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Turkey Hunting

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TURKEY HUNTING SEASONS

Licensing and permit costs are listed on page Licenses & Permits. Specific laws and regulations for each turkey season are below.

Spring Turkey Seasons

Season Dates

  • April 29 – May 30State Land
  • April 29 – May 30Private Land
  • April 29 – May 30Landowner

Bag Limits

  • State Land Permit: 2 Bearded birds
  • Private Land Permit: 3 Bearded birds

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to 12 noon.

License & Permits Firearms hunting license or Small Game and Deer Archery Permit and a spring turkey permit. You may obtain both a private land (either Private Land or Free Landowner) and a state land spring turkey permit.

Legal Firearms Shotguns, 20 gauge or larger, with #4, 5, 6, 7 or 7½ shot. Shotguns must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells.

Legal Bows See page Hunting Laws & Regulations for a description of legal bows and arrows for turkey hunting. Mechanical string release devices are permitted.

Special Conditions

  • State Land Hunting: See tables on page Public Hunting Areas for state lands open for spring turkey hunting.
  • Tagging and Reporting: See pages Tagging & Reporting and Harvest Tags for information on tagging and reporting.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting (see page Private Land Consent Form).
  • Decoys: Decoys may be used, but live decoys are prohibited.
  • Free Landowner Permits: Only available to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land.
  • Junior Hunter Training Days: Saturday, April 18 through Saturday, April 25. See page Hunting Laws & Regulations for details.

Fall Archery Turkey Seasons

Season Dates

  • Jan. 1 – Jan. 31Private Lands (Zones 11–12)
  • Sept. 15 – Dec. 31Private Lands (All Zones)
  • Sept. 15 – Nov. 17State Land
    Dec. 23 – Dec. 31
  • Sept. 15 – Dec. 31State Land Bowhunting Only Areas

Bag Limit 2 Either Sex

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License & Permits Small Game & Deer Archery Permit and Fall Archery Turkey Permit. You may obtain only one type of fall archery turkey permit (either a state/private land permit or a free landowner permit).

Legal Bows See page Hunting Laws & Regulations for a description of legal bows and arrows for turkey hunting. Mechanical string release devices are permitted.

Special Conditions

  • Tagging and Reporting: See pages Tagging & Reporting and Harvest Tags for information on tagging and reporting.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting (see page Private Land Consent Form).
  • Decoys: Decoys may be used, but live decoys are prohibited.
  • State Land Hunting: See tables on page Public Hunting Areas for listing of lands open to fall bow hunting.
  • Free Landowner Permits — only available to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land.

Fall Firearms Turkey Seasons

Season Dates

  • Oct. 3 – Oct. 31State Land
  • Oct. 3 – Oct. 31Private Land
  • Oct. 3 – Oct. 31Landowner

Bag Limits

  • State Land: 1 Either Sex
  • Private Land: 2 Either Sex

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License & Permits Firearms hunting license and a Fall Firearms Turkey Permit. You may obtain both a private land (either Private Land or Free Landowner) and a state land fall firearms turkey permit.

Legal Firearms Shotguns, 20 gauge or larger, with #4, 5, 6, 7 or 7½ shot. Shotguns must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells.

Special Conditions

  • State Land Hunting: See table on page Public Hunting Areas for open state land hunting areas.
  • Tagging and Reporting: See pages Tagging & Reporting and Harvest Tags for information on tagging and reporting.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting (see page Private Land Consent Form).
  • Decoys: Decoys may be used, but live decoys are prohibited.
  • Free Landowner Permits – only available to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land.

Turkey Hunting Prohibited Activities

  • The use of bait, electronic calling devices, live decoys or animals (including dogs) to hunt wild turkeys is prohibited. Except that a dog may be used to hunt turkey during the fall firearms season on private lands only.
  • You may not call turkeys for another hunter. Exceptions:
    • If you have a current state land permit with or without unused tags remaining, you may call for another hunter hunting with a state land permit.
    • If you have a current private land permit with or without unused tags remaining and a signed consent form for a private land parcel, you may call for another hunter hunting on that private land parcel.
  • You may not attempt to take turkeys by participating in a cooperative drive.
  • You may not shoot turkeys from a building or other permanent structure.
  • You may not shoot turkeys roosting in trees.

Tagging & Reporting Turkey Kills

Immediately upon killing a turkey, complete and sign a Harvest Tag and keep it with the carcass at all times. The Harvest Tag must remain with the turkey until it is cut up for consumption. See pages Tagging & Reporting and Harvest Tags for more information on Harvest Tags and reporting.

Turkey Hunter Surveys

Anybody who obtains a turkey permit, may be asked to respond to a survey concerning their turkey hunting activities. Even if you did not hunt, you should complete the survey. Information gathered from the survey is important to the management of Connecticut’s wild turkey population. Surveys may be conducted by mail, telephone, or the internet.

Turkey Hunting Seminars

Turkey hunting seminars are held each spring. Watch your newspaper and www.ct.gov/deep/hunting for times and locations, or contact the Wildlife Division (860-424-3011) for further information.

FUNDAMENTAL RULES FOR SAFE GUN HANDLING

The most common explanation for hunting related shooting incidents is carelessness. Follow these fundamental rules for safe gun handling.

  • Always treat every firearm as loaded.
  • Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  • Always keep the firearm unloaded until ready to hunt.
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Always be sure of what lies between you and the target and what lies beyond the target.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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