DEEP: Turkey Hunting

2019 Wild Turkey Hunting Seasons

Hunters may pursue wild turkeys during three separate seasons: Spring, Fall Archery, and Fall Firearms. A specific license and stamp are required to participate in each season. Spring turkey archery and firearms hunting bag limits and season lengths are not separate; whereas fall archery and fall firearms are separate seasons with their own unique bag limits and season timeframes.
Spring Turkey Season {Turkey}
 
Season Dates
  • April 24 - May 25    State Land, Private Land, and Landowner
Bag Limits
  • State Land: 2 bearded birds
  • Private Land/Landowner: 3 bearded birds
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 12:00 PM.
 
  • CT Residents: Firearms hunting license or Small Game and Deer Archery Permit and a Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
  • Non-residents: 3-day out-of-state bird hunting license or non-resident firearms hunting license and a Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
  • Landowners (who own 10 or more contiguous acres) must obtain a Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp to hunt wild turkeys on their property. Landowners who wish to hunt on other private land or state land for wild turkeys must purchase the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp for $28. There is no additional bag limit for turkeys due to the Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
Legal Firearms: Shotguns, 20 gauge or larger, with #4, 5, 6, 7 1/2 shot, or any combination. Shotguns must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells.
 
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:  Immediately upon harvesting a turkey, complete and sign a Harvest Tag and keep it with the carcass at all times. The Harvest Tag must remain with the turkey until it is cut up for consumption. See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
 
Special Conditions:
  • State Land Hunting - See Public Hunting Areas for a listing of areas open for spring turkey hunting with a Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
  • Private Land Permission - Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms (PDF) for the current season must be carried while hunting.
  • Decoys - Decoys may be used, but live decoys are prohibited.
  • Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp - only available to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land. Additional permits are available for their spouses, lineal descendants, parents, grandparents and siblings. Landowners who wish to hunt on other private land or state land for wild turkeys must purchase the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp for $28. The stamp does not allow the harvest of turkeys over the standard 3 bearded bird bag limit.
  • Junior Turkey Hunter Training Days - Saturday, April 13, through Saturday, April 20, 2019 (excluding Sunday) (more info)
 
Fall Archery Turkey Seasons
Season Dates
  • Sept. 16 - Nov. 19 and Dec. 25 - Dec. 31           State Land
  • Sept. 16 - Dec. 31                                          State Land Bowhunting Only Areas
  • Sept. 16 - Dec. 31                                          Private Land (All Zones)
  • Jan. 1 - Jan. 31                                              Private Land (Zones 11 and 12)
Bag Limits
  • State and Private Land -- 2 either sex
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset
 
  • CT Residents: Small Game and Deer Archery Permit and a Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
  • Non-residents: Non-resident small game and deer archery permit and a Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
  • Landowners (who own 10 or more contiguous acres) must obtain a Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp to hunt wild turkeys on their property. Landowners who wish to hunt on other private land or state land for wild turkeys must purchase the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp for $28. There is no additional bag limit for turkeys due to the Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
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:  Immediately upon harvesting a turkey, complete and sign a Harvest Tag and keep it with the carcass at all times. The Harvest Tag must remain with the turkey until it is cut up for consumption. See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
 
Special Conditions:
  • State Land Hunting - See Public Hunting Areas for a listing of areas that are open for fall bowhunting.
  • Private Land Permission - Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms (PDF) for the current season must be carried while hunting.
  • Decoys - Decoys may be used, but live decoys are prohibited.
  • Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp - only available to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land. Additional stamps are available for their spouses, lineal descendants, parents, grandparents and siblings. Landowners who wish to hunt on other private land or state land for wild turkeys must purchase the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp for $28. The stamp does not allow the harvest of turkeys over the standard 2 either sex bird bag limit.
Fall Firearms Turkey Seasons
Season Dates
  • Oct. 5 - Oct 31    State Land, Private Land, and Landowner
Bag Limits
  • State Land: 1 either sex
  • Private Land/Landowner: 2 either sex
Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset.
 
  • CT Residents: Firearms hunting license and Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
  • Non-residents: 3-day out-of-state bird hunting license or non-resident firearms hunting license and a Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
  • Landowners (who own 10 or more contiguous acres) must obtain a Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp to hunt wild turkeys on their property. Landowners who wish to hunt on other private land or state land for wild turkeys must purchase the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp for $28. There is no additional bag limit for turkeys due to the Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
Legal Firearms: Shotguns, 20 gauge or larger, with #4, 5, 6, 7, 7 1/2 shot, or any combination. Shotguns must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells.
 
Tagging and Reporting:  Immediately upon harvesting a turkey, complete and sign a Harvest Tag and keep it with the carcass at all times. The Harvest Tag must remain with the turkey until it is cut up for consumption. See Tagging and Reporting Requirements.
 
Special Conditions:
  • State Land Hunting - See Public Hunting Areas for a listing of areas that are open for fall firearms turkey hunting.
  • Private Land Permission - Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms (PDF) for the current season must be carried while hunting.
  • Decoys - Decoys may be used, but live decoys are prohibited.
  • Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp - only available to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land. Additional permits are available for their spouses, lineal descendants, parents, grandparents and siblings. Landowners who wish to hunt on other private land or state land for wild turkeys must purchase the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp for $28. The stamp does not allow the harvest of turkeys over the standard 2 either sex bird bag limit on private land.

Turkey Hunter Survey

Turkey hunters may be contacted by mail, email, or telephone to complete a survey about hunting activities. Even if you did not hunt, you should complete the survey. Information gathered from the survey is important to the management of Connecticut's wild turkey population.

Turkey Hunting Prohibited Activities

  • The use of bait, electronic calling devices, live decoys or animals (including dogs) to hunt wild turkeys is prohibited. Except that a dog may be used to hunt turkey during the fall firearms season on private lands only. 
  • You may not call turkeys for another hunter. Exceptions -- STATE LAND: If you have a current Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp with or without unused tags remaining, you may call for another hunter on state land. PRIVATE LAND: If you have a current Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp with or without unused tags remaining and a signed consent form for a private land parcel, you may call for another hunter hunting on that private land parcel.
  • You may not attempt to take turkeys by participating in a cooperative drive.
  • You may not shoot turkeys from a building or other permanent structure.
  • You may not shoot turkeys roosting in trees.
Turkey Hunting Seminars
Both experienced and first-time turkey hunters stand to benefit from attending these seminars, held each spring, 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.
See the Advanced Hunter Education webpage for information on Turkey Hunting Seminars.
Turkey hunting requires a great deal of skill and advance planning to be safe and successful. To guarantee a memorable spring turkey hunting experience, hunters must follow all safety recommendations and hunting regulations. They should also remember that they share the woods with other hunters, as well as non-hunters.
  • Before the hunt, pattern your shotgun to determine which shot size and shotshell loads provide the best pattern and effective range for your shotgun.
  • Identify your target and what lies beyond before you pull the trigger.
  • Stay in a fixed location and call birds to you. Never stalk turkeys or turkey calls. These movements and sounds may be another hunter, so it is important to be patient and not move.
  • Do not assume you are alone in the woods. Always assume that any noise or movement could be another person.
  • Position yourself in a spot that provides protection from an approaching hunter, such as a tree trunk at least as wide as your shoulders. For added safety, secure a four- to six-inch wide fluorescent orange band around the tree about six feet up. This band will alert other hunters of your calling position.
  • Never move, wave, or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence. Your movements and noises may lead hunters to mistake you for a turkey. When another hunter approaches, stay still and yell out “hunter over here”.
  • Do NOT wear red, white, blue, or black while turkey hunting. These colors are found on the heads of gobblers and both toms and hens have black-colored bodies. It is best to wear a fluorescent orange vest while walking in and out of the woods and carry your harvested bird out of the field in a fluorescent orange carrier.
  • The use of bait, electronic calling devices, and live decoys is prohibited.
  • To call turkeys for another hunter, you must possess a valid Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp and written consent of the landowner if hunting on private land. A hunter may harvest his/her limit and continue to call for other hunters.
  • Taking turkeys by participating in a cooperative drive is prohibited.
  • Shooting turkeys from a building or any other permanent structure is prohibited, as is the shooting of turkeys while they are roosting in trees.

Content last updated on July 3, 2019.