DEEP: Hunting and Trapping

Hunting and Trapping



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Licenses and Permits: Online Sportsmen Licensing

Hunting & Trapping Season Information

ATTENTION PHEASANT HUNTERS (November 23, 2016): This is the last week of pheasant stocking at state areas. At least 2,000 birds are being released this week. A small allotment of birds has been released at Robbins Swamp WMA and Housatonic WMA. Due to the recent snow storm, no additional birds will be released this week at Goshen WMA, Skiff Mountain, Housatonic WMA, or Robbins Swamp. We are concerned that the survival of the birds will be impacted by a lack of cover because the vegetation has been flattened by the snow and there is nowhere for the birds to hide or get under the vegetation. All four of these areas will be stocked with birds next week on two separate days.

2016 Hunting & Trapping Seasons

Please note that the online versions of the 2016 Hunting and Trapping Guide and 2016-2017 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide contain several recent updates to REGULATIONS that are not included in the printed versions of these guides. Please consult the website before heading out into the field this fall.

- 2016 Hunting & Trapping Guide - Deer Lottery
- Migratory Bird Hunting Guide - Tagging & Reporting Deer/Turkey
- Fed. Migratory Bird Hunting Regs (pdf) - Replacement Tag Deer Check Stations
- License & Permit Information - Deer/Turkey Harvest Tags (pdf)
- Online Permit-Required Area and Small Game Reporting - Online Reporting of a Coyote/Fox taken by Hunting
Trapping Season Information
NEW REGULATIONS (Effective July 1, 2016 and not included in the printed version of the 2016 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide.)
- Junior Hunter Training Days - Pheasant Hunting
- Outdoor Safety Tips - Hunting Area Maps
- Field Trial Dates - Management Zone Map
- Shooting Ranges - Sunrise/Sunset Times
Snapping Turtle Regulations
Game Bird Harvest Tags (pdf)
Field Trials, Dog Training, Shooting Preserves
Corrections to the printed version of the 2016 Connecticut Hunting & Trapping Guide:
  • Aldo Leopold Wildlife Management Area in Southbury: Muzzleloader deer hunting is permitted (see Public Hunting Area table on page 40).
  • MDC Barskhamsted Reservoir - Barkhamsted East Block, Sweetheart Mountain, and Hartland East Block: Fall archery deer and turkey hunting are NOT permitted (see Public Hunting Area table on page 41).
  • Centennial Watershed State Forest - Shelton Parcel (formerly Bridgeport Hydraulic): Small game, waterfowl, and archery turkey hunting are NOT permitted. Only archery deer hunting is allowed at this area. (see Public Hunting Area table on page 40).
  • Naugatuck State Forest: Open to pheasant hunting (see page 40).
  • Meriden Rod and Gun Club: Open to pheasant hunting with a daily permit (see page 41).
  • Seymour Fish and Game Club: Open to pheasant hunting with a daily permit (see page 41).

2017 Hunting & Trapping Seasons

- 2017 Hunting & Trapping Guide - Deer Lottery
- Migratory Bird Hunting Guide - Tagging & Reporting Deer/Turkey
- Fed. Migratory Bird Hunting Regs (pdf) - Replacement Tag Deer Check Stations
- License and Permit Information - Deer/Turkey Harvest Tags (pdf)
- Online Permit-Required Area and Small Game Reporting - Online Reporting of a Coyote/Fox taken by Hunting
Trapping Season Information
NEW REGULATIONS (Effective July 1, 2016)
- Junior Hunter Training Days - Pheasant Hunting
- Outdoor Safety Tips - Hunting Area Maps
- Field Trial Dates - Management Zone Map
- Shooting Ranges - Sunrise/Sunset Times
Snapping Turtle Regulations
Game Bird Harvest Tags (pdf)
Field Trials, Dog Training, Shooting Preserves
Apply for the Deer Lottery Starting January 1, 2017
NEW! Deer lottery permits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting January 1, 2017 through the Online Sportsmen Licensing System or at DEEP offices. (Instructions for purchasing lottery permitspdf)
CT NASP is an in-school program typically taught during physical education classes. The program is designed to teach International-style target archery skills with the help of a pre-written curriculum which meets or exceeds national physical education standards. Visit the CT NASP webpage for more information.
NEW! Tally of 2016 Deer Season Results: Keep track of the deer season harvest for the archery, landowner, and shotgun/rifle seasons and see how it compares to the harvest in 2014 and 2015. The tally will be updated regularly, so check back often.
Sign up to receive Wildlife Highlights, a free electronic newsletter for anyone interested in Connecticut's wildlife and the outdoors! View the archived copy of the first edition: October 2016.
ATTENTION: The DEEP Wildlife and Forestry Divisions are initiating a forestry operation to salvage non-native red pine from an 8-acre site at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington. All nearby trails will be closed for public safety during the tree removal. Please heed any signs or trail closings while visiting the area. The red pines are dying due to insect infestations and they pose a hazard to hikers using the nearby trails. Revenue from the sale of the forest products will be used to enhance wildlife projects and educational efforts at Sessions Woods.
NEW! 2015 Connecticut Deer Program Summary: A summary of white-tailed deer information for 2015, including changes in deer management regulations, harvest statistics, research activities, and population dynamics of Connecticut’s deer population. (PDF, 31 pages)
{Junior hunters with mentor}
NEW! 2016 Junior Pheasant Hunt Events
Saturday, October 8, is the designated Junior Hunter Training Day for pheasants on state and private land. Several special hunting events are being held for junior hunters on October 8 and other days during the hunting season. Visit the Junior Hunter webpage for more information.
{Hunting and Fishing Day logo} Connecticut Hunting and Fishing Days at the Wildlife Division's Franklin and Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Areas were a huge success. Thank you to all who attended and also participated in these fun, free events to celebrate hunting and fishing and also the 150th Anniversary of the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources. Stay tuned for next year!
Stone's Ranch Military Reservation: The Stone's Ranch Military Reservation in East Lyme is available for deer and turkey hunting by daily permit. Daily access permits will be issued through the on-line sportsmen licensing system on a first-come, first-served basis. All hunters will be required to check-in and out with military personnel at a single access control point and must have the appropriate valid state land firearms or archery deer permit and, if hunting turkeys, a fall archery turkey permit or Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. Any deer or turkey taken on the property must be reported (Tagging & Reporting Deer/Turkey). Use 336 as the public hunting area code for this property. Continuation of the program in the future is contingent upon all hunters following the site-specific rules and strict adherence to all hunting laws and regulations. Rules, Maps and Instructions for Stone's Ranch Permits (pdf). Permits can be obtained for the following season dates:  
Archery Deer: Sept. 15, Oct. 11, Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Nov. 8, Nov. 10 State Land No-Lottery Shotgun B: Nov. 29
Youth Deer Hunter Training Days: Nov. 8 and Nov. 10 State Land Muzzleloader: Dec. 7, Dec. 14
State Land No-Lottery Shotgun A:  Nov. 22 ONLY Archery Deer and Turkey: Dec. 21
What to Do If You Harvest a Deer with a Neck Collar
DEEP Wildlife Division researchers have captured and placed neck collars on over 150 white-tailed deer in northwestern throughout Connecticut. The marked deer may have a leather or nylon brown-colored collar; ear tags may or may not be present. Hunters should know that it is both completely legal and safe to harvest and consume these animals. The Wildlife Division asks that if hunters come across a collared deer during the upcoming hunting season, that they should hunt as they normally do – intentionally targeting collared deer or passing on them biases the mortality data. We also ask that if you do harvest a collared deer, please contact us using the phone number on the collar, or at 860-418-5921. We would like to collect the collar and jawbone from the animal if possible.
Chronic Wasting Disease Testing in White-tailed Deer
The Wildlife Division is collecting deer heads for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing from ALL Deer Management Zones during the 2016 hunting season. In an attempt to make data collection easier, hunters should fill out a Deer Head Collection Tag to accompany heads. Arrangements can be made to have heads picked up by emailing either or, or calling 860-424-3011. (More information on CWD)
Online Issuance of Daily Permits for Small Game Hunting: Daily permits for hunting small game on some Permit-Required Hunting Areas can be obtained for free online. These permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Only one online permit can be obtained per selected hunting date. Consult the Hunting Area Maps to see which areas have online permitting. Online permits can be obtained on the Sportsmen's Licensing Website. Instructions for Online Purchases (pdf)
{2016 CT Duck Stamp}
NEW! Artists are invited to enter the contest by submitting an original piece of artwork that depicts a waterfowl species (duck, goose, or brant) that occurs in Connecticut. The winning entry will be featured on the 2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. View a slideshow of the artwork submitted for the contest held in 2016.
{BNR 150th Anniversary Logo} NEW! Join us in celebrating 150 Years of Natural Resource Conservation in Connecticut! Throughout 2016, we will look back at our history and also look ahead to the future of natural resources in our state. Follow along with the celebration and participate in special events to be held year-long. Check out our historical timeline: Connecticut Bureau of Natural Resources Through the Years.
{Jr. hunters at the trap field}
Junior Hunting Webpage: Learn about Junior Hunter Training Days, special events, and more.
Sunday Archery Deer Hunting: Effective October 1, 2015, archery deer hunters can hunt on Sundays on private land only in Deer Management Zones 1, 4b, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 (zone map). Deer Management Zones 2, 3, and 4a are NOT open to Sunday archery deer hunting. Landowners hunting with a bow during the "Free Landowner Deer Season" on properties located within Deer Management Zones 1, 4b, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 may also hunt on Sundays. Archery deer hunting on Sundays must take place at least 40 yards away from blazed hiking trails.
Avian Influenza Update: What You Need to Know
Firearms Accreditation Courses - Firearms Accreditation courses are available only to experienced hunters who have previously held a resident or non-resident firearms hunting license in any jurisdiction (state or Canadian Province) that is a member of the IHEA (International Hunter Education Association).

Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer: A presentation on chronic wasting disease has been developed, which is ideal for hunting and conservation clubs. If you would like a presenter to visit your club or organization, please email the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge at or, or call 860-399-2513. An informational rack card on CWD is available for printing and distribution.

{Wildlife Action Plan logo}
Connecticut's Wildlife Action Plan
The final version of the 2015 Connecticut Wildlife Action Plan was approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in January 2016. This plan establishes both a state and national framework for proactively conserving our fish and wildlife, including their habitats, for the next 10 years.
Hunting and Connecticut's Gun Laws: Common questions and answers about how Connecticut's new gun laws may affect hunters.
Young Forest and Shrubland Initiative
The Wildlife Division in cooperation with other partners has initiated the Young Forest and Shrubland Initiative to help restore important habitats. Projects associated with this initiative include: 1) New England cottontail restoration, 2) upland shrubland bird monitoring, and 3) American woodcock habitat use and survival.
Ruffed Grouse Research: To obtain distribution and harvest information, the Wildlife Division is asking the public for ruffed grouse sighting and grouse parts. Grouse sightings may consist of actual bird observations or drumming activity. Individuals are also asked to send in grouse wings and tails from hunter harvested or road-killed birds. These items are used to determine the age and sex of grouse, which will assist in assessing productivity and harvest composition. To report grouse sightings and/or donate grouse parts, please contact Michael Gregonis at or 860-424-3011.
Frequently Asked Questions
Information about hunting, licensing, safety and education requirements for obtaining hunting and trapping licenses.
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Lead Bullet Fragments in Wild Game
There have been recent concerns about the potential risk of exposure to lead fragments in deer meat harvested with lead ammunition. These considerations have prompted the DEEP, in consultation with the Department of Public Health, to provide additional guidance for hunters and consumers of venison. (read more)

Tree Stand Safety
Improper use of tree stands is one of the most common causes for injuries and death to hunters in the field. For free online instruction on the proper use of tree stands and safety harnesses, go to

Falconry - Information about the sport of falconry in Connecticut.

Submit Sighting Reports
 Report a Black Bear Sighting
 Report a Moose Sighting
 Report Turkey Brood Sightings

Wildlife News Wildlife Publications & Forms Wildlife Offices

Stories and News of Interest:

2015 Deer Season a Tough One for Many Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Celebrating 150 Years of Natural Resource Conservation Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
A History of Wildlife Conservation in Connecticut Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
From "Special Protectors" to EnCon Police Officers Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Youth Pheasant Hunting Events Popular this Year Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Northwest CT Fawn Mortality Project Wrap-up Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Survey of Wildlife Agencies Sheds Light on Deer Harvest Reporting Methods Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Winter Feeding of Deer Causes More Harm than Good Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
New England Cottontail Status Update Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Forty Years of Connecticut Wild Turkey Biologists Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
The Science Behind Setting Waterfowl Hunting Regulations Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Aerial Excitement in Connecticut  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Deer Research Update, Winter 2015  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Hunter Complaints Up -- Deer Numbers Down?  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
CE/FS Instructor Recognized for Milestone Accomplishment  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
From the Woods to the Web: Hunters Providing Valuable Data  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Waterfowl Training Day a "Honking" Success  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Be a Mentor to a New Hunter!  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Crossbows -- Expanding Opportunities for Hunters  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
CT Waterfowl Association Launches Mentoring Program  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
WSFR Past, Present, and Future  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Waterfowl Hunter Water Survival Tips  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
The Wood Duck Success Story  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
An Alternative Approach to Monitoring CT's Deer Population  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Celebrating 75 Years of Partnership for American Wildlife  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
Migratory Gamebird Management Throughout the Years  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)

More Wildlife News 

Content last updated on November 30, 2016.