Hunting and Trapping Information

News and Notices  |  2022 CT Hunting and Trapping Guide  |  CT Migratory Bird Hunting Guide  |  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). 

Hunting and fishing licenses purchased through CT's Online Outdoor Licensing System can be signed electronically, allowing you to keep a digitally signed copy on your smartphone instead of needing to have a signed, printed copy! Licenses purchased through a license agent location must still be printed and signed to be valid.

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.

  • 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. 

New to hunting or interested in taking up the activity again? The Hunting Roadmap helps you get started! 

 

Hunting and Trapping News and Notices

Note: Hancock Brook Lake in Plymouth (owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) is open to firearms hunting during the spring turkey hunting season (April 27-May 28, 2022).
Special Permit Access from Aquarion Water Company for Archery Deer Hunting

Deer Lottery Area 56 (Centennial State Forest) is now open for archery deer hunting for individuals that have secured a special access permit from Aquarion Water Company. Archery deer hunting will be closed on this area during the firearms deer season and will reopen once that season is closed. Hunters wishing to bowhunt Deer Lottery Area 56 and the other designated Aquarion Water Company areas open to archery deer hunting must secure a special access permit from the Aquarion Water Company. Instructions on securing a permit will be posted in June 2022.


2022 Deer Lottery

Select deer lottery permits not purchased by January 30, 2022, will be made available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting March 15, 2022, at 9:00 AM. Unsold lottery permits can be purchased online or at select DEEP offices up until sold out. All unsold lottery permits must be purchased at the end of the transaction. (Instructions for purchasing unsold lottery permits)

More information on the 2022 Deer Lottery, including season dates, lottery areas, hunting hours, and how to apply.

Lottery questions? Email andrew.labonte@ct.gov.


Sars-CoV-2 and White-tailed Deer: Recent research conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) indicated that wild white-tailed deer were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. This research was not conducted in Connecticut, but positive results were found in several states, including New York and Pennsylvania. There is currently no evidence to indicate that deer can spread the virus to humans. The results are not surprising—deer are mammals that live in close proximity to humans—and other wild mammals have been shown to be susceptible to the virus that causes Covid-19. Additional research is underway. There also is no evidence the virus can be transmitted through food preparation and consumption. Hunters should always practice good hygiene while field dressing wild game. For tips on handling meat from wild animals, visit the CDC website.

Scientists still do not fully understand how wild deer were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or how new variants may impact transmissibility among species. With this in mind, it is recommended that domestic animals are kept away from wildlife and wildlife carcasses as a precautionary measure. Direct and indirect transmission from people to wildlife is possible, thus reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection in the human population through preventive measures, including vaccination, is the best defense against human to deer transmission. (Note: Vaccination may not be recommended for immunocompromised people.)


Nassahegon State Forest - November 2021: Hunters take note that the east side of the state forest along Stone Road will be closed to the public until further notice for safety reasons during a timber harvest operation. The exception will be the Blue/Red Trail. Unblazed and unapproved trails on the east side of the road should not be used during the logging work. Signs will be posted along the road frontage. No DEEP approved trails will be closed for this forest operation. The duration of the closure is uncertain but may stretch well into the winter of 2022. (More details)


Sign up to receive our free electronic newsletter, Hunter Highlights. View the latest issue: Spring/March 2022


NOTE: Online permits for Permit-Required Hunting Areas (except for Yale Forest) are available through the Online Outdoor Licensing System. 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.)


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). 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.

 

2022 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide

Find links to the different sections of the 2022 Guide.

2022 Season Summary (from the 2022 printed guide)

List of Public Hunting Areas (from the 2022 printed guide)

Public Hunting Area Maps and Information 

Sunrise/Sunset Table for 2022

Pheasant Hunting

Private Land Consent Form

2022 Deer/Turkey Harvest Tags  |   Tagging and Reporting Deer/Turkeys

Replacement Tag Deer Check Stations

Online Hunter Reporting -- (for Deer, Wild Turkey, Small Game, and Coyote/Fox)

Hunting at National Wildlife Refuges in Connecticut 

Shooting Ranges and Public Shooting Opportunities

Field Trials and Dog Training   |   Field Trial Dates 

Snapping Turtle Regulations

Hunters: Help Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade

The 2022-2023 Connecticut Migratory Bird Hunting Guide will be available in summer 2022.

Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations 

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.

 

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 Silvio O. Conte NWR, including a Hunt Brochure for hunters to print and carry with them when hunting on Refuge lands, can be found on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service websiteHunters must have a signed USFWS Hunt Brochure at all times.

 

Snapping Turtle Regulations

Registered Hunting and Fishing Guide List

Outdoor Safety Tips

Frequently Asked Questions about Hunting

Game Bird Harvest Tags

Advanced Hunter Education

2020 Connecticut Deer Program Summary

Follow the DEEP Wildlife Division on Social Media:

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Regulations for Riding All-Terrain Vehicles in Connecticut
  • 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

Damage to a hiking trail caused by an illegal all terrain vehicle.

  • 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.

 

Thank a Landowner!

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.

Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration logo and tagline.

Content last updated on May 16, 2022.