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Upcoming Hunting Seasons 
Hunting seasons are right around the corner, beginning with the special Canada goose season on September 1 and Fall deer and turkey bowhunting on September 15.

The fall firearms turkey season opens on October 7 and the small game hunting season opens on October 21. Check the pheasant webpage  for the most up-to-date pheasant stocking information for the upcoming season. 

Small Game and Pheasant Hunters:
Daily permits, available for the morning or afternoon,  are needed on the following Saturdays at Cromwell Meadows WMA, Durham Meadows WMA, Housatonic River WMA, Nathan Hale SF, Naugatuck SF - Hunter's Mtn. Block, Simsbury WMA, and Skiff Mtn. WMA: Oct. 21, Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Nov. 11, and Nov. 18  (Nov. 18 does not include Nathan Hale, Naugatuck SF, and Skiff Mtn.). 

Morning hunters may hunt from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and afternoon hunters may hunt from 1:30 to 4:30 PM.  Compliance with these requirements is necessary in order for birds to be stocked prior to 9:00 AM and again between 12:00 to 1:30 PM. If hunters are present, birds will not be stocked. Permits can be obtained from the Online Sportsmen Licensing System on the Monday preceding the Saturday hunts starting at 12:01 AM.

2018 Connecticut Duck Stamp Prints for Sale!
Conservation Edition prints of the 2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created by nationally renowned Connecticut artist Chet Reneson are now available in limited quantity.
Signed prints sell for $200 each, and all proceeds from the purchase of these stunning prints will go into the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to be used for the enhancement of wetland and associated upland habitats in our state. Those  interested in purchasing a print should contact DEEP Wildlife Division biologist Min Huang at min.huang@ct.gov  or 860-418-5959. 

Connecticut Bobcat Project Needs Your Help!
The Wildlife Division has launched a new bobcat research project to determine habitat use by bobcats within Connecticut. 
Data from the project will be used to determine the abundance and distribution of bobcats in our state. 

This is where you come in! Citizen scientists are asked to report information on bobcat observations. This will be extremely helpful to our efforts to learn more about Connecticut bobcats.  Observations can be recorded online at  www.iNaturalist.org  or by contacting the Wildlife Division at deep.wildlife@ct.gov or 860-424-3011. 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. If reporting via computer, make sure to mark on the map the general area where the sighting occurred.
Reminder: Turn in Turkey Brood Survey Forms
If you participated in the Wild Turkey Brood Survey over the summer, we would really appreciate it if you would send in your data forms as soon as you can so that we can start to tabulate the data. Completed surveys should be returned to: Michael Gregonis, DEEP Wildlife Division, Franklin WMA, 391 Route 32, North Franklin, CT 06254 or michael.gregonis@ct.gov. Look for a future article reporting on the survey results. Thanks to all who participated!
Advanced Hunter Education Opportunities and Junior Hunting Events
The Wildlife Division's Conservation Education/Firearms Safety (CE/FS) Program offers hunting safety classes on firearms and archery hunting and trapping throughout the year. The classes are taught by a dedicated corps of certified volunteer instructors. The CE/FS Program is now offering Advanced Hunter Education seminars and clinics on such topics as waterfowl hunting, hunter marksmanship, small game hunting, venison processing, and wild turkey hunting. These hunting seminars and clinics are meant to expand on the knowledge and skills of hunters and anyone else who wants more information about pertinent topics in hunting. All programs are free and open to the public. Periodically check the DEEP website to see when courses are scheduled. Information on several courses planned for 2018 will be included in the 2018 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, which should be available by mid-December 2017. 

Junior Pheasant Hunts (free) :

This year Saturday, October 14  is designated as Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day on state and private land. The DEEP Wildlife Division, in cooperation with various sportsmen's clubs, holds several special hunting events for junior hunters on Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day and other days (ranging from Sept. 30 to Nov. 12) during the pheasant hunting season.
This FREE event is sponsored by the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources.
Lots of fun activities for the whole family are planned.
COMING UP THIS MONTH: Practice shooting with a live action hunting simulation; shoot aerial targets during flu-flu archery; learn about falconry; watch hunting dog demonstrations; make a bluebird nestbox; win FREE door prizes; and experience so much more this event has to offer! IT'S ALL FREE! Visit www.ct.gov/deep/HuntFishDay for more information and a list of the groups and vendors attending.
International Coastal Cleanup Day: Sept. 16

Help protect our oceans on  Saturday, September 16 !  Plastic has been found in 62% of all sea birds and in 100% of sea turtle species. So please join in on this cleanup event with volunteers around the world to help make a difference for our ocean and coastal environments.
Confirmed Cleanup Locations :

Westport, CT - Saugatuck River, 2:30-4:30PM (Registration details . . .)


The Connecticut Fund for the Environment is hosting multiple cleanups  in the following towns:  East Lyme, Milford, New Haven, New London, Niantic, Norwalk, and West Haven.  Cleanups will also be held in Groton and Guilford on Sunday, Sept. 17.  Additionally, the fund will hold more coastal cleanups on dates through October 15 (View location and registration information . . .)

Bird Walk at Sessions Woods WMA

Eastern phoebe
On September 30, starting at 7:30 AM, join Burlington birder Laura Spitz for a walk along the trails at Sessions Woods. Laura will provide insight on easy ways to identify birds as the group visits many habitat types, including forest, meadow, and beaver marsh, throughout the wildlife management area. Please bring binoculars if you have any and meet at the flagpole in front of the Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center. To
 pre-register, call Laura at 860-424-3011 or email laura.rogers-castro@ct.gov.
Needed: Advocates for Sound Forest Management
Apply to Coverts Today!
Are you a woodland owner, land trust member, or property manager who wants to learn more about your woods and the critters that call it home?   Apply for the 2017 Coverts Project, a volunteer training program in forest and wildlife management. Learn how well-planned forest management can improve wildlife habitat and provide other benefits as well. 

The seminar will be held at scenic Great Mountain Forest in Falls Village from 6:30 PM on Thursday, September 14 to 3:00 PM on Sunday, September 17. Join the Connecticut Forest and Park Association and UCONN Extension for an educational weekend filled with indoor and outdoor activities, good food, and camaraderie. 
CT Invasive Plants:  Phragmites
Phragmites is a tall (up to 20 feet) perennial grass that  grows in brackish, tidal marshes and non-tidal  freshwater wetlands.  Thick stands form nearly impenetrable barriers to animals and large birds, such as ducks, shorebirds, and wading birds. These thick stands degrade habitat by raising the marsh elevation and filling in open water areas. Degraded marshes have a low diversity of bird species --seaside sparrows (state threatened), saltmarsh sparrows (state species of special concern),  willets, and marsh wrens are less abundant in phragmites marshes.
DEEP WHAMM Program's Marsh Master Low Ground Pressure Sprayer and Mower.
Native phragmites may have once been present as a minor component of Connecticut tidal marshes. However, within the last 40 to 60 years, the plant has been spreading at rates as high as one to three percent per year in areas like the lower Connecticut River. It is estimated that over 10% of the state's tidal wetlands are now dominated by this invasive reed.  

The Wildlife Division's Wetlands Habitat and Mosquito Management (WHAMM) Program has been fighting the spread of phragmites since 1997. So far this year , the Program has treated 363 acres of land at nine different sites. Three new sites (Old Saybrook Land Trust, People's State Forest, and Pawcatuck River WMA in Stonington ) have been added to WHAMM's treatment list this year. 

On  September 8 , the Friends of Goodwin Forest will be holding a "two-for-one" event on phragmites and topographic maps. Learn more about this invasive plant and details on what the CT DEEP has done to decrease its growth.  Event details . . .

Phragmites Fact Sheet and Identification Tools . . .
More on Phragmites Management . . .
Species of the Month: Mudpuppy
An incredible diversity of wildlife species can be found in our state. Take some time to discover Connecticut's wildlife!

A mudpuppy's external gills can range in color and size, depending on the oxygenation and quality of its aquatic habitat.  
The common mudpuppy salamander, which resides in the waters of the Connecticut and Housatonic Rivers, will begin its mating season in late September, lasting through the fall season. 
This Connecticut species of special concern normally lives in and is restricted to deep river waters. During the courtship and mating season, mudpuppies will mate in shallow water, seeking cover among logs, rocks, and weeds.

The mudpuppy's name comes from its external gills  (note the deep red, feathery gills on both sides of its head) , which are thought to resemble dog ears, and the mudpuppy's squeaky call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark. 

As a state-listed species, the mudpuppy cannot be collected or removed from the wild and must be immediately released back into the water if caught while fishing.

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