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Wildlife Encounters: A Few Reminders on What to Do
The arrival of spring brings increased chances for encounters between people and wild animals. To avoid conflicts with bears, coyotes, and foxes, do not approach or try to feed them. Remove any food sources, such as garbage, pet food, bird feeders, and suet, from your yard. Report sightings of bears to the DEEP Wildlife Division.

Orphaned Wildlife: Although they may appear to be "orphaned," the adult is probably close by, waiting for you to leave. It is best to leave the animal alone. If you are absolutely certain a wild animal has been injured or orphaned, before touching or moving it, contact the DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011 or contact an authorized wildlife rehabilitator.

Wildlife Problems: Many wildlife species, such as squirrels, raccoons, or bats, will use houses or other buildings for shelter and as a place for raising young. Visit    WildlifeHelp.org   (select "Connecticut" as your state to get started) or DEEP's website for information on how to handle problems with wildlife. A licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator can be hired if professional assistance is needed for solving common nuisance wildlife problems. WildlifeHelp.org is supported by the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Northeast Wildlife Damage Management Cooperative.

Rabies Awareness: To prevent exposure to rabid animals, vaccinate pets against rabies and never approach any animal, domestic or wild, that is acting disoriented or is unusually tame or aggressive. Suspected rabid animals should be reported to the local police or animal control officer. If local authorities cannot be reached, contact DEEP at 860-424-3333 for guidance.
Unsold Deer Lottery Permits Available Starting March 15
Unsold Deer Lottery Permits will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting March 15, 2017. Unsold lottery permits can be purchased online or at select DEEP offices up until sold out or the season ends. All unsold lottery permits must be purchased at the end of the transaction.

Final Tally of the Deer Hunting Seasons
The Wildlife Division's Deer Program has released the final harvest results (PDF) for the deer hunting seasons from September 15, 2016, through January 31, 2017. Look for the 2016 Connecticut Deer Program Summary before the fall archery season opens in September. Stay tuned!
Update on Listing of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee
The February edition of Wildlife Highlights contained an article announcing that the rusty patched bumble bee was to be added to the Federal Endangered Species List on February 10, 2017. However, the rule to add the bee to the list was suspended by the new federal administration. The effective date for the final rule to list the bee as endangered has been delayed to March 21, 2017. Stay tuned to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website  for updates on the listing. The rusty patched bumble bee is also on Connecticut's List of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species, but it is currently considered extirpated (gone from the state).

If you are concerned about native pollinators and want to help, you can take the following steps (provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service): 
  • Grow native flowers, including flowering trees and shrubs. Have a mix with something in bloom from early spring through fall. Include native milkweeds for monarch butterflies.
  • Bumble bees and many other pollinators (bees, moths, and butterflies) need a safe place to build their nests and overwinter. Leave some areas of your yard unmowed in summer and unraked in fall, and in your garden and flower beds leave some standing plant stems in winter.
  • Provide a pesticide free environment.
Donate to the Connecticut Endangered Species/Wildlife Income Tax Check-off Fund to protect wildlife and habitat.
New Slideshows about Wildlife and Habitat
The DEEP Wildlife Division recently updated its informative slideshow on Endangered Species in Connecticut (PDF; 53 slides). In addition, two new slideshows have been developed and were recently added to our website. Wildlife Habitats: A History of Change for Connecticut's Wildlife (PDF; 72 slides) describes how Connecticut's landscape has changed and how the Wildlife Division is bringing back some special habitats that are disappearing. Native Landscaping: Bring Wildlife to Your Yard with Native Plants provides a wealth of information about landscaping for wildlife. A full version (PDF; 130 slides) and condensed version (PDF; 50 slides) of this slideshow are available for viewing.
Problems with Nesting Canada Geese?
Canada goose nesting season is starting as pairs of resident geese are initiating nests all across the state. For many, resident geese are a welcome sight, but for others, nesting geese and the family groups that result are a continuing nuisance. If you have problems caused by geese and want to halt local production, now is the time to take action. First, register with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through an online program that authorizes the undertaking of nest control measures.

Resident geese typically nest within 50-100 yards of water. They seek out small islands, bushes, and open areas, anywhere where they have a decent view of potential predators and where they can remain relatively inconspicuous. Females will flush off nests when approached. Once a nest is found, eggs can be rendered unviable. Typical clutch size for resident geese is 6-8 eggs. It is best to wait to until the entire clutch is laid before taking action. This way the hen will typically not try to renest.

More information on alleviating goose problems . . .
Visit Us at the Northeast Fishing and Hunting Show
Come and join us on March 31, April 1, and April 2 at the 20th Annual Fishing and Hunting Show held at the CT Convention Center in Hartford. DEEP Wildlife and Fisheries Division staff and State Environmental Conservation Police Officers will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, so come by and say hello. The DEEP Trophy Fish Awards Ceremony will be Saturday morning as well. We hope to see you there!

Migratory Bird Hunting Season Regulations Meeting
March 31, 6:00-8:00 PM, in the rear conference room at the DEEP Marine Headquarters, 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme ( more details)
Species of the Month: Spotted Salamander
An incredible diversity of wildlife species can be found in our state. Take some time to discover Connecticut's wildlife!

One of the surest signs of spring is the mass migration of spotted salamanders. These underground dwellers emerge from winter dormancy with the season's first warm rains, and then travel to their breeding pools. Because spotted salamanders are secretive and spend most of the time underground, they are seldom seen except in early spring (March-April) when they migrate in large numbers to breeding pools. Even then, they are active only on rainy nights. Be on the lookout for these amazing animals on warm, rainy nights if you have a breeding pool near you.

Learn more about the spotted salamander . . . 

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License Fees Fund Hunting and Fishing Programs
Fees collected from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, permits, and stamps go to support fish and wildlife conservation, preservation, and recreation programs administered by the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources. 

The next time you see a bald eagle, harvest a white-tailed deer, or catch a brown trout, give yourself and your fellow sportsmen a pat on the back!

You are making a difference and we thank you for your support!
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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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