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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
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Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Public Hunting Area Regulations

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Permit-Required Hunting Areas

The access to Permit-Required Hunting Areas is regulated by agreement with private landowners, towns, and cooperating sportsmen’s clubs. During the period from the third Saturday in October through the last day of February small game and waterfowl hunting on these areas requires a special permit and is subject to certain restrictions. Hunting during any other period requires landowner permission. Access to some DEEP-owned lands is also regulated through a permit system. Hunting on these DEEP-owned areas requires a special permit from the third Saturday in October through the first Saturday in December, unless otherwise posted. Maps describing each Permit-Required Area are available from permit vendors and the Wildlife Division. All Permit-Required Hunting Areas are posted with yellow plastic signs designating the properties under agreement. A listing of Permit-Required Hunting Areas is available for Litchfield – Hartford Counties, Middlesex – Tolland Counties, Windham – New London Counties and Fairfield – New Haven Counties.

Daily Permits and Mandatory Survey: Permits are issued by the vendors listed in this guide on the following page. Each permit contains a survey card which must be returned to the DEEP within 48 hours.

Issuance of Daily Permits: Vendors issuing daily permits are required by the Division to issue permits as follows:

  • Permits must be issued free of charge to any persons holding valid hunting licenses and who are not eligible for “season” permits.
  • Only one (1) date should appear on each permit. Each permit is valid for one licensed sportsman for a specific day and that day only.
  • Issue daily permits on a “first-come, first-served” basis only. Issue the specified number of daily permits for any specific day. Once that number is reached, no more permits can be made available for that day.
  • Issue a separate permit for a licensed junior hunter. Junior hunters may hunt on Permit-Required areas when accompanied by a licensed person at least 18 years of age.
  • A person may obtain permits for himself and no more than one other person at any one time (Exception: An adult may obtain a permit for himself and two licensed junior hunters). Personal appearance is not required but a valid hunting license (or a photocopy of the license) of the person to whom the permit is to be issued must be presented.
  • The vendor retains the “Department Copy” stub of the permit. The remainder of the permit is to be given to the permittee.
  • Permits cannot be issued for a day more than two days (excluding Sunday) from the date of request (see Table). The only exception to this rule involves permits for “opening day.” Permits for the third Saturday in October, must be issued, if requested, beginning the prior Tuesday.

Date of Request Days for Which a Permit May Be Issued

  • Monday Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday
  • Tuesday Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
  • Wednesday Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday
  • Thursday Thursday, Friday, or Saturday
  • Friday Friday, Saturday, or Monday
  • Saturday Saturday, Monday, or Tuesday
  • Sunday Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday

Junior Access Permits: Season permits for junior hunters may be available for certain Permit-Required Hunting Areas. Check the DEEP’s website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting) for further information and permit applications.

Firearms Restrictions: Rifles of any caliber or shotgun ammunition larger or heavier than #2 shot and hunting with any pistol or revolver of any caliber are prohibited on permit-required hunting areas, except by landowners, lineal descendants, and regular employees. Waterfowlers hunting from a boat, blind or stationary position may use up to and including BB size steel shot. Rifles, pistols or shotguns without regard to caliber or shot sizes may be used for legal hunting during the period from the last day in February to the third Saturday in October, only with written permission from the landowner. During firearms deer seasons, deer hunters with the proper permits and written landowner permission are also exempt from these firearms restrictions.

Deer and Turkey Hunting: Deer and turkey hunting on private permit-required lands requires valid private land permits and consent forms signed by the individual private landowner. State shotgun deer and state spring turkey permits are available on some cooperatively managed properties and state-owned areas (see Deer Hunting and Turkey Hunting). Some state managed Permit-Required Areas are open for fall archery deer, fall archery turkey and fall firearms turkey hunting (see Litchfield – Hartford Counties, Middlesex – Tolland Counties, Windham – New London Counties and Fairfield – New Haven Counties). Unless specified, a daily permit is not required to archery hunt deer or turkey or firearms hunt turkey on these state managed areas.

Hunting Opportunities for Persons With Disabilities

Connecticut laws provide special provisions for hunters with disabilities as do many programs administered by the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. Questions concerning special permits should be directed to the Wildlife Division’s Hartford Office (860-424-3011).

CGS Sec. 26-29b: provides a free hunting license to individuals who have permanently lost the use of a limb. Note, this law does not pertain to permits and tags that have to be purchased to hunt some types of game.

CGS Sec. 26-74: allows a person to obtain a special permit to hunt legally from an all-terrain vehicle so long as they do not possess or shoot a loaded weapon while the vehicle is in motion. Note: 4-wheel drive trucks, vans, SUV’s, etc. are not considered all-terrain vehicles. Eligible persons must be paraplegic or suffer from the loss of or the loss of the use of both lower extremities and be unable to walk without the assistance of a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, or be confined to a wheel chair. Application deadlines are February 15 and August 15.

State Land Access: Designated portions of state forests and wildlife management areas are accessible to disabled hunters with DEEP permits granted under CGS Sections 26-74 and 23-11 for use of all-terrain vehicles for hunting. Prior to access, approval by the unit/forest manager in charge of the specific area will be required.

Use of Crossbow for Deer and Turkey Hunting: A person who has a permanent physical disability to the degree that they cannot physically operate a long, recurved, or compound bow may apply for a permit to take deer or turkey with a crossbow. They must also show proof of having successfully completed the Connecticut Conservation Education/Firearms Safety bowhunter education course, or its equivalent, and must submit detailed certification from a licensed physician. Please allow two weeks for processing. If granted, a permanent crossbow authorization will appear when your archery permit is re-printed.

Improved Access Hunting Areas

There are several public hunting areas throughout the state which have been made more accessible for physically disabled sportsmen. In the listing of public hunting areas, these areas are denoted by the universal handicapped symbol. A brochure detailing the hunting opportunities for sportsmen with disabilities may be obtained by calling 860-675-8130 or writing the American Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area, P.O. Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013-1550.

State-Leased Hunting Areas

State-leased hunting areas are open for public hunting of all species except deer and turkey (unless otherwise specified). A daily permit is not required to hunt on these areas. See Litchfield – Hartford Counties, Middlesex – Tolland Counties, Windham – New London Counties and Fairfield – New Haven Counties for a listing of state-leased hunting areas.

Firearms Restrictions:Rifles of any caliber or shotgun ammunition larger or heavier than #2 shot and hunting with any pistol or revolver of any caliber are prohibited on state-leased hunting areas, except by landowners, lineal descendants, and regular employees. Waterfowlers hunting from a boat, blind or stationary position may use up to and including BB size steel shot. Rifles, pistols or shotguns without regard to caliber or shot sizes may be used for legal hunting during the period from the last day in February to the third Saturday in October, only with written permission from the landowner. During firearms deer seasons, deer hunters with the proper permits and written landowner permission are also exempt from these weapon restrictions.

Deer and Turkey Hunting: Deer and turkey hunting on private state-leased lands requires valid private land permits and consent forms signed by the individual private landowner.

Dog Training & Field Trial Areas

Hunting is permitted on these areas when field trial events are not scheduled. During field trials these areas are closed to all other uses. Check the DEEP website, www.ct.gov/deep/hunting, for a listing of scheduled events. See Litchfield – Hartford Counties, Middlesex – Tolland Counties, Windham – New London Counties and Fairfield – New Haven Counties for types of hunting allowed and locations of areas.

Dog Training Areas

The following areas have been established as Dog Training Areas where hunting dogs may be trained with the use of live birds. Game birds may not be shot on these areas except during the open hunting season.

  • Nod Brook Management Area
  • Flaherty Field Trial Area
  • Pease Brook Wildlife Management Area

Field Trial Areas

The following areas have been established as state-regulated Field Trial Areas. Field trial clubs sanctioned by AKC, NAVHDA or CASDFTA may obtain permits from the Wildlife Division.

  • Nod Brook Management Area
  • Flaherty Field Trial Area
  • Mansfield Field Trial Area (State-leased)
  • Sugarbrook Field Trial Area

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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