Be Wild!  ...and Up-To-Date with the Latest Wildlife and Hunting News
CT Bureau of Natural Resources Through the Years
1963: One of the earliest documented coyotes in the state.
As the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources celebrates its 150th Anniversary in 2016, we may take for granted some of the wildlife species we see on a regular basis or we may miss others that are gone forever. Did you know that the last documented wolf was shot in Pomfret, CT, in 1742? Or that wild turkeys were extirpated (gone) from our state by 1813 and beavers were gone by 1842? Beavers and turkeys have returned, but wolves were "replaced" by coyotes expanding into CT in the 1950s.

View our Historical Timeline for more interesting facts on the history of Connecticut's Bureau of Natural Resources.
A Burst of Color in Late Fall
American witch hazel is a common but unique plant that stands out among other trees and shrubs in Connecticut. As leaves fall into November, its bright yellow flowers bloom and provide a beautiful sight in our woodlands. Witch hazel also has great wildlife value; ruffed grouse, black bear, and other animals feed on its seeds and deer browse on the twigs and foliage. Perhaps best known about witch hazel is its use as an herbal remedy to treat insect bites, colds, muscle sprains, skin irritations, and more. A company, now known as American Distilling, is currently located in East Hampton where it produces almost the entire world's supply of witch hazel every year. However, the remedy has ties all the way back to New England's Native Americans.
Creepy, Scary, Spooky... Bats Often Get a Bad Rap
Bat Week was celebrated from October 24 through Halloween  when we dispelled myths about bats and appreciated them for all they do to keep our environment healthy. Connecticut is home to nine of over 1,300 species of bats worldwide that impact our daily lives in ways we may not realize - from pollinating our favorite fruits to eating pesky insects.

Unfortunately, in recent years, bats have received far more tricks than treats. In less than 10 years, the disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed millions of bats throughout the Northeast and beyond. In Connecticut, WNS has been documented in all species of "cave bats," of which most are listed as endangered or threatened under the Connecticut Endangered Species Act. Bats seen outside from late-November through February should be reported to the DEEP Wildlife Division at The characteristic white, fuzzy fungal growth may not be visible; however, a bat seen during winter is a sign that WNS may be at work.

Do Not Feed Deer or Waterfowl this Winter
Severe winters cause people to be concerned about the welfare of white-tailed deer or waterfowl and their ability to survive winter. However, white-tailed deer and waterfowl both have biological adaptations that help them survive. The DEEP Wildlife Division discourages providing supplemental food during winter. Feeding deer often makes them more vulnerable to starvation, predation, disease, and vehicle collisions. Feeding waterfowl can delay their natural migration, harbor diseases, increase conflicts, and weaken the gene pool. 
More information:   Do Not Feed Deer       Do Not Feed Waterfowl  (PDF)
2016 Junior Pheasant Hunt Events
October 8 was the designated Junior Hunter Training Day for pheasants, but  there are still several special hunting events being held for junior hunters during November and December. 

Graduates of CT's Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Program that are between the ages of 12 and 15 years old and who possess a valid 2016 Junior Hunting License are eligible to apply to participate in these FREE events.
Forest Cut at Sessions Woods WMA
The DEEP Wildlife and Forestry Divisions have initiated a forestry operation to salvage non-native red pine from an 8-acre site at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area  in Burlington. All nearby trails will be closed for public safety during the tree removal. Please heed any signs or trail closings while visiting the area. The red pines are dying due to insect infestations and they pose a hazard to hikers using the nearby trails. Revenue from the sale of the forest products will be used to enhance wildlife projects and educational efforts at Sessions Woods.

2016 Deer Season Tally and Safety Reminders
Keep track of the deer season harvest and see how it compares to the harvest in 2014 and 2015. The tally will be updated regularly, so check back often.

REMINDER: The Fall Firearms Deer Hunting Season opens on November 16.

Tree Stand Safety:  Improper use of tree stands is one of the most common causes for injuries and death to hunters in the field. 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 this fall.
Bird Feeders and Black Bears
If you live in an area with bears, it is best to avoid bird feeders altogether. Bears that find a bird feeder will often repeatedly visit the site in search of food. If you choose to put out bird feeders, do so 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.

For more information or if you have additional questions about black bears, view Frequently Asked Questions on the Black Bears in Connecticut webpage.
Need Help?!
Do you need help and advice concerning nuisance wildlife, particularly with species not listed on the DEEP website? Check out and select "Connecticut" as your state to get started. This website is supported by the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Northeast Wildlife Damage Management Cooperative.
2017 Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Reproductions Now Available
Conservation Edition prints of the 2017 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created by nationally renowned artist Mark Thone are now available in limited quantity. Thone's artwork depicts canvasbacks at the mouth of the Thames River and features the famous New London lighthouse as a prominent part of the print. All proceeds from the purchase of these stunning prints, just like all funds collected from the sale of Migratory Bird Conservation Stamps, go into the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to be used for the enhancement of wetland and associated upland habitats in our state.

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Send your comments or suggestions to deep.ctwildlife@ct.g ov
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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