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Join Us for Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day
We hope to see you at Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day  on Saturday, September 22, 2018, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This FREE, fun-filled event for the whole family will be held at DEEP's Franklin Wildlife Management Area (391 Route 32, North Franklin). It features live animals, outdoor skills, archery, fish casting, fly tying, shooting clays, kid's activities, a photo contest, and more. Bring a picnic lunch and stay for a few hours or the whole day! Free on-site parking.

Hunting Season Reminders
Photo courtesy of Charles Cybulski.
Hunting seasons are right around the corner, beginning with the special Canada goose season on September 1 and fall deer and turkey bowhunting on September 15.

ATTENTION  regarding Sunday Archery Deer Hunting -- Due to a new public act, the Deer Management Zones where licensed archery deer hunters can hunt on private land only on Sundays will change on October 1, 2018, to include ALL Deer Management Zones. Until then, existing exceptions apply from September 15 to September 30, 2018, where archery deer hunting on private land is permitted in all but three of the state's Deer Management Zones - the exceptions are Deer Management Zones 2, 3, and 4A ( zone map).

Hunters who hunt in the Woodville Block of Wyantenock State Forest in Warren should view this special notice about a timber harvest in that area.

The fall firearms turkey season opens on October 6 and the small game hunting season opens on October 20. Check the pheasant webpage for the most up-to-date pheasant stocking information for the upcoming season. Several different waterfowl seasons open in October and November.

The 2017 Connecticut Deer Program Summary is now available. The report contains a summary of white-tailed deer information for 2017, including harvest statistics, research activities, and population dynamics of Connecticut's deer population.

View the 2018-2019 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide . . .
Celebrate History and Bat Appreciation
To raise awareness for the plight of bats and their importance to our ecosystem and our economy, the DEEP Wildlife Division and CT Department of Economic and Community Development Office of Culture and Tourism have joined forces to host the second-annual Bat Appreciation Day at Old New-Gate Prison and Copper Mine on Saturday, September 8, 2018, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The day will feature bat activities for the whole family and include exhibits, arts and crafts, bat story time, scavenger hunts, historical tales, the unique opportunity to sneak a peek at the "bat cave", and a chance to see a live bat up close.

Rare Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Rescued
Kudos and appreciation go to Connecticut residents Logan and Hunter Sopelak who rescued a rare Kemp's Ridley sea turtle while enjoying a recent fishing trip off the coast of Rhode Island. They noticed the small sea turtle struggling in the water as it was completely encased in a plastic wrapper from a case of water bottles. They scooped up the turtle with a net, cut off the plastic, and released the turtle back into the ocean. Without their help, this endangered sea turtle would have likely died.

This near tragedy reminds us  how our garbage (when not disposed of or recycled properly) can be detrimental to wildlife. You can make a difference for wildlife by reducing your use of plastics, properly recycling items, and reusing items when possible instead of throwing them away. Consider using reusable water bottles, cloth shopping bags, and reusable straws (to name a few items). Never let balloons go! The ribbons and popped balloons pose hazards when they fall to the ground or in the ocean. Plus, it is illegal to release 10 or more balloons in Connecticut.

In partnership with the Mystic Aquarium, we encourage our readers to share any "random acts of conservation" they have undertaken or know about (email deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov; photos are appreciated).
Photos taken by Logan Sopelak.
2019 Connecticut Duck Stamp Prints for Sale
Conservation Edition Prints of the 2019 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created by second time winner Jeffrey Klinefelter are now available in limited quantity. Signed prints sell for $200 each, and all proceeds from the purchase of these spectacular prints will go into the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. Those interested in purchasing a print should contact DEEP Wildlife Division biologist Min Huang at min.huang@ct.gov or 860-418-5959.

Reminder: Send in Turkey Brood Survey Forms
If you participated in the Wild Turkey Brood Survey over the summer, please send in your data forms as soon as you can so that we can start to tabulate the data. Completed surveys should be returned to: Michael Gregonis, DEEP Wildlife Division, Franklin WMA, 391 Route 32, North Franklin, CT 06254 or michael.gregonis@ct.gov. Thanks to all who participated!
Species of the Month: Virginia Opossum
Photo by Paul J. Fusco/DEEP-Wildlife Division.
The Virginia opossum is the only member of the Order Marsupialia (pouched animals) found in Connecticut. In fact, it is the only marsupial found north of Mexico.  Opossums were not found in Connecticut prior to the early 1900s. Due to their ability to adapt to different habitats and food sources, opossums have been able to expand their range from the southeastern United States to the Northeast during the 20th century and are now found throughout New England.

Having an opossum in your yard shouldn't be a problem. This non-aggressive and nondestructive animal will not dig up yards, attack or threaten pets, or dig burrows. Opossums may get into garbage or pet food that is left outside and will sometimes raid poultry yards or gardens to feed on vegetables, apples, and strawberries. However, they are more beneficial to humans than harmful because they feed on many types of insects, like ticks, crickets, and beetles, as well as on mice and voles. The best advice is to let opossums have their space and learn to live with them.

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