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2018 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:  Archery Deer Harvest Report (PDF)

Firearms deer hunting season begins Wednesday, November 14! Everything you want to know about hunting in Connecticut is covered in our Frequently Asked Questions section on our website.

Tree Hazards: Remember to look up and watch out for hazardous trees while in forested areas. Several years of storms, drought, and insect infestations have severely damaged a significant number of Connecticut's trees. Damaged and hazard trees can fall without warning.

Hunting Area Closures: Any notices about temporary closures to certain hunting areas are posted on the main Hunting and Trapping webpage.

Tree Stand Safety Reminder: Improper use of tree stands is one of the most common causes of 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.
Volunteers Build Wood Duck Nest Boxes
Photo courtesy of Wil Iturrino
The annual wood duck nest box building day was recently held at Flaherty Field Trial Area in East Windsor. This event is a collaborative effort between the DEEP Wildlife Division and  Connecticut Waterfowlers Association (CWA). The Wildlife Division provided the wood and hardware and CWA members constructed boxes from the supplied materials. The Wildlife Division places finished boxes in wood duck habitat (forested wetlands, etc.) on state lands. This year was a great success as 100 boxes were constructed. The Wildlife Division extends its thanks to all who participated. 

CT's Bobcat Project Continues
As DEEP Wildlife Division biologists gear up for the second year of the Bobcat Project, efforts are underway to live-trap more bobcats and fit them with GPS tracking collars. Data collected from this project will be used to determine the abundance and distribution of bobcats, as well as habitat use. You can assist the project by reporting observations of bobcats. Eligible reports can be live sightings, roadkilled or deceased bobcats, or signs and tracks. When reporting an observation, please provide the date of the sighting, town, number of individuals observed, and whether any individuals had ear tags or a collar. Observations can be recorded on iNaturalist; by sending an email to deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov; or by posting a message or photo on the Connecticut Fish and Wildlife Facebook page.
2018 Year of the Bird - An Assignment to Photograph the Beauty of Birds
Scarlet Tanager
November's featured action for 2018 Year of the Bird is to participate in an "assignment" to discover "the beauty of birds" through photography. You are invited to submit your photos and become part of National Geographic's Your Shot Community. Photographing birds will challenge you to anticipate moments and plan your composition.  This assignment may encourage you to slow down and observe creatures you might have previously overlooked.
Deer and Turkey Program Reports Published
The Wildlife Division recently published annual reports for the Wild Turkey and Deer Programs. The 2017 Connecticut Deer Program Summary (PDF) contains details on harvest statistics, research activities, and other aspects of the state's white-tailed deer population. The 2017 Connecticut Wild Turkey Program Report (PDF) includes a summary of wild turkey information, including harvest statistics, for the 2017 spring and fall hunting seasons. The 2011-2015 Connecticut Wild Turkey Program Five-Year Report was also completed.
Public Meeting Planned for National Estuarine Research Reserve for Connecticut
A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the second floor Auditorium of the Academic Building at the University of Connecticut's Avery Point Campus in Groton. The purpose of this meeting is to provide an update on Connecticut's effort to identify and propose a location for a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) in our state. The NERR system is a federal/state partnership that establishes a location dedicated to estuarine research, monitoring, education, and stewardship. A Connecticut-based Reserve would complement and extend many existing scientific, environmental management, and education activities through the addition of funding, resources, and expertise. Additionally, it would help identify and enable new directions and initiatives by leveraging national programs. The meeting invitation and agenda, proposed sitemap, project timeline, FAQs, and additional information can be found on the CT DEEP NERR website.
Give the Gift of Connecticut Wildlife Magazine
Are you looking for a unique holiday or birthday gift? Would you like to thank a landowner who allowed you to hunt or recreate on their property? Give a gift subscription to the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resource's 24-page, full-color, bimonthly magazine.

Connecticut Wildlife is the perfect gift for those who like 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 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 (along with the name and address of the gift recipient) 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 !  
Black Bears and Birdfeeders
Now that leaves are falling from the trees and temperatures are getting colder, many of us are eager to put out bird feeders to attract our feathered friends.  It is best to put up feeders in the winter months from December through late-March when bears are in their dens. Although most bears enter dens at some point, some can remain active for portions of or the entire winter season if food is available. It is important that you remove bird feeders at the first sign of bear activity.
 
If you live in an area with bears, it is best to avoid bird feeders altogether. Bears that find bird feeders will often repeatedly visit the site in search of food. Bird feeders and other bird food will attract bears closer to homes and humans. When bears begin to use human-associated food sources, they will frequent residential areas, lose their fear of humans, and not flee when harassed. They can even cause damage by breaking into outbuildings and homes in search of food.
 
For those who enjoy watching birds, establish native plants in your yard and add water features to attract birds. These methods may increase bird diversity and prevent unnatural feeding of a variety of wildlife species.   Learn how you can bring wildlife to your yard with native landscaping.

Changes to Mallard Bag Limit for 2019-2020 Hunting Season
WATERFOWL HUNTERS: The mallard has been one of the most abundant duck species in eastern North America for decades. In the past 20 years, however, eastern mallards have been on the decline. As a result of the long-term decline, the 2019-2020 mallard bag limit is being reduced from 4 per day to 2 per day. The 2018-2019 bag limit will remain at 4 mallards per day for the current season.

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) about changes to mallard hunting regulations in the Atlantic Flyway for 2019-2020.
Brochure (PDF) explaining the changes in the mallard bag limit for the Atlantic Flyway.
Spotted Lanternfly Found in Farmington, CT
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, in cooperation with the USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine, recently announced that a single dead adult spotted lanternfly (Lycoma delicatula) was detected and confirmed from a private residence in Farmington, CT. The insect appears to have been a hitchhiker that was likely transported on a vehicle from Pennsylvania. No other spotted lanternflies were found on the property. However, some additional surveys were conducted in the area to confirm that no other spotted lanternflies were present.

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive sap-feeding planthopper that was discovered in Berks County, PA, in 2014. Native to China, India, and Vietnam, this insect attacks many hosts and has the potential to severely impact Connecticut's farm crops, particularly apples, grapes, and hops, as well as a number of tree species. In the fall, adults can often be found congregating on tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus), willows, and other trees. They will lay egg masses on trees and almost any nearby surface. Early detection is important! The public is urged to report potential sightings of this invasive pest to CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov. Submission of a photograph with any report is encouraged. 

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