DEEP: Discover Outdoor CT

Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day

This FREE event is sponsored by the DEEP Bureaus of Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation
Sunday, September 15, 2019
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Rain or shine
Where: Hammonasset Beach State Park (Meigs Point Area), Madison (directions) Parking will be on-site.
Spend a FREE, fun-filled day exploring Connecticut's fish and wildlife resources and legacy of outdoor traditions, with live animals, demonstrations, fish casting, fly tying, archery, kid's activities, outdoor skills, a photo contest, and more. Bring a picnic lunch (concessionaire also on site) and stay for a few hours or the whole day!
Register and let us know you are coming (suggested but not required).
Discover Outdoor Connecticut Photo Contest:
The deadline to enter the contest has passed. However, you can view all of the entries, including the winners in the Meigs Point Nature Center during Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day.
All Day and Scheduled Activities for All Ages
  • {A Place Called Hope} Live Raptor Programs at 11:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM, and 1:30 PM with Christine's Critters and A Place Called Hope. Learn about birds of prey through these up-close and personal experiences.
  • Field Dog Demonstrations from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. See various breeds of hunting dogs and search and rescue dogs, and watch them in action. Jennifer Broome from Quinebaug Kennels (located in Canterbury, CT) will be giving bird dog demonstrations throughout the day. In addition, the Flaherty Field Trial Association will present a variety of hunting dog demonstrations.
  • Surf Casting Demonstrations at 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. Learn about some of Connecticut's saltwater fish species and how to surf cast. {Backyard fishing activity}
  • Boating/Kayaking Demonstration from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Learn about the equipment needed to be safe on the water -- try a kayak or canoe.
  • Trapping Demonstration from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Learn how to become an efficient trapper on land and in the water.
  • Axe Throwing: Learn about the sport of axe throwing, receive pointers, and test your throwing skills with representatives from Blue Ox Axe Throwing from Wallingford.
  • Archery Shooting Range: Learn about bowhunting safety and how to effectively hone shooting skills.
  • Flu Flu Archery Shooting: Practice your skills at shooting flying disks with special arrows.
  • Backyard Bass: Practice your casting skills. 
  • L.L. Bean Outdoor Skills Demonstration: Learn about various skills for enjoying the outdoors, such as knot tying, water filtration, and outdoor survival skills.
  • REI Outdoor Skills Demonstration: Learn how to pitch a tent, about alternative uses for your sleeping pad, and what NOT to do with camp food.
  • View the Discover Outdoor Connecticut Photo Contest entries and winners in the Meigs Point Nature Center, and vote for the People's Choice Award.
  • Target Shooting: Join Metacon Junior Rifle Team in shooting targets with special guns. Learn how to be proficient at marskmanship.
  • Waterfowl Hunting Tips: Learn how to successfully set up and hunt waterfowl with Delta Waterfowl.
  • Venison Samples: Try some jerky, meat sticks, kielbasa, and other products made with venison by the Country Butcher from Tolland.
  • Visit the Meigs Point Nature Center and Meigs Point Mobile Station.
  • Live Reptile Program: Learn about Connecticut reptiles from Meigs Point Nature Center naturalists and see snakes and turtles up close.
  • Fly Tying: Practice your fly tying skills and then practice casting. 
  • Fly Casting: Instruction and skills challenge. Practice your fly casting and explore different casting techniques.
  • Moose Calling Demonstration: Learn about deer and moose, and practice your moose calling skills with the Moose Man of Connecticut, Jake Harton.
  • Bird Walks starting at 11:00 AM and throughout the day: Hammonasset Beach State Park is an important stopover site for migrating birds. Take one of several bird walks led by experienced birders to see what bird species you can find. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair.
  • Feather Identification: Learn about types of feathers from a variety of different birds.
  • Insect Identification: Find out what types of insects occur in Connecticut and how to identify them.
  • Build a Bluebird Nest Box: Volunteers will help kids build their very own bluebird nest box.
  • Build a Tool Box with The Home Depot of Waterford: The Home Depot staff will help kids build a tool box to take home.
  • Hunting and Fishing Tips and Outdoor Information: Visit with experts who will give you some great tips on hunting, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors. 
  • Habitat Program: Marsh restoration and other habitat management 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.
  • Old School Flint Sharpening and Fire Starting Demonstrations: by Vern Hussey
Just for Kids
  • Wildlife and Nature Craft Activities in the Old Meigs Point Nature Center Building
  • Face Painting and tattoos near the Meigs Point Nature Center
  • Build a bluebird nest box on the porch in the Old Meigs Point Nature Center Building
  • Build a tool box with The Home Depot of Waterford
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Wildlife quiz
  • Live animals
  • And, much more!
{Discover Outdoor Connecticut Photo Contest} {Hunting Dog} {Christine}
Who Will Be There (more to be added)
  • A Place Called Hope
  • Blue Ox Axe Throwing
  • Christine's Critters
  • Connecticut Audubon Society
  • Connecticut Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
  • Connecticut Falconers Association
  • Connecticut Forest and Park Association
  • Connecticut Furharvesters Association
  • Connecticut Trappers Association
  • CT Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) Instructors
  • CT Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Instructors
  • CT DEEP - Boating Division
  • CT DEEP - Environmental Conservation Police Division
  • CT DEEP - Forestry Division
  • CT DEEP - Goodwin Conservation Center
  • CT DEEP - Inland Fisheries Division
  • CT DEEP - Marine Fisheries Division
  • CT DEEP - Wildlife Division
  • CT DEEP - Wetland Habitat and Mosquito Management Program
  • CT DEEP - State Parks and Public Outreach
  • Delta Waterfowl
  • Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
  • Flaherty Field Trial Association
  • Friends of Hammonasset
  • Friends of Pachaug Forest
  • Friends of Sunrise-Machimoodus State Parks
  • Hammonasset Chapter of Trout Unlimited
  • Higganum/Haddam Sportsman's Club
  • Kayak Fishing Country
  • L.L. Bean (Danbury)
  • Lyman Hall High School Agriculture and Technology Program (Wallingford)
  • Metacon Junior Rifle Team
  • Meigs Point Nature Center Staff and Volunteers
  • Moose Man of Connecticut, Jake Harton
  • Nutmeg Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society
  • Quinebaug Kennels (Jennifer Broome)
  • REI (West Hartford)
  • South Central Regional Water Authority
  • The Home Depot of Waterford
  • The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge
  • Vern Hussey (old school flint sharpening and fire starting demonstrations)
  • Voices Against Lyme Disease
  • White Memorial Conservation Center
{Kid} {Hunting Dogs} {Tying flies}
Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day is also part of the National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration. This year, National Hunting and Fishing Day is observed on Saturday, September 28. 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.
{Partnering to fund conservation and connect people with nature.}
Content last updated on August 19, 2019.