Hunting and Trapping Information
2021 CT Hunting and Trapping Guide | 2021-2022 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide | Hunting and Trapping News and Notices | Hunting at National Wildlife Refuges in Connecticut | ATV Regulations | Thank a Landowner
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).
You can now (as of 7/1/2021) 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!
The Wildlife Division’s Sessions Woods (Burlington; directions) and Franklin (North Franklin; directions) Field Offices and DEEP's Western District Headquarters (Harwinton; directions) are 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.
- Please note that the Sessions Woods and Franklin Field Offices are not yet currently staffed to full capacity, although front office staff will be available for assistance during regular operating hours. As we work toward reopening these offices, some staff are in the field while others are still teleworking. The best way to reach staff is to call the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011 or send an email to email@example.com.
- 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.
Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Classes: The Wildlife Division will continue to hold the Modified Field Days for firearms, bowhunting, and trapping classes. These classes are a combination of online coursework and a mandatory field day. Evening and weekend field days are now being offered.
New to hunting or interested in taking up the activity again? The Hunting Roadmap helps you get started!
Find links to the different sections of the 2021 Guide.
2021 Season Summary (from the 2021 printed guide)
Online Hunter Reporting -- (for Deer, Wild Turkey, Small Game, and Coyote/Fox)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Hunters: Help Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade
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 Outdoor 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.
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.)
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.
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.
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- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) MAY NOT be operated on any state lands (exceptions may be granted for paraplegics and sanction events).
- Written permission is required to operate an ATV on private land (If permission is not obtained, may result in a Criminal Trespass Fine).
- ATVs MAY NOT be operated in any manner which would harass wildlife or domestic animals.
- All ATVs require a valid registration.
- ATV operators MUST STOP upon request from any law enforcement officer.
- ATVs MAY NOT be operated on any railroad right-of-way.
Potential Impacts of ATV Misuse
- The heavy weight of an ATV compacts soil, often leading to excessive runoff where sediments have negative impacts on aquatic habitats for fish, amphibians, and other wildlife.
- Water quality can also be impacted by suspended sediments blocking light, which reduces the ability of aquatic plants to photosynthesize and reduces oxygen levels in the water column. Reduced oxygen levels cause negative effects on survival and productivity in aquatic ecosystems.
- Vegetation and fragile habitats can be damaged by riding in wetland habitats.
- Invasive plant seeds and plant fragments can be transported long distances on ATVs, causing negative impacts to native plant communities.
- Excessive noise has been shown to disrupt normal behavior patterns of wildlife species, such as nesting, reproduction, and feeding.
- More information about ATVs on State Land
Please ride responsibly and follow all ATV rules and regulations.
Private landowners create recreational opportunities by granting outdoor users access to their property. This access is a privilege, so please remember to take time every year to extend your appreciation to private landowners who offered you access for fishing, hunting, hiking, or wildlife watching opportunities on their properties. If you have been recreating on local land trust or other private non-profit conservation lands, be sure to include those groups on your thank you list as well. Following are some suggestions for hunters, anglers, and other outdoor users when thanking private property owners who allow access for outdoor recreation:
- Express your appreciation thoughtfully and personally. If you are mentoring a new or junior hunter, angler, birder, or naturalist, include him or her in the process of thanking the landowner.
- Consider providing the landowner with some of your fish or game harvest, or share images or a list of the wildlife you saw on their property.
- Send a personal note or card thanking the landowner for the opportunity to use his or her land. Consider giving a small gift, such as a gift certificate, gift basket, or a subscription to Connecticut Wildlife magazine. In the case of a non-profit landowner, make a donation to their organization.
- Offer to help with tasks around the property, or identify, clean up, and properly dispose of any illegal dumping that has occurred.
- Document and report suspicious or illegal activities on the property to the DEEP Environmental Conservation Police at 860-424-3333 (24 hours) or deep.EnConPolice@ct.gov.
Content last updated in September 2021.