DEEP: DEEP Announces Opening Days of Upcoming Fall Firearms Hunting Seasons

October 8, 2013

DEEP Announces Opening Days of Upcoming Fall Firearms Hunting Seasons
 
New Regulations Expand Youth Opportunities
 

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced the Opening Days of the upcoming fall firearms hunting seasons.  Peak hunting occurs during early morning and late afternoon, primarily during the period from mid-October through mid-December.
 
The fall firearms turkey season opened statewide on Saturday, October 5, and continues through October 31.  The regular waterfowl season opens statewide on Wednesday, October 9, in both the north and south hunting zones.  Small game hunting season opens at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, for pheasant, bobwhite quail, ruffed grouse, chukar partridge, and cottontail rabbit.  The statewide firearms deer hunting season begins Wednesday, November 20.  A junior hunter training day for pheasants is scheduled for Saturday, October 12, on private land only.
 
Two junior hunter training days are scheduled for waterfowl; the first day occurred on Saturday, October 5, and the second is planned for Saturday, November 2.  New regulations have expanded training days for junior deer hunters who now have the opportunity to hunt for deer starting on Saturday, November 9, and extending through Saturday, November 16.

The 2013 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide and the 2013-2014 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide, which contain additional information on laws, regulations, and season dates, can be obtained at any town clerk or Wildlife Division office, or they can be found on the DEEP Web site at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.  Maps denoting many state-owned hunting areas and most permit-required hunting areas may be obtained from the DEEP Web site.
 
Small Game Season and Permit-required Information
With the exception of opening day (October 19) 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.
 
In addition to most state forests and wildlife management areas, small game 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.  A designated number of daily permits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for each day of the season. Permits may be requested up to two days in advance of the day that you wish to hunt.  A special “seasonal” access permit for Junior Hunters, aged 12-15, will continue to be available for selected areas.  The permit allows access during any day of the season for a Junior Hunter and accompanying adult licensed hunter without the need to obtain daily hunting permits.  Further details and permit forms are available from the DEEP Web site (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting).  Sportsmen wishing to hunt any designated permit-required hunting area should consult the 2013 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide for locations of vendors issuing daily permits.
 
New in 2013: This year, DEEP will be offering Daily Permits for a select group of Permit-Required Areas online. Please check the online Sportsmen Licensing website (www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing) for further details and a complete list of available areas.  As in the past, permits will be available up to two days in advance; however, only one permit will be issued per day online to any one individual.
 
Increased opportunities for small game hunting on some of the highest quality state-owned areas occur at Babcock Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA); (Colchester), Bear Hill WMA (Bozrah), Goshen WMA (Goshen), Higganum Meadows WMA (Haddam), and Nathan Hale State Forest (Coventry) where daily hunting permits are not required.  Pheasants will no longer be stocked at Quinnipiac River State Park (Wallingford) or John Minetto State Park (Torrington).  The Laurel Road section of the Roraback Wildlife Management Area (Harwinton) will be added to the stocking distribution areas for the upcoming season.
 
Pheasant Prospects Remain Good; Stamps Required
This year the DEEP will purchase a total of 15,380 adult pheasants based on revenues from the sale of 4,464 pheasant stamps in 2012.  This will result in a decrease of 1,596 birds from last year due to decreased revenue (284 fewer stamps sold) and an increase in the average price of adult pheasants (increased by $0.74).  As in past years, efforts will be concentrated on the best quality areas by stocking these areas two to three days per week, including some Saturdays.  In order to keep the number of birds stocked per stocking at a high level, efforts will be concentrated during the first four weeks following opening day, Saturday October 19.  Please note that pheasants will not be stocked the week of November 18 on any state-owned areas.
 
Pheasant Tags: A reminder that pheasant tags are no longer required; however, hunters still need to purchase a pheasant stamp authorization for their Conservation License.  The stamp will be valid until the end of February.
 
Pheasant stamp authorizations can be purchased through the online Sportsmen’s Licensing System at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing and from participating Town Clerks and Retail Agents, including Franklin Swamp WMA (Franklin), Sessions Woods, WMA (Burlington), DEEP Marine Headquarters (Old Lyme), DEEP Eastern District Headquarters (Marlborough), DEEP Western District Headquarters (Harwinton), and DEEP Headquarters (Hartford).
 
For additional details, such as area allocations and an updated listing of all major stocking areas, visit the DEEP Web site at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.