DEEP Announces Opening Days of Upcoming Fall Firearms Hunting Seasons
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced the Opening Days of turkey and small game hunting seasons. A variety of hunting seasons are available each fall, including:
- The firearms turkey season opens on Saturday, October 6, and continues through October 31.
- Small game hunting season opens at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 20.
- A variety of migratory bird hunting seasons are open on different dates. The 2018-2019 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide contains specific details.
- Firearms deer hunting season begins Wednesday, November 14.
Peak hunting during these seasons occurs during early morning and late afternoon, primarily during the period from mid-October through mid-December.
Junior Hunter Training Days: Junior hunters have the opportunity to hunt on special designated days for pheasants, waterfowl, and deer. DEEP, in cooperation with local sportsmen’s organizations, will be holding several special Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Events in September, October, and November. Dates for Junior Pheasant Hunter Training events, including details and registration information, are at www.ct.gov/deep/JuniorHunter. “Hunt on Your Own Pheasant Hunts” are also scheduled for Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day on October 13 at several state areas. A list of areas that will be stocked for junior hunters can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/PheasantHunting.
The Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp is required to hunt all upland game birds (pheasants, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, chukar and Hungarian partridges, and quail), and replaces the pheasant stamp and all wild turkey permits. The stamp costs $28 for adults and $14 for Connecticut hunters ages 12 to 17. All revenues from the sale of Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps are deposited into a dedicated, non-lapsing account to use exclusively for game birds and their habitat.
Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp: The Connecticut Duck Stamp has been merged with the HIP permit into a single Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp, which costs $17 ($9 for resident 12 - 17 year olds). It is required for anyone hunting waterfowl, rails, snipe, woodcock, and crows. All proceeds from the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp go into a dedicated account that is used solely for wetland habitat management and acquisition or improving hunter access.
The 2018 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide and the 2018-2019 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide, which contain additional information on laws, regulations, and season dates, can be obtained at any town clerk or DEEP Wildlife Division office or on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting. Maps denoting many state-owned hunting areas and most permit-required hunting areas also may be obtained from the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/HuntingAreaMaps.
2018 hunting licenses, permits, and stamps can be purchased directly online at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing or at one of the many participating town halls, outdoor equipment retailers, and DEEP offices.
Small Game Season and Permit-required Information
With the exception of opening day (October 20 - when hunting begins at 7:00 AM), small game hunting is allowed for most species from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. Waterfowl hunting is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
Permit-required Hunting: In addition to most state forests and wildlife management areas, small game and waterfowl hunting will be available on a number of areas established under the permit-required hunting program. Permit-required areas are open to public hunting via a daily permit system and are made available through the cooperation of private landowners and local sportsmen’s clubs. Details on obtaining permits are on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting; select “Permit Required Hunting Areas” under the 2018 Hunting and Trapping Guide). Sportsmen wishing to hunt any designated permit-required hunting area should consult the DEEP website for locations of vendors issuing permits, although most permits can be obtained through the online Sportsmen’s Licensing System at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing (the only exceptions are NU King’s Island and Yale Forest).
Pheasant Prospects Remain Good
Pheasant Prospects Remain Good
This year, DEEP will purchase a total of 20,000 adult pheasants. Six areas will be stocked on Saturday mornings and afternoons and will only be open to hunters with a Saturday AM (8:00 AM -11:00 noon) or Saturday PM (12:00 PM - 3:00 PM) permit from October 20 through November 17 at Cromwell Meadows WMA, Durham Meadows WMA, and Simsbury WMA, and from October 20 through November 10 at Nathan Hale State Forest, Naugatuck State Forest (Hunter's Mountain Block only), and Skiff Mountain Coop WMA. These select areas will be stocked prior to the morning permit and during the afternoon break to assure hunters that birds will be available at these areas on the weekend. All hunters wishing to use these areas on Saturdays must have a Saturday permit and will only be able to be present during the specified time on the daily permit. Saturday permits for these areas will only be available on the Online Sportsmen Licensing System the Monday preceding the Saturday hunts starting at 12:01 AM.
Pheasants will not be stocked at Cockaponset State Forest, Pootatuck State Forest, and Roraback WMA. A limited number of pheasants will be stocked this year at Franklin WMA, Mad River Dam, Pease Brooke WMA, and Woodstock Permit-Required Area. Additional details, such as area allocations and an updated listing of all major stocking areas, are at www.ct.gov/deep/PheasantHunting.
Hunters: Be Aware of “Hazard Trees” and Flooding – Areas with flooding may need to be temporarily closed or may not be stocked with pheasants if roads/field become washed out. Several years of storms, drought, and insect infestations have severely damaged a significant number of Connecticut’s trees. A "hazard tree" has a structural defect that makes it likely to fail in whole or in part. Such a tree can fall without warning!
Follow these guidelines to manage risks associated with hazard trees:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dense patches of dead or distressed trees.
- Be particularly watchful when it is windy or when branches are covered with snow.
- Look up while on trails.
- Avoid parking, picnicking, camping, hiking, and hunting in areas where dead trees or dead limbs could fall.