DEEP: Discover Outdoor CT

Discover Outdoor Connecticut

Join the Force for the Resource
This FREE event is sponsored by the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources
Saturday, September 22, 2018
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Rain or shine
Where: Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area, 391 Route 32, North Franklin (directions) Parking will be on-site.
This fun-filled event explores Connecticut's fish and wildlife resources and legacy of outdoor traditions, with live animals, demonstrations, archery, fish casting, fly tying, shooting clays, kid's activities, outdoor skills, a photo contest, and more. Bring a picnic lunch and stay for a few hours or the whole day!
View the Discover Outdoor Connecticut PHOTO CONTEST entries and winners, and vote for the People's Choice Award.
{Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy}
Live Birds of Prey and Waterfowl:
The Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy
will be bringing ducks, hawks, and owls. There will also be a presentation of the birds (not in flight).
Christine's Critters features Christine Peyreigne, the youngest falconer in Connecticut, with a red-tailed hawk, barred owl, American kestrel, and a Cooper's hawk.
Outdoor Skills Clinics by L.L. Bean 
Representatives from L.L. Bean will provide clinics on hiking, backpacking, knot tying, water filtration, and kayaking. {Christine}
Field Dog Demonstrations:
See various breeds of hunting dogs and watch them in action. Jennifer Broome from Quinebaug Kennels (located in Canterbury, CT) will be giving bird dog demonstrations throughout the day.
Backyard Fishing Game:
Kids who catch a tagged fish will be entered into a drawing to win one of 150 fishing poles donated by Cabela's! Thirty (30) fishing poles will be given out every hour from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Discover Outdoor Connecticut Photo Contest:
Enter your favorite wildlife, scenary, and outdoor Connecticut photos in our new contest! All entries will be on display during the event. Entry deadline is September 1, 2018. (more details; official entry form)
Food will not be available for sale during the event, but you are welcome to bring a picnic lunch. Tables will be provided.
All Day Activities for All Ages
  • {Backyard fishing activity} Archery Shooting: Learn about bowhunting safety and how to effectively hone shooting skills. 
  • Fly Tying: Practice your fly tying skills and then head over to practice casting.
  • Fly Casting: Instruction and skills challenge. Practice your fly casting and explore different casting techniques.
  • Outdoor Skills: Learn about various skills for enjoying the outdoors.
  • Build a Bluebird Nest Box: Volunteers will help kids build their very own bluebird nest box.
  • Wild Edibles: Learn about wild edibles from Ethan Choiniere of Sturbridge Village.
  • Shooting Clays: Volunteer instructors from Connecticut's Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Program will guide you through safe firearms handling and shooting at clay targets.
  • Project WILD Activity: Presented by DEEP's Kellogg Environmental Center
  • Kid's Workshop Projects: Representatives from The Home Depot, Windham, will help kids build a variety of workshop projects.  {TIP Trailer}
  • Decoy Painting: by Connecticut Waterfowlers Association.
  • Bees and Insects: Mark Creighton of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station will provide information on bees and insects.
  • Hunting and Fishing Tips: Visit with experts who will give you some great tips on hunting, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors. 
  • WHAMM Program: Wetland Habitat and Mosquito Management marsh restoration equipment.
  • Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education Trailer: Explore the fisheries education traveling exhibit and see live fish.
  • TIP Trailer and DEEP Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police K9: View the CT law enforcement educational traveling exhibit and explore various wildlife artifacts. See an EnCon Police K9 demonstrate its fish finding abilities.
  • Portable Saw Mill: See how logs from harvested trees are milled.
  • Boating Safety Demonstration: by the DEEP Boating Division.
  • Electric Vehilcle Display: See an electric vehicle vehicle and learn all about it from the DEEP Bureau of Air Management.
  • Taxidermy Prep and Demonstration: by Trophy Room Taxidermy.
  • Moose and Turkey Calling Demonstration: Practice calling and test your skills.
  • Venison Cooking Samples {Shooting a dart gun}
  • Dart Gun Range
  • K9 Search and Rescue
Just for Kids
  • Wildlife and Nature Craft Activities
  • Face Painting and tattoos 
  • Build a bluebird nest box
  • Kid's workshop project with The Home Depot, Windham 
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Wildlife quiz
  • Live animals
  • And, much more!
{archery} {Hunting Dog} {Barn Owl}
  • Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
  • Christine's Critters
  • Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Connecticut Audubon Society
  • Connecticut Falconers Association
  • Connecticut Furharvesters Association
  • Connecticut Trappers Association 
  • Connecticut Waterfowlers Association
  • CT Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) Instructors
  • CT Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Instructors
  • CT DEEP - Boating Division
  • CT DEEP - Bureau of Air Management
  • CT DEEP - Environmental Conservation Police
  • CT DEEP - Forestry
  • CT DEEP - Inland Fisheries
  • CT DEEP - Marine Fisheries
  • CT DEEP - Wildlife
  • CT DEEP - State Parks and Public Outreach, No Child Left Inside®
  • CT DEEP - Kellogg Environmental Center
  • CT DEEP - James L. Goodwin Conservation Center (and also representing Connecticut Forest and Park Association)
  • Delta Waterfowl
  • Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
  • Higganum Haddam Sportsman's Club
  • Kayak Fishing Country
  • K9 Search and Rescue  
  • Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy
  • L.L. Bean
  • Metacon Junior Rifle Team 
  • National Wild Turkey Federation 
  • Nutmeg Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society
  • Putnam Fish and Game Club
  • Quinebaug Kennels (Jennifer Broome)
  • Ray Hardy, DEEP Master Wildlife Conservationist
  • South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority
  • Thames Chapter of Trout Unlimited
  • The Home Depot, Windham, CT
  • The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor
  • Trophy Room Taxidermy
  • UCONN Forestry Extension
  • Voices Against Lyme Disease
{Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation logo} Thank you to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for a grant to support
                   Discover Outdoor Connecticut!
{Kid} {Hunting Dogs} {Tying flies}
{Photo contest promo} Have you taken an amazing wildlife photo? Did you spot a pollinator up close? Have you spent some time in a park or out on the water? Did you watch the leaves turn brilliant oranges and reds? Show us! The new Discover Outdoor Connecticut photo contest is open through September 1, 2018. Enter your best shots  and possibly win some great prizes. Photographers may enter one photo in each category: 1) wildlife (including fish and insects); 2) people enjoying the natural world; and 3) scenic landscapes and flora. Judges will select first, second, and third place winners for each category, plus winners in a separate youth category (ages 15 and younger). There will also be a “People’s Choice” award selected by popular vote when all entries are displayed at Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day. Photographers from any state may participate, but all photos must have been taken in Connecticut.
ENTRY IS BY MAIL ONLY: Entries must be postmarked by September 1, 2018. Instructions, rules, prizes, mailing instructions, and other details are on the official entry form (PDF).
Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day is being held on National Hunting and Fishing Day. Hunters and anglers have been at the forefront of the conservation movement for over 100 years. They showed their support by requesting taxes and special fees on hunting and fishing equipment to help pay for wildlife and fish management, habitat restoration, and other conservation programs through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program.
Each new hunter and angler created helps fund conservation. Every time someone buys firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, motorboat fuel, or fishing tackle, they contribute to habitat conservation and science-based wildlife management through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program.
Visit the National Hunting and Fishing Day website to learn the history of National Hunting and Fishing Day.
Content last updated on September 18, 2018.