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Various Fall Firearms Hunting Seasons Set to Open
The fall hunting season is here and several seasons are set to open in October and November. Peak hunting occurs during early morning and late afternoon, primarily during the period from mid-October through mid-December.
Pheasant Prospects Remain Good: This year, DEEP will purchase 15,000 adult pheasants for stocking. Seven areas will be stocked on Saturday mornings and afternoons and will only be open to hunters with a Saturday AM (9:00 AM -12:00 noon) or Saturday PM (1:30 PM - 4:30 PM) permit from October 21 through November 18 at Cromwell Meadows WMA, Durham Meadows WMA, Housatonic WMA, and Simsbury WMA, and from October 21 through November 11 at Nathan Hale State Forest, Naugatuck State Forest (Hunter's Mountain Block only), and Skiff Mountain Cooperative WMA. Additional details on pheasant stocking, such as area allocations and an updated listing of all major stocking areas, are on the Pheasant Program webpage.

Report Details Participation in Fish and Wildlife Activities
The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation is a partnership effort with state agencies and national conservation organizations and one of the mos t important sources of information on fish and wildlife recreation in the United States. The survey has been conducted nearly every five years since 1955. Takeaways include:
  • In 2016, 101.6 million Americans 16 years of age and older (40% of the U.S. population) enjoyed some form of fishing, hunting, or wildlife- associated recreation.
  • More than 35.8 million Americans fished in 2016, while 11.5 million hunted and 86 million watched wildlife.
  • Sportsmen and women spent $41.7 billion on equipment, $30.9 billion on trips, and $7.8 billion on licenses and fees, membership dues and contributions, land leasing and ownership,and plantings for hunting. On average, each sportsperson spent $2,034 in 2016.
Yo u can read the preliminary report at on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website .
Established Population of Lone Star Ticks Discovered Along Coastal Connecticut
CT DEEP and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) recently reported that a heavy population of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, has been detected at Manresa Island (former Norwalk Harbor Station) in South Norwalk, Connecticut, marking the first known established reproducing population in the State. 

The presence of the lone star tick population in South Norwalk first came to light as a result of a June 2017 report from a local resident about a deer acting strangely.  When DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Officer Jesse Nivolo arrived on scene at Manresa Island, the animal was deceased. But, Officer Nivolo found the deer had suffered from a severe infestation of ticks, which still completely covered its eyes, ears, head, and neck.  State Entomologist  and tick researcher, Dr. Kirby Stafford, of CAES, identified the ticks as lone star ticks, which are commonly found in the southeastern U.S. but have been slowly moving northward.

New and Improved: Young Forest Habitat Initiative Webpage
The Wildlife Division recently updated its webpages detailing the Young Forest Habitat Initiative to highlight new and improved efforts to create and manage young forest habitat in Connecticut, thus providing habitat for many wildlife species. In the past, natural disturbances, such as fire, flooding, beaver activity, and storms, created and maintained these habitats. They also were created and maintained through human disturbances like farming, burning, and timber harvesting. 
Today, human activity has halted opportunities for natural and man-made disturbance in our highly developed landscape.

As the amount of this special habitat has declined in our state, so have the wildlife species dependent on it. Connecticut's Wildlife Action Plan has identified over 50 wildlife species of Greatest Conservation Need (GCN) as being associated with young forests and in need of active management. These species include the American woodcock, eastern towhee, New England cottontail, prairie warbler, brown thrasher, and field sparrow.

The Division, in cooperation with other partners, has joined the Young Forest Habitat Initiative to help restore these important habitats. The following four projects address the study and restoration of young forest wildlife: 1) New England Cottontail Restoration; 2) Shrubland Bird Monitoring; 3) American Woodcock Habitat Use and Survival; and 4) Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
Report Bobcat Sightings!
Citizen scientists are asked to report bobcat observations as part of the Wildlife Division's new Bobcat Research Project. Observations can be recorded at www.iNaturalist.org; by sending an email to deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov; or posting a message or photo on the Connecticut Fish and Wildlife Facebook page. Eligible reports can be live sightings, roadkilled or deceased bobcats, or signs and tracks of bobcats. When reporting an observation, please provide a date of when the sighting took place, town, number of individuals observed, and whether any individuals had ear tags or a collar.
Successful 2017 Connecticut Hunting and Fishing Day!
Connecticut Hunting and Fishing Day was held on September 23 at a new venue -- Cabela's in East Hartford. A large and enthusiastic crowd, including lots of families, took advantage of a variety of fun and free fish, wildlife, and outdoor-related activities throughout the day. Several sportsmen's clubs and conservation organizations were on hand to interact with attendees. The DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources appreciates the participation of all of the groups, presenters, volunteers, and attendees at this event to celebrate the contributions of Connecticut's hunters and anglers. A special thank you is extended to Cabela's for providing their support, free parking, and several fantastic door prizes.
Take a Youth Hunting!
Junior hunters have the opportunity to hunt on special designated days for pheasants (October 14), waterfowl (October 7 and November 4), and deer (November 4-11, except Sunday) this fall. DEEP, in cooperation with local sportsmen's organizations, will be holding several special
Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Events in October and November. "Hunt on Your Own Pheasant Hunts" are also scheduled for Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day on October 14 at four state areas in northwestern Connecticut, which will be stocked with pheasants thanks to the Northwest Connecticut Sportsman's Council. Dates for Junior Hunter Training days, including details and registration information about pheasant hunting events, are on the Junior Hunter webpage.

Glastonbury Shooting Range

Fall deer hunting is right around the corner! Take advantage of the Glastonbury Shooting Range open every Saturday and Sunday through November 26.

An extended time slot from 2:00 - 3:00 PM, beginning October 14 through November 12, is available only to hunters with a valid 2017 firearms deer hunting permit of any type. Reservations for this special time slot are NOT accepted or required (walk-in only).


Public Programs at Sessions Woods WMA

Several interesting programs are scheduled at the Wildlife Division's Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center in Burlington. The programs are free and open to the public. 

We hope to see you there!
 
Watch for Deer and Moose on Roadways
Motorists are cautioned to be watchful of increased deer and moose activity along Connecticut roadways, especially during early morning and evening hours. September through October is the peak of the breeding season for Connecticut's small but expanding moose population in the northern part of the state. The breeding season (also known as "the rut") for white-tailed deer closely follows the moose breeding season, running from late October through late December.
Species of the Month: Moose
An incredible diversity of wildlife species can be found in our state. Take some time to discover Connecticut's wildlife!

Historically, it is unclear if moose were ever native to Connecticut. There are no records of archaeological deposits of moose and no mention of the animal from "ethno-historic accounts." If moose were native, they likely existed in low numbers.

The Connecticut Board of Fisheries and Game (the precursor agency to the DEEP Wildlife Division) received sporadic reports of moose observations in the early 1900s and throughout the 1930s. However, a photograph taken by a resident of Ashford in September 1956 was considered the first official photograph that recorded the presence of moose in Connecticut. In more recent times, the Wildlife Division received a report of a moose sighting in 1984, followed by sporadic sightings up through the early 1990s. The first moose-vehicle accident occurred in 1995. With a growing moose population in neighboring Massachusetts and the propensity for moose to disperse over long distances, it was only a matter of time before a resident moose population became established in Connecticut. Annual sightings of cows with calves since 2000 confirm the establishment and expansion of a resident moose population. Deer hunters reported 71 moose sightings (105 individuals) in 32 towns (1 unknown) in 2016 and 949 sightings in 86 different towns over the past 20 years. The current population is estimated at just over 100 animals.

More on the moose . . .
Report a moose sighting . . .
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