DEEP: Fall Archery Deer and Turkey Seasons Open September 15

2017 Press Release

September 7, 2017

Fall Archery Deer and Turkey Seasons Open September 15

Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp Replaces Turkey Permits

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds sportsmen that the 2017 fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey opens on September 15.
  • Fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey extends to the end of December on private lands and state land bowhunting only areas, and to the end of January 2018 on private lands in Deer Management 11 and 12.
  • On state lands also open to firearms hunting, the archery season runs from September 15 to November 14 and from December 20 through the end of the month.
  • Of special note is that archery deer hunting is allowed on private lands on Sundays in Deer Management Zones 1, 4B, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
“The outlook for the 2017 hunting season is good because mild winters and abundant acorn crops over the past two years have made it easy on deer and challenging for hunters as harvest numbers have been low,” said Rick Jacobson, Director, DEEP Wildlife Division. “It is expected that acorn production will be lower this year, so if pending weather conditions are favorable, harvest numbers this fall should increase from 2016.”

“The best hunting opportunities are in the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns, especially for bowhunters,” continued Jacobson. “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.”

Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp: A Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp was established in 2016, which replaces all turkey permits and the Pheasant Stamp, and is required to hunt any resident (non-migratory) game birds, including wild turkey, pheasant, ruffed grouse, partridges, and quail. The cost of the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp is $28 for adults and non-residents and $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 game birds and their habitat.

Wild turkey hunters planning to hunt in fall 2017 will need a 2017 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.

Sunday Archery Deer Hunting: Sunday archery deer hunting on private lands in 2017 will be permitted in all but three of the state’s Deer Management Zones (DMZs) based on its assessment of the deer population in each of the zones. The three zones where Sunday hunting will NOT be permitted – DMZs 2, 3, and 4A – are in north central Connecticut, including portions of Hartford, Litchfield, and Tolland Counties. Wild turkeys, however, may NOT be taken on Sunday anywhere in the state. The Connecticut Deer Management Zone map can be found on the DEEP website at

Deer and Wild Turkey Program Reports: The DEEP Wildlife Division recently published two new reports which are available on the DEEP website at The 2016 Connecticut Deer Program Summary provides a summary of white-tailed deer information for 2016 and the 2016 Wild Turkey Program Report provides a summary of wild turkey information, including harvest statistics for the 2016 spring and fall hunting seasons.

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 for their use are on page 34 of the 2017 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: 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, 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.
Attachment – White-tailed Deer

Suggested Caption: The outlook for the 2017 deer hunting season is expected to be good, depending on weather conditions. The best opportunities are in the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns, especially for bowhunters.

Photo credit: Paul J. Fusco, CT DEEP-Wildlife Division.