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Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Art Contest 2019
2019 CT Duck Stamp by Jeffrey Klinefelter
DEEP is holding its annual artistic competition to select the image for the 2020 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp.   Artists are invited to enter an original piece of artwork that depicts an eligible waterfowl species (duck, goose, or brant) that occurs in Connecticut. Images that include a Connecticut scene or landmark in the background are preferred.  Entries for the art contest must be received in person or postmarked on or before April 15, 2019, to be eligible.

Migratory bird hunters are required to purchase a Connecticut Duck Stamp to participate in migratory bird hunting seasons. Other licensed hunters are encouraged to purchase a stamp (even if they do not participate in the migratory bird hunting seasons) to show their support for the conservation and acquisition of wetland habitats. Non-hunters and others who wish to support wetland habitat protection can also purchase Connecticut stamps for $17 from the  Online Sportsmen Licensing System  under the "Other" category. Those who are not already licensed hunters or anglers will need to get a Conservation ID number to use the site. Stamps can also be purchased at  DEEP License and Revenue  in person or by sending a check for $17 to DEEP License and Revenue, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106 (ordered stamps will be sent through the mail). 

2019: Make a Difference for Wildlife
There are plenty of simple ways people can help wildlife, and each month we will highlight an action everyone can take to benefit the species that call Connecticut home.

Instead of releasing balloons, find an environmentally friendly way to celebrate an event or memorialize a loved one. Balloons and their strings come back to the ground as litter and can be deadly to wildlife. Large balloon releases (10 or more in a 24-hour period) are illegal in Connecticut -- but no balloons should be released at all. Thank you for doing your part!

Advanced Hunter Education - Providing New Opportunities
The Connecticut Conservation Education/Firearms Safety (CE/FS) Program has launched a series of advanced hunter education seminars and workshops. The goal of these offerings is to reinforce the lessons learned in hunter safety courses while also teaching skills specific to a particular aspect of hunting. The dates for the 2019 offerings have been announced. All programs are free and open to the public. Registration is mandatory and opens approximately 30 days before the event. Please note that the locations have not been set at this time.

Rediscovering a Long-lost Bat
Photo courtesy of L. Bowen.
In early July 2016, a newly-born bat was discovered clinging to the screened basement window of an apartment building in eastern Connecticut. The orphaned pup was placed in the care of several wildlife rehabilitators until it was strong enough to be released back into the wild. At that time, the bat was fully grown. By taking measurements and examining all the telling features, it became clear that the orphaned bat was an eastern small-footed bat
(Myotis leibii), the smallest bat species in the eastern United States. The last physical specimen documented in Connecticut was from the 1940s. Want to read more about this incredible story?  Read a  detailed article  (PDF) with amazing photos in our bimonthly magazine,  Connecticut Wildlife.

Connecticut Wildlife  is for anyone who wants to stay informed about fish, wildlife, and natural resource issues and events in our state. The magazine is published six times a year, and is available by subscription ( more details ). 
Changes to the 2019 Deer Lottery
2019 deer lottery permit applications can now be submitted online ( online application instructions  PDF) or at select DEEP locations during office hours (79 Elm St, Hartford; Franklin WMA, North Franklin; Sessions Woods WMA, Burlington; Eastern District HQ, Marlborough; Marine HQ, Old Lyme; Western District HQ, Harwinton).
Please note: Roraback WMA (Area 61) has been changed to a No-lottery Area and is no longer part of the deer lottery for the 2019 hunting season. Please note: This change is not reflected in the printed version of the 2019 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide.

Update on Chronic Wasting Disease
If you have brought a deer to a butcher shop or taxidermist during the past several hunting seasons, there is a good chance it has been tested by the Wildlife Division for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The Wildlife Division has been testing white-tailed deer for CWD since 2003 and has not yet detected the disease in Connecticut's deer population. CWD has been documented in 22 states and three Canadian provinces. Current laws in Connecticut prohibit any transfer of bone-in carcasses or heads from a CWD-infected state. However, de-boned meat, hides, cleaned skull caps, and finished taxidermy mounts are legal. A complete list of states where CWD is present can be found at www.cwd-info.org, along with additional information pertaining to chronic wasting disease.
Sessions Woods Program Series - Bird Brains!
Cabin fever got you down? All are welcome to join the Friends of Sessions Woods and Horizon Wings for "Bird Brains!" Mary-Beth Kaeser from Horizon Wings will bring four avian ambassadors (crow, falcon, barn owl, and macaw) to Sessions Woods for a talk to compare and contrast the fascinating qualities of avian intelligence. Far from being "hard-wired" as previously thought, recent research proves that birds actually possess sophisticated cognitive abilities. Indeed, responding to changing conditions by changing the way they act, is often crucial to their survival. There will be a dessert potluck at 1:00 p.m. prior to the program (which starts at 1:30 PM). Please bring a dessert to share. Register for this program by calling 860-424-3017 or email laura.rogers-castro@ct.gov. This program is made possible through the Friends of Sessions Woods Paul Petersen Educational Fund.
Use Your Tax Refund to Protect Wildlife and Habitat
Connecticut's "Endangered Species/Wildlife Income Tax Check-Off Fund" was created in 1993 by the State Legislature to allow state income taxpayers to voluntarily donate portions of their tax refund to support efforts aimed at helping Connecticut's endangered species, natural area preserves, and watchable wildlife.

When you donate all or a portion of your tax refund for wildlife and endangered species, funds will be used for projects to help state-listed plants, reptiles, amphibians, bats, ospreys, and more. Look for the Refund section on your tax return and check the box for the Wildlife Fund. On behalf of Connecticut's wildlife and natural areas -- we thank you!

2018 Deer Harvest Tally
The final results for the 2018 fall deer hunting seasons have been tabulated. See how the harvest compares to the harvests in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Look for more details in late summer 2019 when we publish the 2018 Connecticut Deer Program Summary.
Species of the Month: New England Cottontail
The New England Cottontail is the only species of rabbit native to Connecticut. The rabbit most commonly seen in backyards is the non-native Eastern cottontail, which was introduced in the late 1800s and has since become more abundant throughout the state. The New England cottontail prefers young forest habitat comprised of shrubs and thickets that provides protection from bad weather and predators. Both species are very similar in appearance with the Eastern cottontail being slightly larger on average and often having a white spot on its forehead. The Wildlife Division, in collaboration with other agencies and organizations, has been involved in creating habitat on state and private lands, monitoring habitat, landowner outreach, and captive breeding programs with the hope of keeping Connecticut's only native rabbit around for the foreseeable future.

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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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