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Small Die-off in Local White-tailed Deer Herd
Hemorrhagic Disease Confirmed in Middletown Deer
Since early September, the DEEP Wildlife Division has documented more than 50 white-tailed deer exhibiting symptoms associated with Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHDV-6), primarily in the towns of Middletown and Portland, with a few in Chester, Haddam, and Lyme. In mid-October, the DEEP received confirmation from the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study that a deer from Middletown tested positive for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 6 (EHDV-6).  EHDV-6 is transmitted to deer by tiny biting flies (midges). Outbreaks of hemorrhagic disease routinely occur during late summer and early fall as the number of midges increase, and ceases with the onset of a hard frost, which kills the midges carrying the virus.

2017 Deer Harvest Tally and Safety Reminders
Keep track of the deer season harvest throughout the hunting season. The tally will be updated regularly, so check back often. 


DON'T FORGET! Firearms deer hunting season begins Wednesday, November 15!

Tree Stand Safety Reminder: Improper use of tree stands is one of the most common causes for injuries and death to hunters in the field.  HUNTERcourse.com offers free online instruction on the proper use of tree stands and safety harnesses.

Hikers, Hunters, Horseback Riders, Mountain Bikers:  What you need to know when you are outdoors
CT's Newest National Wildlife Refuge: Great Thicket
A new webpage has been developed to deliver up-to-date information on the Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge, which overlays parts of the New England cottontail's range in five New England states (including Connecticut) and eastern New York.  Information is provided on how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designed the refuge and how it will assess opportunities for protecting land needed by New England cottontails and other wildlife. According to CT DEEP Wildlife Division Director Rick Jacobson, the Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge and accompanying conservation and management efforts aren't just about a rabbit. They are about American woodcock, ruffed grouse, golden-winged warblers, monarch butterflies, and the whole suite of wildlife that depend on young forest and shrubland.

Check out the new Great Thicket NWR webpage and visit it often to learn more about young forests and what natural resource professionals are doing to make this critically important habitat for the wildlife that needs it.

How to Effortlessly Help Wildlife Overwinter
It is the easiest and one of the most wildlife-friendly lawn care practices out there.  Sit back and relax on your day off instead of raking the leaves out in the cold.  

Aside from planting native plants for pollinators and protecting your lawn from harsh chemicals, providing wildlife with fall leaves as winter coverage is the most beneficial thing you can do!

Several dwindling species of butterflies, such as the silver-bordered fritillary, depend on leaf litter as part of their life cycle. Some butterflies and moths lay their eggs within the fallen leaves and others disguise their cocoons and chrysalis as dried leaves. Many are tossed in the trash along with the unwanted leaves in your yard.

There Is Still Time to Take a Youth Hunting!
Connecticut designates specific days when experienced adult hunters are encouraged to take a youth hunting, helping them learn safe and effective hunting practices, develop observational skills, and gain confidence and a comfort level they need to discover a passion for hunting and the outdoors.

Although the Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day has passed, a Junior Waterfowl Hunter Training Day is scheduled for November 4 and Junior Deer Hunter Training Days are November 4 - 11 (except Sunday).

National Archery in the Schools (NASP) Program Is Off and Running in Connecticut!
The DEEP Wildlife Division is supporting the relaunch of NASP in the state and is working with new schools, as well as with schools already active in the program, to help strengthen their efforts. NASP lessons teach archery to students in a safe environment during school hours, usually as part of physical education classes, and is presented by teachers certified by NASP through training they received from the DEEP.

Four Basic Archery Instructor trainings have been held to date in 2017; 30 teachers have been certified in 20 new schools and three existing programs. The certification allows these teachers to conduct NASP lessons as part of their existing physical education program.  Further training will be offered, giving schools the opportunity to take the first step of getting involved in NASP. 

Those who want to learn more about the program or educators interested in participating in a training session should contact Connecticut NASP Coordinator Keith Hoffman at deep.CTNASP@ct.gov  or visit www.ct.gov/deep/NASP.
Give the Gift of Connecticut Wildlife Magazine
Are you looking for the perfect holiday or birthday gift? Give a gift subscription to the  DEEP Bureau of Natural Resource's 24-page, full-color, bimonthly magazine. It is the perfect gift for those who like to stay informed about fish, wildlife, and natural resource issues and events in our state. It is published six times a year, and is available by subscription for $8 a year, $15 for two years, or $20 for three years. To receive a subscription or order a gift subscription, send a check or money order payable to: Connecticut Wildlife, P.O. Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013-1550. Credit card orders can be taken through the DEEP Store via the DEEP website . Recipients of gift subscriptions will be sent a postcard to notify them of their gift.
Belding WMA's Species of the Week
If you enjoy reading up on our Species of the Month (see below), you won't want to miss any more of Belding WMA's featured Species of the Week! 

Get informed on a variety of native insects, songbirds, plants, mammals, reptiles, and more!   The species of the week is normally updated every Monday morning on the Belding Wildlife Management Area webpage and is also mentioned on the Connecticut Fish and Wildlife Facebook page  Like us on Facebook  

Public Programs at Sessions Woods WMA
Families are welcome to join the Wildlife Division on 
November 11  during this holiday season for a program on wild turkeys! Listen to the story of the return of wild turkeys to Connecticut, talk about the life history of one of the largest birds found in our state, and create a turkey feather craft following the program!
 
On  November 29 , experience an interactive after-school program featuring black bears and l earn about one of the largest and most interesting mammals that call Connecticut home.

Black Bears and Your Bird Feeders
In areas of Connecticut with high bear activity, it is recommended that residents avoid feeding birds at backyard feeders. Bears that find food at bird feeders will often repeatedly visit the site.  However, i f you just can't stand letting your bird feeder remain empty, collecting dust out in the shed, then the time to break out your bird seed and suet is quickly approaching!

Black bears are typically in their winter dens from December through late-March, so that is the most opportune time to put up bird feeders. Please note, black bears can remain active in winter, especially during periods of warmer weather.  It is important that you remove bird feeders at the first sign of bear activity.

For more information or if you have additional questions about black bears, view Frequently Asked Questions on the Black Bears in Connecticut webpage.
America Recycles Day: November 15
Connecticut disposes of 2.4 million tons of trash annually, an estimated 1,370 pounds of trash per person per year. 
 
Take this day to recognize and celebrate the positive impact of reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting. Most importantly, help close the recycling loop in our communities, schools, businesses, and government agencies!

Help keep America beautiful by taking the America Recycles Day Pledge

Connecticut Recycles Day . . .                    What Do I Do With . . .?                       Zero Waste . . .
CT Invasive Plants: Japanese Knotweed
Image courtesy of the  Connecticut Botanical Society.
The most effective time of year to manage and remove the highly invasive Japanese knotweed ( Polygonum cuspidatum) is in fall when the plant's thick, hollow stems turn brown.

Japanese knotweed, which belongs to the buckwheat family, was introduced to the United States from Japan as an ornamental plant in the 19th century. Now, it is often spread by distribution of soils. Only one small root fiber is needed to grow into an entire plant, which makes successful removal near to impossible.

This invasive plant grows in large clumps from three to six feet tall.  Its early spring growth produces a dense canopy, starving other plants of light. The persistent accumulation of stem litter within established stands also reduces species diversity and damages  wildlife habitat.

It takes persistence and patience t o fully rid an area of Japanese knotweed, but don't give up on the fight! 

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

When walking along a forest trail, you have probably heard a high-pitched squeak, chirp, or trill and may have mistaken it for a bird call. These calls actually are from the smallest members of the squirrel family: chipmunks! Chipmunks make  three distinct calls: the startle call, the chip, and a deeper chuck sound.

With cheeks that can expand three times the size of their heads, chipmunks can store up to eight pounds of food in their burrows. Chipmunks are omnivores who are not picky in what they eat. Along with nuts, seeds, berries, fruits, flowers, and mushrooms, they are also known to prey on baby birds, bird eggs, and frogs. 

Chipmunks are usually solitary, except for their two mating seasons from February to April and again from June to August. Chipmunks are seen in abundance with over 20 different species, most of which reside in North America. The name "chipmunk" has Native American origins with early New England colonists reporting that the animals were initially called "chitmunk" in the Algonquian language. 

Beginning in late October, chipmunks sleep for long periods throughout winter but they do not hibernate. They occasionally wake to snack on stored nuts and seeds and may even come outside for brief periods of time on warm winter days.

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