DEEP: Deer Crop Damage Permit Program

Deer Crop Damage Permit Program

The Deer Crop Damage Permit Program (Connecticut General Statutes 26-82) provides commercial agriculturalists with a minimum annual gross income of $2,500.00 and an actual or potential loss of this income from their cultivated agricultural crops, the opportunity to reduce damage caused by deer when the firearms deer hunting seasons are closed. More information about the program is listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Deer Damage Permit Season?
The Deer Damage Permit Season is from January 1st through October 31st of the issuing year. No hunting is allowed on Sundays. During November and December, landowners should use the regulated deer hunting seasons (Archery, Shotgun/Rifle, Muzzleloader, and/or Free Landowner) to address deer problems. 

What laws apply?
All standard hunting regulations apply with two exceptions; may shoot ˝ hour after sunset and muzzleloaders are prohibited.   A Summary of Laws, Regulations and Policies governing the Issuance and Use of Deer Damage Permits will be provided to all deer damage permittees. Please refer to Connecticut's Hunting and Trapping web page for further information regarding current hunting laws and regulations.

Who do I call to get an application?
Call the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011, Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm to request an application.

Can I receive or send my application by fax?
No, only original, signed, and notarized applications will be processed.  Faxes and photocopies are not valid.

Will a renewal application automatically be sent in the mail?
No, you must call (860-424-3011) or email for a renewal application. You can request a renewal application as early as November 1st.

What would require an inspection prior to permit issuance?
An inspection may be required for any of, but not limited to, the following reasons; a first time applicant, lapse of  one or more years between applying for permits, change in acreage or commodities, applicant request to change weapon use, change in ownership by transfer or sale, permit revocation during a previous permit period, denial of deer damage permits in the past, as deemed necessary by the Wildlife Division, and/or receipt of a written request from the Law Enforcement Division. Inspections are conducted by designated department staff. If a field inspection is needed call the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011.

Do I need a Connecticut hunting license to be an agent (designated shooter)?
Yes, a Connecticut hunting license is required to be an agent for deer damage.  Out-of-state residents must purchase a non-resident Connecticut hunting license.  A person who has been convicted of any deer hunting violation within the last 3 years will not be allowed to be an agent. (CGS Section 26-82, 26-85, 26-86a, 26-86b or Section 26-86a-2)

Who is exempt from needing a license to hunt during the deer damage season?
Landowners, lessees, spouses, and/or lineal descendants who live on the property do not need a firearms hunting license. However, if using bow and arrow, a small game/deer archery permit is required.

How many permits are allowed to be issued for my property?
Up to six permits are allowed per property. Any one agent cannot receive more than 4 permits. Each permit has 2 tags each; one antlerless and one either sex. After both tags are used by the agent, a replacement permit will be issued. To get your replacement permit, please mail all used permits to: Franklin Wildlife, Deer Damage Program, 391 Route 32, North Franklin, CT 06254. 

How many agents can hunt on my property?
A maximum of 3 people, including yourself, primary lessee, spouse, lineal descendant, or designated agent is allowed on your property. A person cannot be a designated agent for more than one landowner or lessee during any calendar year.

When can my designated agent(s) start using their permits?
Permits will be mailed to the designated agent(s) unless the landowner specifically requests the permits be mailed directly to them for distribution. Once the agent(s) have the permit(s), they can begin using them. Permits can only be used by those agents specified by the landowner. 

Can I change my designated agent?
Yes, if an agent cannot assist you as needed, a written request can be made to designate a new agent to receive deer damage permits. The request must state the following: agents’ name, address, phone number, date of birth, and Conservation ID. Also include all of the unused permits issued to the original agent. Mail to:  Franklin Wildlife, Deer Damage Program, 391 Route 32, North Franklin, CT 06254. 

My agent lost his deer damage permits. Can they have permits reissued?
Your agent will need to contact the Franklin Wildlife office and request a false statement affidavit. (CGS Section 26-90) Once the agent has signed and returned the affidavit to the Franklin Wildlife office, permits will be reissued.

What do I do with any unused tags I may have at the end of the deer damage season?
Return any unused tags to: Franklin Wildlife, Deer Damage Program, 391 Route 32, North Franklin, CT 06254. 

Do the new tagging and reporting regulations for the deer/turkey hunting seasons include the deer damage season?
No, the new regulations do not include the Deer Damage Program. A designated agent is still going to be issued a Deer Damage Permit by mail and must submit the proper report and tags when a deer has been taken on a landowner’s property.

Summary of Laws, Regulations and Policies
Governing the Issuance and Use of
Deer Damage Permits

Deer damage permits are valid from January 1 through October 31 for the year in which they are issued. During November and December, landowners should use the regulated deer hunting seasons (Archery, Shotgun/Rifle, Muzzleloader, and/or Free Landowner) to address deer problems. An application for deer damage permits may be obtained by calling the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011. Applications must be requested annually (beginning in November) and will be mailed or given only to the landowner or primary lessee.

  1. Under Connecticut General Statutes Section 26-82, a landowner or primary lessee of land may submit an application to the Connecticut DEEP indicating a minimum annual gross income of $2,500.00 from the commercial cultivated production of grain, forage, fruit, vegetables, flowers, ornamental plants or Christmas trees and an actual or potential loss of this income as a result of severe damage caused by deer. The application must be notarized. An inspection by DEEP personnel will be required to verify damage and commercial status and to determine if safety factors dictate weapon and hunting area restrictions.
  2. Permits may be issued to no more than 3 persons, which may include the landowner, primary lessee, or spouse, lineal descendant or the designated agent of such landowner or lessee. No more than 6 permits will be issued at any one time. Each permit comes with 2 tags; at least one of the 2 deer taken under each permit must be antlerless.
  3. The landowner, primary lessee, spouse, lineal descendant or designated agent may use a rifle, shotgun or bow and arrow to kill deer.  Muzzleloaders are prohibited. The DEEP investigator may place restrictions on the weapon type and the areas where shooting may take place to ensure public safety. A centerfire rifle 6 millimeters (.243 caliber) or larger may be used if the landholding is at least 10 acres in size. A 12, 16 or 20 gauge smooth or rifled bore shotgun using ammunition loaded with a single projectile may be used. A shotgun shall not be capable of holding more than 3 shells and shall have its magazine plugged with a one-piece filler incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed 3 shells.
  4. All agents must possess a valid Connecticut firearm hunting license and/or small game/deer archery permit, as applicable. Landowners and lessees who live on the property for which the permits are issued (or the spouse or lineal descendants of such landowner or lessee) do not need a firearms hunting license.  However, if using a bow and arrow, a small game/deer archery permit is required.
  5. No person shall be a designated agent for more than one landowner or lessee in any calendar year. Non-residents may be designated agents. Permits will not be issued to any person who has been convicted of any deer hunting violation within the 3 years preceding the date of application.
  6. Permits may be used from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. No hunting is allowed on Sundays.
  7. Shooting or carrying a loaded firearm within 500 feet of any building occupied by people or domestic animals, or used for storage of flammable material is prohibited unless written permission for lesser distances is obtained from the owner of such building and carried by the permittee. Shooting from or across the traveled portion of any public roadway and shooting toward any person, building, or domestic animal also is prohibited.
  8. With exception of permittees using a bow and arrow and the landowner, all deer damage permittees must wear above the waist at least 400 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing visible from all sides during the periods of January 1 through the last day of February and September 1 through October 31.
  9. Carrying a loaded firearm in or shooting from a vehicle is prohibited.
  10. Permits may be revoked at any time for any violation of the statute (CGS Sec. 26-82) or regulations governing the deer damage permit program, or if any term under which the original permits were issued has changed (e.g., change of land ownership, loss of commercial status, permittee license suspension).

Tagging and Reporting Requirements

  1. Permits are void unless validated by the State.
  2. Any deer killed shall become the property of owner of the land upon which the deer has been killed. The owner may not sell, barter, trade or offer for sale such deer. He/she may give it away or allow the permittee to keep the deer.
  3. When a deer is killed, the tag should be separated from the permit and the proper month and date punched out. The tag must be immediately attached to the deer, and remain attached until the carcass is dressed and butchered and packaged for consumption.
  4. Any deer killed must be reported within 24 hours by completing the report section of the permit and mailing it to: Franklin Wildlife, Deer Damage Program, 391 Route 32, North Franklin, CT  06254
Content last updated on December 19, 2014.