DEEP: Field Notes

Field Notes and What's New

Advanced Hunter Education
The DEEP Wildlife Division’s Conservation Education/Firearms Safety (CE/FS) Program offers hunting safety classes on firearms and archery hunting and trapping throughout the year. The classes are taught by a dedicated corps of certified volunteer instructors. The CE/FS Program is now offering Advanced Hunter Education seminars and clinics on such topics as waterfowl hunting, hunter marksmanship, small game hunting, venison processing, and wild turkey hunting. These hunting seminars and clinics are meant to expand on the knowledge and skills of hunters and anyone else who wants more information about pertinent topics in hunting. All programs are free and open to the public. Periodically check this webpage to see when courses are scheduled. Information on several courses planned for 2018 will be included in the 2018 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, which should be available by mid-December 2017. A brief description of the seminars and clinics follows:
Waterfowl Hunting Seminar: Sponsored by the Connecticut Waterfowl Association (CWA), this seminar will provide participants with all of the basic information needed to get started or become a more successful waterfowl hunter! Expert instructors will provide interactive presentations on various aspects of duck and goose hunting, including decoy spreads, biology, shooting, calling, and hunting techniques.
Hunter Marksmanship Clinic: Today’s hunter understands that owning and mastering a rifle or shotgun is part of his/her hunting heritage. Whether you are a new shooter or a seasoned marksman, this clinic can help you improve your mastery of marksmanship skills. After a review of marksmanship principles, participants will be coached one-on-one; get sighted in to 100 yards; and have the opportunity to shoot from multiple shooting positions.
Small Game Hunting Clinic: Small game hunting is one of the most overlooked types of hunting. This clinic is designed to give hunters the tools and knowledge to hunt small game in Connecticut. Habitat, techniques, tactics, and game care will be covered. Participants will have the opportunity to skin a squirrel and receive some great recipes for preparation.
Venison Processing Seminar: This seminar will take participants through all the steps from skinning a deer to packaging venison. The instructor will share cooking secrets and samples.
Wild Turkey Hunting Safety Seminar: Both experienced and first-time turkey hunters stand to benefit from attending this seminar, which will provide A-Z hunting information, including safe hunting practices, specialized equipment, calls and decoys, site setup, and other strategies for harvesting turkeys. Participants will have an opportunity to pattern their shotguns for turkey hunting following classroom instruction.
Daily permits will be needed to hunt small game and pheasants on the following Saturdays at Cromwell Meadows WMA, Durham Meadows WMA, Housatonic River WMA, Nathan Hale State Forest, Naugatuck State Forest – Hunter’s Mountain Block, Simsbury WMA, and Skiff Mountain WMA:
  • Saturday, October 21
  • Saturday, October 28
  • Saturday, November 4
  • Saturday, November 11
  • Saturday, November 18 (Does not include Nathan Hale, Naugatuck SF, and Skiff Mnt.)
Daily permits are available for the morning (AM) or afternoon (PM).
Morning hunters may hunt from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and afternoon hunters may hunt from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM. Compliance with these requirements is necessary in order for birds to be stocked prior to 9:00 AM and again between 12:00 -1:30 PM.  If hunters are present, birds will not be stocked.
Permits are available through the Online Sportsmen Licensing System on the Monday preceding the Saturday hunts starting at 12:01 AM. Instructions for Online Purchases (PDF)
Information on Pheasant Hunting and new updates for the 2017 season.
Information on daily permits for Permit-Required Hunting Areas and new updates for vendors (PDF) for the 2017 season.
The Wildlife Division recently received a $612,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program to expand the Permit-Required Hunting Program and increase private land hunting opportunities. Under this program, landowners who own farm or forested land can be paid between $3 - $20 per acre annually if the land is made available for hunting by the public.
{Image of white-tailed deer with wild turkeys.}
The Wildlife Division is looking to expand hunting opportunities on private lands in the following counties: Hartford, New Haven, and Fairfield. Landowners with at least 50 acres are eligible to enroll, though smaller properties may be considered.
This is a unique opportunity to help promote wildlife population management, support the local economy, reduce wildlife conflicts, and get paid to do it!
Landowners will have the ability to choose which types of hunting are allowed on their lands; access will be controlled; and the landowner will be protected from liability.
For more information, please contact Wildlife Division biologist Laurie Fortin at or 860-424-3963.
* This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 69-3A75-16-504. 
Private landowners create recreational opportunities by granting outdoor users access to their property. This access is a privilege, so please remember to take time every year to extend your appreciation to private landowners who offered you access for fishing, hunting, hiking, or wildlife watching opportunities on their properties. If you have been recreating on local land trust or other private non-profit conservation lands, be sure to include those groups on your thank you list as well. Following are some suggestions for hunters, anglers, and other outdoor users when thanking private property owners who allow access for outdoor recreation:
  • Express your appreciation thoughtfully and personally. If you are mentoring a new or junior hunter, angler, birder, or naturalist, include him or her in the process of thanking the landowner.
  • Consider providing the landowner with some of your fish or game harvest, or share images or a list of the wildlife you saw on their property.
  • Send a personal note or card thanking the landowner for the opportunity to use his or her land. Consider giving a small gift, such as a gift certificate, gift basket, or a subscription to Connecticut Wildlife magazine. In the case of a non-profit landowner, make a donation to their organization.
  • Offer to help with tasks around the property, or identify, clean up, and properly dispose of any illegal dumping that has occurred.
  • Document and report suspicious or illegal activities on the property to the DEEP Environmental Conservation Police at 1-800-842-HELP (24 hours, toll-free) or
Content last updated on October 10, 2017.