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Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Season Opens April 26
The 2017 Connecticut spring wild turkey hunting season runs from April 26 through May 27.

Hunters are reminded that spring turkey permits for state and private land have been replaced by the Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. This $28 stamp ($14 for resident 12- to 17-year-olds) is valid for the calendar year and is required for hunting wild turkey, pheasant, chukar and Hungarian partridges, grouse, and quail. Stamps can be purchased online or over the counter at some DEEP offices, town clerk offices, and select vendors. All revenue from the sale of Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps is deposited into a separate, non-lapsing account to use exclusively for the purchase and management of game birds and their habitat.

Spring Turkey Junior Hunter Training Days will be held on state and private land from Saturday, April 15 through Saturday, April 22 (excluding Sunday, April 16). On these days, licensed junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) may hunt turkeys when accompanied by a licensed adult hunter 18 years of age or older. Training days provide junior hunters with an opportunity to learn safe and effective hunting practices from experienced hunters.
Black bears are active and looking for food.
Give Nesting Bald Eagles Space
Bald eagles have been sitting on their nests since February and/or March, and eggs should be hatching soon. Even though the number of nesting eagle pairs has been growing in Connecticut, it is still important that we give them space and avoid disturbing the birds during this critical time. Continuous human disturbance near the nest site can cause the adults to constantly fly to defend the nest, keeping them from tending the eggs or young. Getting too close to an eagle nest, either intentionally or accidentally, can cause an eagle nest to fail. Please respect areas that are posted or closed due to eagle nests and give the eagles a chance to have a successful nesting season.

Please note that the Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail is currently closed through June 2017 to protect a bald eagle nest.

Donate to the Connecticut Endangered Species/Wildlife Income Tax Check-off Fund to protect wildlife and habitat.
Glastonbury Shooting Range Open through Nov. 26
The  Glastonbury Shooting Range is now open for supervised public use on Saturdays and Sundays through November 26, 2017 (however, t he range will be CLOSED on April 15-16, Sept. 16, and Oct. 8). Reservations must be obtained through DEEP's Online Sportsmen Licensing System for shooters 18 and older on the Monday prior to each open weekend. Requests can also be made one week in advance by calling the DEEP Glastonbury Range Reservation Line at 860-424-3737.  Range hours of operation will be from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM on open weekends. There is no fee to use the range.

Special access provisions will be made for hunters for the upcoming spring turkey season. On the weekends of April 8-9 and April 22-23, one additional shooting bench will be held for walk-in shooters who show a valid 2017 Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.

More detailed information, new range rules for 2017, and directions . . .
Save the Date
Connecticut Hunting and Fishing Day
Saturday, September 23, 2017

This free event will be held in cooperation with Cabela's at their location  at  475 East Hartford Blvd. N., in  East Hartford.  Stay tuned for more details.
How to Be Bird Friendly at the Beach
State and federally threatened piping plovers have returned to Connecticut's coastal beaches for the upcoming nesting season. During April, staff from the DEEP Wildlife Division and the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, along with numerous volunteers, will be installing string fencing and signs to protect beach nesting areas for piping plovers and least terns.

Coastal development and recreational use of beaches are eroding vital habitat and greatly reducing the areas where these birds can feed and nest. You can help birds and other wildlife by ensuring that use of the remaining areas is compatible with wildlife use. Audubon Connecticut provides some helpful tips to get you started.
Small Boat Users: Keep Distance from Nesting Swans
Kayakers, canoeists, jet skiers, and those in small boats are advised to be on the lookout for mute swans and use caution when near swan nesting territories during the nesting season (approximately late March into June). While nesting and raising young, mute swans will aggressively defend their territories against perceived threats, including people in small watercrafts. With wingspans that can reach 6 feet long, swans are capable of causing serious injury and possibly tipping over small boats. To protect yourself and the swans, stay away from nests, give swans a wide berth, and always wear a life jacket.

Live Birds of Prey Program at Sessions Woods
On Sunday, April 30, the Friends of Sessions Woods Annual meeting will feature a FREE live birds of prey program at the Wildlife Division's Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center (341 Milford St., Burlington). The event will begin with the infamous Dessert Extravaganza Potluck at 12:30 PM (please bring a dessert to share). At 1:00 PM, there will be a brief, 10-minute business meeting before the featured presentation. This year's program will be "Talons! A Birds of Prey Experience" with Master Falconer Lorrie Schumacher. Lorrie will provide an up-close opportunity for the audience and enlighten attendees about the conservation of these beautiful birds. You must pre-register for this program by calling 860-424-3011 or emailing
Celebrate Earth Day, April 22
Overlooking Hartford - 1972
This year, as we celebrate another Earth Day, Connecticut DEEP is looking back at how far we have come in improving and protecting our state's environment and wildlife since the early 1970s when Earth Day was first celebrated (1970) and  the original Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (now DEEP) was established (1971).
Save Wildlife!
Please dispose of fishing line in special recycling receptacles.

Species of the Month: Woodpeckers
Red-bellied Woodpecker
An incredible diversity of wildlife species can be found in our state. Take some time to discover Connecticut's wildlife!

Connecticut is home to 7 species of woodpeckers that live in forests, woodlands, orchards, residential areas, and city parks throughout the state. An important part of the ecosystem, woodpeckers help control insect populations and create nest cavities that are used by other birds and mammals that cannot excavate the cavities themselves. Nuthatches, screech owls, kestrels, starlings, squirrels, flying squirrels, deer mice, and raccoons all use woodpecker tree cavities.

Learn more about woodpeckers in Connecticut . . .
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You'll find each issue packed with information about wildlife, hunting, fishing, and natural resource-related issues in Connecticut.
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