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General Firearms Deer Season Began November 14

DEEP Reminds Outdoor Enthusiasts to Be Safe

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today issued a safety reminder for outdoor enthusiasts as a variety of hunting seasons are currently underway or about to begin, most notably the opening of the fall firearms deer season on Wednesday, November 14. Specific deer hunting season information is available on the DEEP website at
“This is a popular time for others to enjoy the many outdoor opportunities our state has to offer, such as hiking and biking,” said DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen. “Therefore, it is especially important for all outdoor users to respect the rights of others and be aware of all activities that may be occurring outdoors. Connecticut hunters have an excellent safety record, and awareness on the part of all outdoor users can help in our efforts to keep hunting safe for everyone.”
Whether you like to hike, camp, horseback ride, mountain bike, hunt, or fish, it is a good idea to observe a few safety precautions while outdoors.
Basic SAFETY TIPS that all outdoor users should follow:
  • When you plan to spend time outdoors, let someone know where you are going and when you will return;
  • Familiarize yourself with the area where you plan to go and know the activities that occur there;
  • Wear brightly-colored clothing. A fluorescent orange vest and/or hat is recommended;
  • If you see another person while in the woods, whether a hiker, hunter, biker or horseback rider, call out to them to make them aware of your location;
  • Respect property rights. Remember, all users are required to obtain permission from the owner before entering private property. Deer and turkey hunters hunting on private land must obtain and carry written permission from the landowner. Verbal permission for the hunting of other game species is sufficient.
  • Look up and watch out for hazardous trees while in forested areas. 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.
Hunting Activities: Hunting is allowed on private lands and on most state forests and wildlife management areas, and some state parks. Detailed information about hunting seasons, public hunting areas, laws, and regulations is in the 2018 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, which is available at all town halls, license agents, and on the DEEP website (
In general, peak hunting occurs during early morning and late afternoon, primarily from mid-October through mid-December.
Hunters should always follow the fundamental rules for safe gun handling: ACTT
  • Assume the firearm is LOADED.
  • Control the MUZZLE; keep the MUZZLE pointed in a safe direction.
  • Trigger –keep your finger off the TRIGGER until ready to shoot.
  • Target – be sure of the TARGET and what lies beyond.
Other important rules for safe hunting include:
  • Sportsmen must observe the fluorescent orange clothing requirements, which specify that a minimum of 400 square inches be worn above the waist and be visible from all sides from September 1 through the last day in February. An orange hat, in addition to a coat or vest, is strongly recommended. Some exceptions do apply; they are listed in the 2018 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide.
  • Be certain that the barrel and action of your firearm are clear of obstructions. Check the chamber and magazine every time you pick up the firearm.
  • Use a full body harness and tag line whenever hunting with a treestand.
  • When hunting, be patient and stay alert to your surroundings at all times.
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