Volume 1 Issue 1
September 2020

Welcome! Thank you for subscribing to CT Hunting Highlights. This is the very first issue of what we hope will be an informative and enjoyable series aimed at bringing you important and helpful hunting information from experts across the DEEP and outdoors industry. Each quarterly newsletter will feature a mix of topics relevant to upcoming hunting seasons, including information about hunting and wildlife management, upcoming events, updates about habitat improvements, safety reminders, recipes for preparing game, and more! We hope you will enjoy receiving this newsletter as you prepare for success in the field.
Hunter Calendar
  • Archery: 9/15 (more information)
  • Shotgun State Land No-Lottery: 11/18- 12/8
  • Shotgun State Land Lottery A: 11/18-11/27 B:11/28-12/8
  • Shotgun/Rifle/Revolver Private Land: 11/18-12/8 Landowner: 11/2-12/31
  • Muzzleloader Private Land: 12/9-12/31 State Land: 12/9-12/22
Upland Birds:
  • Pheasant: 10/17/20-2/28/21
  • Ruffed Grouse: 10/17-11/30

Small Game:
  • Gray Squirrel: 9/1/20-2/28/21
  • Rabbit and Hare: 10/17/20-2/28/21

Migratory Birds:
For complete season dates and regulations, please see the Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide.
Hunter Safety Classes Available Now!
The DEEP Conservation Education/Firearms Safety (CE/FS) hunting classes are available now in a modified format compliant with current COVID-19 guidelines. Students are required to complete all online prerequisites PRIOR to registering for a modified field day event. Please note: Students will not be allowed to participate if they do not bring and wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the entire field day. The new modified field day events take approximately 3 hours to complete and will consist of field exercises (including live fire), as well as a proctored exam.

Habitat and Hunting Area Update
The Wildlife Division’s Habitat Program has been hard at work cleaning up damage from Tropical Storm Isaias. Approximately 64 sites have been assessed for damage, and trees have been cleared at 20 sites in an effort to re-open WMAs and clear access to impoundments across the state.

Recently completed for the season, the 4th year of an invasive plant control project at Lord’s Cove WMA has progressed from 220 acres at its inception, to spot treatments this year.

Notably, from January through June 2020, the following additions were made to hunting areas within the state: Kollar WMA added 31.29 acres; Nehantic SF added 152.53 acres; Pease Brook WMA added 124.48 acres; Pachaug SF added 128.32 acres; Quinebaug River WMA added 15.69 acres; Bishop Swamp WMA added 178.83 acres; Cockaponset SF added 15.2 acres; and Mono Pond State Park Reserve added 402.6 acres.

Please note: Recently acquired parcels need to be border marked and indicated as open before hunting can take place. If you have any questions, please contact the district biologist for the area (East: 860-295-9523; West: 860-424-3011)

If you or someone you know is aware of land for sale or donation that would benefit the hunters and trappers of Connecticut, please visit The Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Program page for more information.
Seasonal Recipes: Venison Potsticker Dumplings
Creative ways to use the game meat you harvest are always in demand. For this issue, we’re looking to branch out from “traditional” game preparations and present a more unique option. Hunter, author, and multiple culinary award winner Hank Shaw provides this unique recipe! Photo courtesy of Holly A. Heyser.

Connecticut Public Hunting Areas
Looking for a new favorite hunting spot this season? We've got you covered! Our new Public Hunting Areas web page provides an easy to follow user guide to help you navigate our interactive hunting area maps. There's also a comprehensive list of Connecticut's state-owned waterfowl hunting areas, a breakdown of Connecticut's goose zones by town, and the deer/turkey zone map. Finding new places to hunt can be a challenge, especially for new hunters. We hope this new web page will help you spend less time searching for a new spot and more time in the field.

Learning Corner: Tree Stand Safety
Before heading out on your first hunt of the season, make sure you check over all of your equipment. If you plan on hunting from a tree stand, make sure to inspect your equipment and practice using it again. Some important things to remember:

  • Check your full body harness/Fall Arrest System for signs of wear. Ensure it is not past its expiration date. 
  • Check that the suspension relief device is attached to your harness and in working order.
  • Practice safely getting into your tree stand and performing self-rescue.
  • Scout the area you plan to hunt ahead of time to find suitable trees for setup.
  • Make sure you have haul lines attached to the stand to raise and lower your gear. Never carry anything while ascending or descending the stand.
  • Make sure you have a signaling device on you in case you fall from the stand and cannot self-rescue.
  • Always stay connected to the tree from the time you leave the ground to the time you return.

2019 Connecticut Deer Program Summary Available Now!
The 2019 Connecticut Deer Program Summary is now available on the DEEP website. This report summarizes white-tailed deer information, including changes in deer management regulations, harvest statistics, research activities, and population dynamics of Connecticut’s deer population. Photo courtesy of Matt Kline.

Purchase Your Federal Duck Stamp Online
We’ve become aware during the pandemic that some migratory bird hunter are having difficulty purchasing their federal duck stamp at their local post office. Hunters can now purchase the Electronic Duck Stamp, or E-Stamp, online for immediate use. You may purchase the E-Stamp from another state, as DEEP's online system currently is unable to process federal Duck Stamp purchases. The actual stamp will be mailed to you after purchase, but you will have an E-Stamp to use until you receive the actual stamp.

History Lesson: The Pittman-Robertson Act
The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act, has been in effect since 1938. This Act established funding for the restoration and improvement of wildlife habitat, wildlife management research, hunter training programs, and operation of public target ranges. Funds for supporting programs are raised through a manufacturer’s excise tax on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment. These Federal funds are apportioned to states using different formulas depending on the purpose of the funding, but may include the state’s land area, number of paid license holders, and state population. This system has helped make the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation the most successful in the world.

Hunting and fishing equipment purchases and license fees fund hunting and fishing programs and wildlife conservation.

You are making a difference and we thank you for your support!
Quick Links
Need to contact the DEEP Wildlife Division? Send email to deep.wildlife@ct.gov or call 860-424-3011
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request an accommodation contact us at (860) 418-5910 or deep.accommodations@ct.gov