DEEP: Fall Archery Deer and Turkey Seasons Open September 16

September 11, 2013
 

Fall Archery Deer and Turkey Seasons Open September 16

Crossbows Now Legal to Use during Archery Season
Hunters Advised to Take Precautions against Mosquito Bites
 
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds sportsmen that the 2013 fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey opens September 16. From September 16 to December 31, bowhunters can hunt for both deer and turkeys on designated state lands and on private land where they have written permission of the landowner. In deer management zone 11 (Fairfield County area) and zone 12 (Connecticut shoreline towns), archery hunters can hunt for deer and turkeys from September 16, 2013, until January 31, 2014.

Crossbows: Recently passed regulations now allow the use of crossbows during Connecticut archery hunting seasons. Crossbow hunters are required to have an archery permit, which is available only to those who have completed a Bowhunter Education course.
 
Mosquitoes: Hunters are advised to take precautions against mosquito bites as both eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus and West Nile virus (WNV) have been found in mosquitoes in Connecticut. EEE is a rare but potentially deadly disease in humans that should be taken seriously. WNV can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. Hunters should cover bare skin, use insect repellent while out in the field hunting, and be aware of the locations where infected mosquitoes have been identified.
 
Mosquitoes with EEE virus have been identified in Hampton, Plainfield and Voluntown. The numbers and types of mosquitoes with EEE identified in Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown prompted DEEP to close part of the forest in late August to recreational activities and to conduct ultra-low volume ground spraying to reduce the number of mosquitoes. Hunters should be aware that portions of Pachaug State Forest that were previously closed due to EEE activity have been re-opened to general recreation use. (The Mt. Misery campground and the nearby Horse Camp also known as the Frog Hollow Horse Camp will remain closed until further notice.) 

Since June 27, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been identified at trap sites in the towns of Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Manchester, New Haven, Norwalk, Plainfield, Stafford, Stamford, Stratford, Voluntown, Wallingford, Waterford, and Westport.  For more information on EEE, WNV, and what you can do to prevent mosquito bites, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website at www.ct.gov/mosquito.
 
Archery Season Reminders: 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 for their use are on page 25 of the 2013 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, as well as on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.
 
Hunters are required to report their deer and turkey kills within 24 hours either on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting) 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, at DEEP offices, and at most licensing agents. 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.
 
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.
 
“The outlook for the 2013 hunting season is very good,” said Michael Gregonis, a Deer/Turkey Program biologist for the DEEP Wildlife Division. “Although there are good deer hunting opportunities throughout most of Connecticut, the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns provide the best opportunities, especially for bowhunters. Many landowners use the archery deer hunting season as a safe and effective method of reducing deer populations, especially in the more developed areas of the state where firearms hunting may not be feasible.” In these areas (deer management zones 11 and 12), DEEP has continued to liberalize the deer hunting season to maximize hunter efficiency and lower deer populations to more desirable levels.
 
The fall 2013 acorn crop appears to be very limited and spotty. A poor acorn crop usually equates to higher hunter success rates due to increased movements of deer traveling between bedding and feeding sites.
 
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 www.ct.gov/deep/hunting. Deer and turkey permits can be purchased on-line at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing or at participating town halls, vendors, and at some DEEP offices. Hunters should consult the DEEP website for an up-to-date listing of new state lands open to archery hunting.