DEEP: Junior Hunter Training Days

Junior Hunting
 
 
New! 2017 Junior Pheasant Hunts

{Junior hunters with mentor}
One Saturday each October is designated as Junior Hunter Training Day for pheasants on state and private land. This year it is scheduled for Saturday, October 14. The DEEP Wildlife Division, in cooperation with various sportsmen's clubs, holds several special hunting events for junior hunters on Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day and other days during the pheasant hunting season.
 
Graduates of Connecticut’s Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Program that are between the ages of 12 and 16 years old and who possess a valid 2017 Junior Hunting License are eligible to apply to participate in these free events.
 
View photos from the 2015 Junior Pheasant Hunting events and learn what a typical training day is all about.

 
 
Mentored Junior Hunter Pheasant Events
 
The following events provide the opportunity for Junior Hunters to sharpen their shooting skills on a trap field and then take to the field to hunt with either a certified volunteer hunter safety instructor or experienced hunter, as well as with well-trained bird dogs with their handlers. Registration is required as space is limited. Please follow the specified registration instructions following each listed event.
{Logo of Bozrah Rod and Gun.}
 
Saturday, September 30
Bozrah Rod and Gun, Lebanon, 8:00 AM or 12:00 PM
Follow the instructions on the Junior Pheasant Hunt Day Application. You will need to log into the Online Sportsmen Licensing System to secure a Junior Hunter Training Day Permit. Complete the application information and mail the form, with a copy of your license with the daily permit information to: DEEP-Junior Pheasant Hunt, Sessions Woods WMA, P.O. Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013.
{Image of Wallingford Rod and Gun logo.}
Saturday, October 7
Wallingford Rod and Gun, Wallingford, 8:30 AM or 11:30 AM
Follow the instructions on the Junior Pheasant Hunt Day Application. You will need to log into the Online Sportsmen Licensing System to secure a Junior Hunter Training Day Permit. Complete the application information and mail the form, with a copy of your license with the daily permit information to: DEEP-Junior Pheasant Hunt, Sessions Woods WMA, P.O. Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013.
{Image of NWCSC logo.}
Sunday, October 8
Torrington Fish and Game, Torrington, 9:30 AM or 11:30 AM
Follow the instructions on the Junior Pheasant Hunt Day Application. You will need to log into the Online Sportsmen Licensing System to secure a Junior Hunter Training Day Permit. Complete the application information and mail the form, with a copy of your license with the daily permit information to: DEEP-Junior Pheasant Hunt, Sessions Woods WMA, P.O. Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013.
{Logo of Northwest Rod and Gun.}
Saturday, October 14
Northwest Rod and Gun, North Canaan, 8:00 AM or 11:30 AM
Follow the instructions on the Junior Pheasant Hunt Day Application. You will need to log into the Online Sportsmen Licensing System to secure a Junior Hunter Training Day Permit. Complete the application information and mail the form, with a copy of your license with the daily permit information to: DEEP-Junior Pheasant Hunt, Sessions Woods WMA, P.O. Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013.
{Image of Belltown Sportsman}
Sunday, November 12
Belltown Sportsman's Club, East Hampton, 9:00 AM (Available for registration beginning September 25, 2017)
Follow the instructions on the Junior Pheasant Hunt Day Application. You will need to log into the Online Sportsmen Licensing System to secure a Junior Hunter Training Day Permit. Complete the application information and mail the form, with a copy of your license with the daily permit information to: DEEP-Junior Pheasant Hunt, Sessions Woods WMA, P.O. Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013.
 
 
Hunt on Your Own Junior Pheasant Hunts
Saturday, October 14
 
Licensed Junior Hunters accompanied by a licensed adult hunter (18 years of age and older) are invited to hunt pheasants at the following areas. The adult mentor must have a hunting license but cannot carry a firearm. Dog handlers will not be provided but birds will be released at these sites prior to the date. All junior hunters must secure a Junior Hunting License, Resident Game Bird Stamp, and a Junior Hunter Training Day Permit on the Online Sportsmen Licensing System to participate. 
NU-Skiff Mountain Cooperative Wildlife Management Area, Sharon, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM or 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Goshen Wildlife Management Area, Goshen
Housatonic Wildlife Management Area, Kent
Robbins Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Canaan
{Logo for the Northwest Connecticut Sportsman}
 
Thanks to the Northwest Connecticut Sportsman's Council, these four state areas in northwestern Connecticut will be stocked for the "Hunt on Your Own Junior Pheasant Hunts" scheduled for October 14, 2017.
 

2017 Junior Hunter Training Days

Regulations designate certain days for youth hunting in Connecticut. On these days, licensed junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) may hunt when accompanied by a licensed adult hunter 18 years of age or older. The adult mentor may not carry a firearm and at all times must remain within physical contact in a position to provide direct supervision and instruction. These training days will provide junior hunters with an opportunity to learn safe and effective hunting practices from experienced hunters.
 
WATERFOWL - SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2017, and SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2017.
Participants must be between 12-15 years of age, possess a valid small game junior hunting license, and a 2017 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. Adults must possess a valid hunting license; however, they are not allowed to carry a firearm. Ducks, geese, mergansers, and coots may be hunted. Bag limits and shooting hours are the same as for the regular duck and goose hunting seasons.

{junior waterfowl hunter with mentor}

The Connecticut Waterfowler's Association sponsors a Waterfowl Mentoring Program. View an article (PDF) in Connecticut Wildlife magazine that describes how this great program pairs experienced volunteer mentors with youths and even adult novice waterfowl hunters.

PHEASANT - SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2017
State and Private Land: Youth participants must possess a current junior hunting license and a Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. There may be exceptions if hunting on a private shooting preserve or a hunting club property with a stamp exemption. Youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. Adults must possess a valid hunting license; however, they are not allowed to carry a firearm.

DEER - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4 through SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2017 (excluding Sunday)
Private Land: Licensed junior hunter and adult mentor must have a valid private land shotgun/rifle deer permit and written consent from landowner.
State Land: Licensed junior hunter must have a state land shotgun deer permit (Lottery or No-Lottery). Adult mentor must have a valid deer permit of any type. Deer hunting on Junior Hunter Training Days is permitted on any Lottery or No-Lottery Deer area, regardless of area designated on the permit, with the following exceptions:
 1. Yale Forest, MDC Barkhamsted Reservoir-Barkhamsted East Block, MDC Barkhamsted Reservoir-Hartland East Block, MDC Nepaug Reservoir-Valentine Block, and MDC Nepaug Reservoir-Pine Hill Block are not open during Junior Deer Hunter Training Days.
 2. Centennial Watershed State Forest and Bristol Water Company are only open to junior hunters and mentors who have both been awarded a permit for these areas.

Report your deer harvest either by telephone (1-877-337-4868) or
online.

{image of junior deer hunter with deer}

SPRING TURKEY - SATURDAY, APRIL 15 through SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017 (excluding Sunday)
Private Land:
Licensed junior hunter and adult mentor must have both a valid Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp and written consent from landowner.
State Land: Licensed junior hunter and adult mentor must have a valid Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
Adult mentor may assist in calling turkeys. Hunting hours for Junior Hunter Training Days only: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 5:00 pm. Harvested turkeys must be tagged and reported (more info).

{image of junior turkey hunter with two turkeys} {image of junior turkey hunter with two turkeys}
{Jr. Hunter carrying turkey} {Two Jr. Hunters with turkeys}
 

2015 Junior Pheasant Hunt Recap
The junior pheasant hunter training day events held in 2015 were a huge success. Some of the events allowed junior hunters to hunt with certified volunteer Conservation Education/Firearms Safety (CE/FS) instructors over well-trained bird dogs and their handlers.

On September 19, 21 junior hunters participated in the pheasant hunt training at Bozrah Rod and Gun Club in Lebanon, 29 participated on October 4 at the Torrington Fish and Game Association, and 18 participated at the Flaherty Field Trail Area Clubs Association in East Windsor on October 10. The CE/FS instructors and countless volunteers, including dog handlers, club members, and cooks, helped provide junior hunters with a great experience and many were able to harvest their first bird.

Read an article (PDF) about the Junior Pheasant Hunting events in the November/December 2015 issue of Connecticut Wildlife magazine.

A Typical Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day

{Hunter safety instructors addressing Jr. hunters} {Jr. hunters at the trap field} {Hunter safety instructors and Jr. hunters before pheasant hunt}
Each hunt began with a safety review by certified hunter safety instructors.
Before heading out to the field, junior hunters had the opportunity to sharpen their skills on the trap field.
Each dog handler explained to the hunters and safety officers about what to expect and safety considerations for their hunting dog.

{image of hunting dog}
{junior hunter harvesting pheasant}
Well-trained hunting dogs waited with great anticipation for the hunt to begin.
Thanks to efforts of many well-trained hunting dogs, junior hunters were able to harvest their first pheasant.

 

Content last updated on August 30, 2017.