The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds sportsmen and women that the 2021 fall archery hunting seasons for deer and turkey open on Wednesday, September 15, on state and private land.
Hunters, State Land Users Reminded to Wear Fluorescent Orange During Hunting Season
Fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey goes to the end of December on private lands and state land bowhunting only areas, and to the end of January 2021 on private lands in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12. On state lands open to hunting, the archery season runs from September 15 to November 16 and from December 22 through the end of December. Archery deer hunting is allowed on private lands on Sundays in all Deer Management Zones. Wild turkeys CANNOT be hunted on Sunday anywhere in the state.
“The outlook for the 2021 hunting season looks good as another mild winter and an in increase in deer observations occurred in most zones last year,” said Andy LaBonte, DEEP Wildlife Division Biologist. “The 2020 Connecticut Deer Program Summary contains information that will be helpful to hunters in the upcoming season.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more people participating in hunting and other outdoor activities over the past year, which potentially could create more hunter and non-hunter conflicts on heavily used state land areas. Although hunters are required to wear fluorescent orange while participating in many types of hunting activities, it is highly recommended that all state land users wear an article of fluorescent orange during the hunting season to maintain a safe outdoor environment for everyone.
“On average, Connecticut experienced moderate acorn production in 2021,” said Michael Gregonis, DEEP Wildlife Division Biologist. “So, fall weather conditions could be an influential factor on both the deer and turkey harvest.”
“The best hunting opportunities still exist in the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns, especially for bowhunters,” continued LaBonte. “Many landowners use the archery deer hunting season as a safe and effective means of reducing deer populations, especially in the more developed areas of the state where firearms hunting may not be feasible.”
Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp: A Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp was established in 2016, which replaces all turkey permits and the Pheasant Stamp, and is required to hunt any resident (non-migratory) game birds, including wild turkey, pheasant, ruffed grouse, partridge, and quail. The cost of the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp is $28 for adult residents and non-residents and $14 for Connecticut hunters ages 12 through 17. All revenues from the sale of Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps will be deposited into a separate, non-lapsing account to use exclusively for game birds and their habitat.
Wild turkey hunters planning to hunt in fall 2021 will need a 2021 Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. Landowners (who own 10 or more contiguous acres) may take turkeys on their property with the Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp or Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. There is no additional bag limit for turkeys due to the Free Landowner Game Bird Conservation Stamp.
Harvest Tags: 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 34 of the 2021 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, as well as on the DEEP website here.
Report Harvest: Hunters are required to report their deer and turkey harvest within 24 hours either on the DEEP website here 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 here. Deer permits and Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps can be purchased online at here or at participating town halls and vendors. Hunters should consult the DEEP website for an up-to-date listing of new state lands open to archery hunting.
Learn How to Get Started Hunting: Check out the Hunting Roadmap on the DEEP website to learn the steps needed to get started hunting in Connecticut here.
There are roadmaps for all types of hunting, including deer and turkey hunting.
Photo credit: Paul J. Fusco/CT DEEP-Wildlife Division.
The outlook for the 2021 deer hunting season is expected to be good, depending on weather conditions. The best opportunities are in the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns, especially for bowhunters