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Fall Archery Deer and Turkey Seasons Open in September

Season Details Can Be Found on the DEEP Website; Hunters, State Land Users Reminded to Wear Fluorescent Orange During Hunting Season

(HARTFORD) — Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds hunters that the 2023 fall archery hunting seasons for deer and turkey open on Friday, September 15, on state and private land.

  • Fall archery hunting season for deer on private lands goes until December 31. Archery deer hunting is allowed on private lands on Sundays in all Deer Management Zones.
  • Fall archery hunting season for wild turkeys on state and private lands goes until December 30. Wild turkeys CANNOT be hunted on Sunday anywhere in the state, nor can turkeys be harvested over bait.
  • Fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey goes to the end of January, 2024 on private lands in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12.
  • On state lands open to hunting, the archery season runs from September 15 to November 14, and from December 20 through December 30.

In 2022, Connecticut experienced below average rainfall during the summer (2.66 inches of rain compared to the average of 4.17 inches for the Hartford area, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) National Weather Service), creating drought conditions. Those conditions likely led to outbreaks of hemorrhagic disease (HD), which surveys indicate may have killed upwards of 200 deer in four different management zones in the state.

“The hemorrhagic disease outbreak in 2022 does not present long-term impacts on the population, so long as it does not occur on a large scale for multiple years,” said DEEP wildlife biologist Andrew LaBonte.

Summer 2023 has been wetter, with NOAA reporting 13.93 inches of rain in July, over 11 inches more than in July 2022. Above average normal rainfall was also recorded in the first half of August 2023. Although the high rainfall may help keep the potential of hemorrhagic disease outbreaks as low to non-existent, it does make for an unwelcoming environment for hunters trying to sit comfortably in the woods while attempting to stay dry and free from pests, such as mosquitos. Take precautions like covering exposed skin, using insect repellants, or wearing clothing treated with permethrin.

Anyone who observes a deer behaving oddly or found dead from any cause other than a motor vehicle accident is encouraged to send an email to Deer suspected of being struck by a motor vehicle should be reported to local or state police departments.

The 2022 Connecticut Deer Program Summary contains information that will be helpful to hunters in the upcoming season. The Deer Summary is on the DEEP website at

“Due to the abundance of deer, private land hunters in the southwest corner of the state and in shoreline towns can take advantage of free replacement tags if they harvest an antlerless deer by bringing it to a designated check station allowing them to harvest an additional deer” Continued LaBonte. “Many of those deer are harvested with archery equipment as it is a safe and effective means of reducing deer populations in more urban areas.”

Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp: DEEP established a Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp in 2016, which replaced all turkey permits and the Pheasant Stamp, and is required to hunt any resident (non-migratory) game birds, including wild turkey, pheasant, ruffed grouse, partridge, and quail. The cost of the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp is:

  • $28 for adult residents and non-residents;
  • $14 for Connecticut hunters ages 12 through 17.

All revenues from the sale of Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps will be deposited into a separate, non-lapsing account to use exclusively for game birds and their habitat.

  • Wild turkey hunters planning to hunt in fall 2023 will need a 2023 Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
  • Landowners (who own 10 or more contiguous acres) may take turkeys on their property with the Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp or Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. There is no additional bag limit for turkeys due to the Free Landowner Game Bird Conservation Stamp.

Harvest Tags: When hunters harvest a deer or turkey, they are required to fill out a Harvest Tag, sign it, and keep the Harvest Tag with the animal until it is processed for consumption. Copies of Harvest Tags and instructions are in the printed version of the 2023 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, as well as on the DEEP website at

Report Harvest: Hunters are required to report their deer and turkey harvest within 24 hours either on the DEEP website ( or by calling a toll-free number (1-877-337-4868).

  • Deer hunters in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12 who take advantage of the Replacement Antlerless and Earn-a-Buck tag programs must complete this same tagging and reporting procedure prior to going to a check station that issues replacement tags.
  • A listing of replacement tag vendors is available on the DEEP website.
  • After reporting their harvest via the internet or by telephone, hunters will be given a confirmation number to write on their Harvest Tag. This confirmation number serves as proof that the harvest was legally reported.

Wear Fluorescent Orange: Although hunters are required to wear fluorescent orange while participating in many types of hunting activities, it is highly recommended that all state land users wear an article of fluorescent orange clothing (i.e., vest, hat, etc.) during the hunting season to maintain a safe outdoor environment for everyone.

  • Bowhunters are reminded that they must wear 400 square inches of fluorescent orange while walking to and from their tree stands during the firearms deer hunting season. However, once in a tree stand, elevated at least 10 feet off the ground, bowhunters may remove the fluorescent orange clothing.
  • All private land archery hunters are required to carry a DEEP consent form signed by the landowner and dated for the current season. Consent forms can be found in the Hunting Guide or at
  • Deer permits and Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps can be purchased online at or at participating town halls and vendors.
  • Hunters should consult the DEEP website for an up-to-date listing of new state lands open to archery hunting.

Learn How to Get Started Hunting: Check out the Hunting Roadmap on the DEEP website to learn the steps needed to get started hunting in Connecticut:

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer Photo credit: Paul J. Fusco/CT DEEP-Wildlife Division.

The outlook for the 2023 deer hunting season depends on the weather during the early season—especially high temperatures, winds, and rainfall. The best opportunities to harvest deer are in the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns, especially for bowhunters.
Twitter: @CTDEEPNews
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DEEP Communications