Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds sportsmen that the 2015 fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey is open from September 15 to December 31, 2015 in Deer Management Zones 1-10; and from September 15, 2015 – January 31, 2016 in Deer Management Zones 11 (Fairfield County area) and 12 (Connecticut shoreline towns).
Sunday Archery Deer Hunting: The past session of the General Assembly approved Public Act 15-204, An Act Authorizing Bow and Arrow Hunting on Certain Private Property on Sundays. Sunday hunting will go into effect starting October 1, 2015. DEEP determined that Sunday archery deer hunting on private lands will be permitted in all but three of the state’s Deer Management Zones (DMZs) based on its assessment of the deer population in each of the zones. The three zones where Sunday hunting will NOT be permitted – DMZs 2, 3, and 4A – are in north central Connecticut, including portions of Hartford, Litchfield, and Tolland Counties. The DMZs where Sunday archery deer hunting on private land will be permitted include 1, 4b, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, however turkey may not be taken on Sundays. The Connecticut Deer Management Zone map can be found on the DEEP website at http://go.usa.gov/3MNPT.
2014 Connecticut Deer Program Summary: The DEEP Wildlife Division recently published a summary of white-tailed deer information for 2014, including changes in deer management regulations, harvest statistics, research activities, and population dynamics of Connecticut’s deer population. This 30-page publication is available on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.
Archery Season Reminders
When hunters harvest a deer or turkey, they are required to fill out a Harvest Tag, sign it, and keep the Harvest Tag with the animal until it is processed for consumption. Copies of Harvest Tags and instructions for their use are on page 27 of the 2015 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, as well as on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.
Hunters are required to report their deer and turkey kills within 24 hours either on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting) or by calling a toll free number (1-877-337-4868). Deer hunters in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12 who take advantage of the Replacement Antlerless and Earn-a-Buck tag programs must complete this same tagging and reporting procedure prior to going to a check station that issues replacement tags. A listing of replacement tag vendors is available on the DEEP website. After reporting their harvest via the Internet or by telephone, hunters will be given a confirmation number to write on their Harvest Tag. This confirmation number serves as proof that the harvest was legally reported.
Wear Fluorescent Orange
Bowhunters are reminded that they must wear 400 square inches of fluorescent orange while walking to and from their tree stands during the firearms deer hunting season. However, once in a tree stand, elevated at least 10 feet off the ground, bowhunters may remove the fluorescent orange clothing. All private land archery hunters are required to carry a DEEP consent form signed by the landowner and dated for the current season. Consent forms can be found in the Hunting Guide or at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting. Deer and turkey permits can be purchased on-line at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing or at participating town halls, vendors, and at some DEEP offices. Hunters should consult the DEEP website for an up-to-date listing of new state lands open to archery hunting.
Beware of Mosquitoes
Hunters are advised to take precautions against mosquito bites as West Nile virus (WNV) has been found in mosquitoes in Connecticut. WNV can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has not yet been detected in Connecticut this year. EEE is a rare but potentially deadly disease in humans. Hunters should cover bare skin, use insect repellent while out in the field hunting, and be aware of the locations where infected mosquitoes have been identified. Current information on EEE and WNV activity and what you can do to prevent mosquito bites is available on the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website at www.ct.gov/mosquito.
“The outlook for the 2015 hunting season is good,” said Rick Jacobson, Director, DEEP Wildlife Division. “Although there are deer hunting opportunities throughout most of Connecticut, they are best in the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns provide the best opportunities, especially for bowhunters. Many landowners use the archery deer hunting season as a safe and effective method of reducing deer populations, especially in the more developed areas of the state where firearms hunting may not be feasible.” In these areas (Deer Management Zones 11 and 12), DEEP has continued to liberalize the archery deer hunting season to maximize hunter efficiency and lower deer populations to more desirable levels.