DEEP: Deer Hunting Seasons
Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
DEEP: Deer Hunting Seasons

DEER HUNTING SEASONS

{White-tailed Deer Buck}

2014 DEER HUNTING SEASONS
BOWHUNTING SEASONS Season Dates Bag Limit

State Land

Sep 15 - Nov 18
Dec 24 - Dec 31

Statewide: 2 either sex & 2 antlerless

In January on Private Land
Zones 11, 12
1 additional either sex
1 additional antlerless

State Land
Bowhunting Only Areas

Sep 15 - Dec 31

Private Lands
(All Zones)

Sep 15 - Dec 31

Private Lands
(Zones 11-12)

Jan 1 - Jan 31

SHOTGUN - State Controlled Areas

Season Dates Bag Limit

LOTTERY
State Land "A" Season

Nov 19 - Nov 28 1 either sex

LOTTERY
State Land "B" Season

Nov 29 - Dec 9

LOTTERY
Controlled Hunt "A" Season

Nov 19 - Nov 28 Variable
LOTTERY
Controlled Hunt "B" Season
Nov 29 - Dec 9
NO LOTTERY
State Land "A" Season
Nov 19 - Nov 28 1 either sex
NO LOTTERY
State Land "B" Season
Nov 29 - Dec 9 1 either sex
SHOTGUN-RIFLE - Private Lands Season Dates Bag Limit
Shotgun-Rifle Nov 19 - Dec 9 Statewide (except Zone 4a): 1 either sex and 1 antlerless
Zone 4a: 1 either sex
Zone 7: 1 additional antlerless
Zones 11, 12: 2 additional antlerless
Landowner Nov 1 - Dec 31 2 Deer: 1 either sex & 1 antlerless
MUZZLELOADER Season Dates Bag Limit
Private Land Dec 10 - Dec 31 Statewide (except Zone 4a): 1 either sex and 1 antlerless
Zone 4a: 1 either sex
Zone 7: 1 additional antlerless
Zones 11, 12: 2 additional antlerless
State Land Dec 10 - Dec 23 1 either sex
Deer Bowhunting
License & Permits: Small Game & Deer Archery Permit. All bowhunters must show proof when purchasing a small game/deer archery permit that they have completed the CE/FS bowhunting course (since 1982) or its equivalent from another state or country. If you have previously purchased a 2002, or later, Connecticut bowhunting permit you have already provided such proof.
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.
Legal Bows: For the purposes of hunting deer and turkey, legal bows include long, recurved, or compound bows with a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds and crossbows. Mechanical string release devices are permitted. Projectiles coated with any drug, poison or tranquilizing substance are prohibited.
Crossbows: The use of crossbows for hunting deer, turkey and all other species is permitted. Legal crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and permanent fixed rifle type stock with a functional mechanical safety device. Adjustable crossbow stocks are permitted, but folding stocks are not. The bolt (arrow) length must be at least 18 inches, excluding the broadhead. Crossbows are considered loaded when fully drawn with a bolt in place. Telescopic sights are permitted.
Arrowheads: Legal arrowheads for hunting deer and turkey must have at least two blades and must be at least 7/8 inch wide at its widest point. Arrowheads that are designed to open on impact are legal provided they meet the above requirement.
Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
Special Conditions: Possession of a Firearm - Possession of a firearm while archery hunting is prohibited.
Private Land Permission - Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms (pdf) for current season must be carried while hunting.
State Land Hunting - See Public Hunting Areas for listing of lands open to archery deer hunting. Certain state lands that do not allow firearms deer hunting are designated as bowhunting only areas. These lands are open to deer bowhunting during the state land shotgun and muzzleloader deer seasons (Nov. 19 - Dec. 23).
Fluorescent orange  - Bowhunters are required to wear 400 sq. in. of fluorescent orange from Nov. 19 - Dec. 31. Bowhunters may remove fluorescent orange clothing while in a tree stand at least 10 feet off the ground.
Decoys - Decoys may be used during the early and late archery deer seasons, but must be covered with 400 sq. in. of fluorescent orange during transport. Decoys can not be used during the Nov. 19 - Dec. 31 time period.
Replacement Tags - Available for this permit type (more info).
Notice: Saturday, November 8 through Saturday, November 15 are Junior Hunter Training Days and junior hunters with firearms deer permits may be hunting with firearms. 
State Land Lottery Deer Hunting
License & Permits: Firearms hunting license and a state land lottery permit or a controlled hunt area lottery permit. Only one of these permit types may be bought each year.
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.
Legal Firearms: 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Shotgun must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells. Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.
Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
Special Conditions:
Junior Hunter Training Days through Saturday November 8 and Saturday November 15 (more info)
State Land No-Lottery Deer Hunting
License & Permits: Firearms hunting license and either a State Land “A” No-Lottery permit or a State Land “B” No-Lottery permit. You may buy only one type of State Land Shotgun Deer Permit. So, you should not purchase a State Land No-Lottery Permit if you plan on applying for a State Land Lottery or Controlled Hunt Lottery Permit.
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.
Legal Firearms: 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Shotgun must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells. Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.
Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements
Open Areas:  No-Lottery "A" Deer Hunting Areas  and No-Lottery "B" Deer Hunting Areas.
Special Conditions:
Junior Hunter Training Days through Saturday November 8 and Saturday November 15 (more info)
Private Land Firearms Deer Hunting
License & Permits: Firearms hunting license and Private Land Shotgun/Rifle Deer permit. Note: Revolver Deer Endorsement is also required if using a revolver.
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.
Legal Firearms: 12, 16, or 20 gauge breech loading shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Centerfire rifle 6mm (.243 caliber) or larger or revolver .357 caliber or larger may be used if the landholding is 10 or more acres and the landowner has authorized use on the consent form. To use a revolver, you must also have Revolver Deer Endorsement for the current season. Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted. No minimum acreage required for shotguns or muzzleloaders.
Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
Special Conditions:
Zone 4a Restriction - “Antlerless Only” tag not valid in deer management zone 4a. Only the “Either-sex” deer tag will be valid in zone 4a.
Private Land Permission - Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms (pdf) for current season must be carried while hunting.
Replacement Tags - Available for this permit type (more info).
Junior Hunter Training Days through Saturday November 8 and Saturday November 15 (more info)
Landowner Deer Hunting
License & Permits: Free Landowner Deer Permit. Appropriate hunting license required if landowner does not live on qualifying property. Note: Revolver Deer Endorsement is also required if using a revolver. For hunting with a bow or crossbow, a Small Game & Deer Archery Permit is needed even for landowners living on the property.
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.
Legal Firearms: 12, 16, or 20 gauge shotgun loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition. Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed. Centerfire rifle 6mm (.243 caliber) or larger, revolver .357 caliber or larger, or muzzleloader (.45 caliber minimum). To use a revolver, you must also have Revolver Deer Endorsement for the current season. Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.
Legal Bows: For the purposes of hunting deer and turkey, legal bows include long, recurved, or compound bows with a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds and crossbows. Mechanical string release devices are permitted. Projectiles coated with any drug, poison or tranquilizing substance are prohibited.
Crossbows: The use of crossbows for hunting deer, turkey and all other species is permitted. Legal crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and permanent fixed rifle type stock with a functional mechanical safety device. Adjustable crossbow stocks are permitted, but folding stocks are not. The bolt (arrow) length must be at least 18 inches, excluding the broadhead. Crossbows are considered loaded when fully drawn with a bolt in place. Telescopic sights are permitted.
Arrowheads: Legal arrowheads for hunting deer and turkey must have at least two blades and must be at least 7/8 inch wide at its widest point. Arrowheads that are designed to open on impact are legal provided they meet the above requirement.
Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
Special Conditions: Free Landowner Permits are available only to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land. Additional permits are available for their spouses, lineal descendants, parents, grandparents and siblings.
Fluorescent Orange - Landowners hunting deer on their own land are not required to wear 400 sq. in. of fluorescent orange, but their lineal descendants, parents, grandparents and siblings are required to do so.
State Land Deer Muzzleloader Hunting
License & Permits: Firearms hunting license and State Land Muzzleloader Deer permit.
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.
Legal Firearms: Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted.
Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
Special Conditions:
State Land Hunting - See Public Hunting Areas for listing of state lands open to muzzleloader deer hunting.
Private Land Deer Muzzleloader Hunting
License & Permits: Firearms hunting license and Private Land Muzzleloader Deer permit.
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.
Legal Firearms: Muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, .45 caliber minimum. Single projectile loaded from muzzle end. Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are permitted. No minimum acreage required for muzzleloaders.
Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
Special Conditions:
Zone 4a Restriction - “Antlerless Only” tag not valid in deer management zone 4a. Only the “Either-sex” deer tag will be valid in zone 4a.
Private Land Permission - Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms (pdf) for current season must be carried while hunting.
Replacement Tags - Available for this permit type (more info).
Antlerless Deer
Some deer tags allow the harvest of antlerless deer only. An antlerless deer is defined as any deer which has no visible antlers. "Button Bucks" are considered antlerless deer. Either sex deer tags allow the harvest of antlered or antlerless deer.
Replacement Tags
Replacement Antlerless Tags: If you register an antlerless deer, taken on private land, at one of the check stations which issues replacement tags, you may qualify for a replacement antlerless tag. 
"Earn-A-Buck" Tags: If you register a total of 3 antlerless deer from private land during the same season you may qualify for a replacement either-sex tag.
Note: Hunters must bring their deer and completed Harvest Tag along with their report confirmation number in order to be issued replacement tags (more info). All replacement tags will be issued in limited numbers based on a zone's deer population management goals. Replacement tags are available in zones 11 and 12 during the private land shotgun/rifle season, the private land muzzleloader season and the archery season. Consult the Private Land Deer Management Zone Map for a description of zones. Replacement tags will only be valid for use on private lands within designated zones and only where written consent of the landowner has been granted. To receive a replacement antlerless tag, submission of the whole deer carcass is preferred. However, check stations that issue replacement tags are instructed to also accept the head of antlerless deer to verify harvest.
Use of Attractants for Deer Hunting
The following attractants may be used while hunting deer in Connecticut:
  1. Deer decoys during the early and late archery seasons only.
  2. All types of scent attractants (i.e., doe in heat, buck lure, urine, tarsal glands, food smells, smoke pole) that provide no substance for deer to consume.
  3. All types of sound attractants (i.e., doe calls, buck calls, antler rattling, electronic calls).
  4. Hunting over planted fields where normal agricultural planting, harvesting, or post-harvest manipulation is used.
In addition to the attractants listed above, the following are allowed on PRIVATE LANDS ONLY while hunting deer in DEER MANAGEMENT ZONES 11 and 12.
  1. Minerals or chemicals that may be safely consumed by deer (i.e., salt licks).
  2. Artificial or natural foods placed, scattered, distributed or deposited (i.e., hay, grains, fruit, nuts and other foods that may be safely consumed by deer).
Note: It is strongly recommended that individuals hunting on private lands in zones 11 and 12 consult with landowners prior to placing attractants on their property.
Tagging and Transporting Deer
See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
Deer Check Stations
Hunters only need to bring their antlerless deer or antlerless deer head, along with a report confirmation number, to a check station if they wish to get a replacement tag for use in deer management zones 11 and 12. All other deer must be reported within 24 hours using the phone or internet.
Deer Hunter Survey
Deer hunters may be contacted by mail, email, or telephone for surveys regarding their deer hunting activities. 
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD)
What is CWD? CWD is a naturally occurring disease of the brain and nervous system in deer and elk. It attacks the brain of deer and elk, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. CWD was first recognized in the late 1960s in a herd of captive mule deer in Colorado. Although the disease was discovered over 30 years ago, it recently has received much media attention because of its discovery in free-ranging deer in southern Wisconsin and western Colorado. Only four species, mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose and elk, appear to be naturally susceptible to CWD. Domestic livestock and humans are not known to be susceptible to CWD.
Where is CWD found? Prior to 2005, the disease had only been found in North America west of Illinois. In 2005, CWD was documented in captive and free-ranging herds in New York and in free-ranging herds in West Virginia. Since then, it has also been discovered in several other states. CWD has not been found in Connecticut or New England. States and Canadian provinces where CWD has been confirmed include: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New York, West Virginia, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
What is CT doing about CWD? Connecticut, along with many other states, has banned the importation of live cervids (species in the deer/elk family) across state lines. In 2005, Connecticut passed an emergency regulation banning the importation of whole carcasses or parts thereof of any deer or elk from wild or captive herds from other states or Canadian provinces where CWD has been confirmed. The ban on importation does not apply to meat that is de-boned, cleaned skullcaps, hides or taxidermy mounts. The regulation became permanent in 2007.
From 2003 to 2011, the DEEP Wildlife Division tested hunter and vehicle-killed deer as part of a nationwide CWD monitoring and surveillance program. To date, no evidence of CWD in Connecticut’s deer herd has been detected. Funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) was eliminated from the federal budget in 2012, so no CWD testing was conducted in 2012 or 2013. However, a joint partnership between Connecticut DEEP and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, with financial assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuge System (USFWS-NWRS), will allow for testing to again be conducted in 2014. With the testing of over 32,000 deer in New York with no additional CWD cases being documented, the DEEP Wildlife Division no longer considers deer management zones 1, 6, and 11 to be high risk. Therefore, sampling will be stratified across all zones based on deer density. A total of 298 heads will need to be collected during the 2014 hunting season. Hunters interested in donating deer heads should keep the heads cool (not frozen) and arrange for them to be picked up by emailing either william.embacher@ct.gov or andrew.labonte@ct.gov, or calling 860-424-3011.

*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 Nathan_Ingebretsen@fws.gov or Shaun_Roche@fws.gov, or call 860-399-2513.

*An informational rack card on CWD is available for printing and distribution.

How do I know if an animal has CWD? As the disease advances, infected animals begin displaying abnormal behavior, such as staggering or standing with very poor posture. Infected animals become emaciated and appear to be in very poor health. The only efficient method to diagnose CWD is to dispatch the animal and examine the brain tissue for lesions. Anyone observing a deer exhibiting symptoms of CWD should notify the Wildlife Division (860-424-3011) or the DEEP’s 24-hour TIP hotline (1-800-842-HELP). If the animal is dispatched, the head should be kept intact so that a brain sample can be collected for testing.
Should hunters be concerned? No known link exists between CWD and humans, however, health officials advise hunters not to consume meat from animals known to be infected with CWD and recommend boning out meat. As usual, hunters should continue to employ normal precautions when field dressing deer, such as wearing rubber gloves. Concerns about CWD should not keep hunters from participating in Connecticut’s deer seasons. (more info about CWD)
DEER LIVER CONSUMPTION ADVISORY
The Connecticut Departments of Public Health (DPH) and Environmental Protection advise sportsmen to limit their consumption of deer liver. Analysis of livers collected from 49 hunter-killed deer in 1991 indicated that some samples had unacceptably high levels of cadmium, a toxic metal. Sportsmen should note this advisory is only for liver and not for deer meat. Because kidneys also concentrate cadmium, it is recommended that this organ not be consumed.
 
For those who wish to continue to consume liver from deer despite this warning, the following recommendations are made:
  1. Eat the liver of younger deer.
  2. Reduce the number of meals of deer liver to no more than a few per year.
High levels of cadmium in deer livers are not unusual in the northeastern U.S., and with this advisory Connecticut joins several other states in this region that have issued similar warnings. For further information about cadmium toxicity call DPH at (860)509-7742.

DEER LOTTERY

New Changes: Starting January 1st, Lottery permit applications can be submitted online (online application instructions pdf), or at select DEEP locations (79 Elm St, Hartford; Franklin WMA; Sessions Woods WMA, Burlington; Eastern District HQ, Marlborough; Marine HQ, Old Lyme; Western District HQ, Harwinton).
 Licensed firearms hunters can apply individually or as a group.  The maximum number of hunters in a group is four.  Applicants may apply for up to six areas and can designate a preference for either the “A” or “B” season.
 
Upon submission of your application, you will know instantly whether you are successful. If successful, the permit for the area and season will automatically be added to your “shopping cart.”  If you apply as a group, the associated permit will also be added to each group member’s “shopping cart.” The permit may be purchased at the time of selection or at a later date. However, all permits must be purchased by June 30th.
 
Any lottery permits not purchased by June 30th, will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis starting July 15th. They can be purchased online or at DEEP offices up until December 9th.
For more information about the changes to the lottery and how to apply, select this link: Deer Lottery Information (pdf)
 

2014 Deer Lottery
"A" Hunting Areas

SF-State Forest    WMA-Wildlife Management Area   SP-State Park

     Town(s) Acres
Area 7 (Permit Quota: 53)
Pootatuck SF New Fairfield 1,103
Area 8 (Permit Quota: 97)
Paugussett SF Newtown 1,947
Area 9 (Permit Quota: 207)
Naugatuck SF Beacon Falls* 4,154
Area 11 (Permit Quota: 481)
Meshomasic SF Portland* 9,099
Wangunk Meadows WMA Portland 637
Area 12 (Permit Quota: 396)
Salmon River SF Colchester* 6,980
Larson Lot WMA Colchester 240
Wopowog WMA East Hampton, Haddam 475
Area 15 (Permit Quota: 157)
Nathan Hale SF Coventry* 1,455
Nye Holman SF Tolland* 786
Kollar WMA Tolland 911
Area 27 (Permit Quota: 22)
Camp Columbia SF Morris 470
CONTROLLED HUNT AREAS
Area 51 (Permit Quota: 230)
Yale Forest
No access during Junior Hunter Training Days.
Union* 7,700
Area 53 (Permit Quota: 70)
NU-Maromas (Co-op) Middletown 1,400
Area 54 (Permit Quota: 35)
NU-Skiff Mt. (Co-op) Sharon 710
* and adjacent town or towns

2014 Deer Lottery
"A" and "B" Hunting Areas

SF-State Forest    WMA-Wildlife Management Area   SP-State Park

     Town(s) Acres
Area 26 (Permit Quotas: A=15 B=15)
Trout Brook Valley SP Easton 330
Area 28 (Permit Quotas: A=25 B=25)
Naugatuck State Forest - Quillinan Reservoir Block Ansonia 511
Area 60 (Permit Quotas: A=20 B=20)
Tankerhoosen WMA Vernon 449
CONTROLLED HUNT AREAS
Area 52 (Permit Quotas: A=75 B=75)
Bristol Water Co. Harwinton 4,500
Area 56 (Permit Quotas: A=170 B=170)
Centennial Watershed SF
No access during Junior Hunter Training Days except for junior hunters who have been awarded a permit for this area.
Easton, Weston* 3,450
Area 58  (Permit Quotas: A=53 B=53)
MDC Nepaug Reservoir Valentine Block
No access during Junior Hunter Training Days.
Hunters selected for this area will be required to attend a mandatory pre-hunt meeting, pass a background check conducted by MDC, and sign a waiver of liability, before receiving access for hunting.
New Hartford* 1,075
Area 59  (Permit Quotas: A=16 B=16)
MDC Pine Hill Block
No access during Junior Hunter Training Days.
Hunters selected for this area will be required to attend a mandatory pre-hunt meeting, pass a background check conducted by MDC, and sign a waiver of liability, before receiving access for hunting.
New Hartford 325
* and adjacent town or towns

DEER LOTTERY HUNTING AREA MAP

{Deer Lottery Zone Map}

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