 Connecticut towns. Information on EEE and WNV, mosquito bite prevention, mosquito test results, and human infection updates can be found on the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website.
CT Interactive Hunting Area Map (includes areas closed to waterfowl hunting)
Sunrise-Sunset-Tide Table for September 2023 through March 2024.
Tides (weather and stream flows)
You can electronically sign your hunting and fishing license, which will allow you to keep a digitally signed copy on your smartphone instead of needing to have a signed printed copy!
Changes have occurred to 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 Outdoor Licensing System.
- The mallard bag limit in the Atlantic Flyway is going back to 4 birds, with no more than 2 hens. Many hunters have expressed concern over this liberalization. Hunters are reminded that they do not need to achieve a full bag limit if they feel that the regulation is too liberal.
- The other big change is a liberalization in the AP Canada goose season, with a return to a 45-day season with a 3-bird daily bag limit. With the initiation of the AP late season in 2022-23 and a liberal regular season of 45 days, we are foregoing some of those 45 days and offering a full late season instead. Connecticut is only allowed a maximum of 107 hunt days and, if the whole 45 day season was used, the number of hunt days would be over 107.
Please remember that black duck hybrids are classified as black ducks. With the new change in the mallard bag limit, and to reduce any confusion in the field, this move will reduce the chance of a mistake. (How to identify black ducks.)
CT Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp
The $13 Connecticut Duck Stamp is merged with the $4 Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit into a single $17 Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. ALL migratory bird hunters (including crow hunters), regardless of age, must purchase the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. Hunters under the age of 16 do not need to purchase a Federal Duck Stamp to hunt waterfowl. A 3-day, out-of-state (non-resident) bird hunting license, which costs $35, allows out-of-state hunters to hunt migratory and resident (non-migratory) game birds for 3 consecutive days. Depending on what species are being hunted, out-of-state
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.
Reporting waterfowl bands is crucial for management decisions. Leg band return data help managers track waterfowl movements, timing of these movements, harvest rates, and other important information. Bands and other markers, such as neck collars, can be reported at www.reportband.gov. When you report band recoveries, you will receive immediate feedback on where the bird was initially banded and can print a Certificate of Appreciation.
Poaching is stealing! Shooting before or after hours, overbagging, shooting out of season, and rallying birds are all unethical and illegal hunting behaviors. If you see violations, report them to the DEEP's 24-hour hotline at 1-800-842-4357. All calls are confidential.
Waterfowl hunters are reminded that restrictions are in place in many areas due to heightened security concerns. Of note, per the United States Coast Guard:
- No boat may be anchored within 25 yards of any bridge along any navigable waterway.
- There is a 700-yard security zone around the Millstone Power Plant in Niantic.
- No boats are allowed within 1,500 feet of the downstream side of the Shepaug and Lake Housatonic Dams (Derby/Shelton); 700 feet of the downstream side of the Stevenson Dam (Oxford/Monroe); 300 feet of the downstream side of the Bleachery Dam (New Milford); and 300 feet upstream of all these dams.
As Connecticut becomes more urbanized, a smaller percentage of our population participates in hunting and is familiar with the traditions and values associated with hunting. The image that individual hunters portray to the non-hunting community is often the image that is placed upon the hunting community as a whole. Thus, the way hunters present themselves to the public is very important to the future of the hunting tradition.
Due to the high visibility areas that some waterfowlers use, particularly along the coast, it is imperative that hunters maintain the highest integrity and remain responsible while out in the field. Waterfowl hunting along the Connecticut coast is a long-running, cherished tradition. It has taken place for many years in close proximity to areas of high human use. For the most part, there have been very few conflicts. However, in recent years, some negative encounters have occurred between waterfowl hunters and the non-hunting public. The Connecticut Waterfowl Association (CWA) has devised a list of tips through their “Hunt Smart” program aimed at ways waterfowlers can minimize the concern the non-hunting public may have about hunting. More information about this program can be found on the CWA website.
If you choose to hunt in areas that are in the public eye, you must exercise unquestioned ethical hunting practices, avoid conflicts with the non-hunting public, and use common sense. If you do not, the alternative is clear … hunting opportunities will be greatly reduced. To conduct yourself in an ethical and responsible manner, you should:
- Respect property and landowners. Always obtain permission to hunt on private land - this is a legal requirement in Connecticut.
- Know and obey the laws.
- Hunt safely. Shoot in a safe direction. Treat all guns as loaded. Always dress appropriately and be prepared for changes in the weather.
- Avoid potential conflicts with non-hunters.
- Respect the environment and wildlife.
- Don't "skybust." Calling waterfowl in to appropriate gun range is one of the greatest challenges and rewards of waterfowling.
- Don't shoot ducks on the water.
- If a nearby hunting party is working birds, don't try and call those birds to you.
Remember, hunting is a privilege, not a right. The hunting privilege you enjoy could be curtailed due to the unethical and unsportsmen-like actions of a few hunters.
Content last updated in September 2023.