Advanced Hunter Education
Providing New Opportunities
The Connecticut Conservation Education/ Firearms Safety (CE/FS) Program, also known as the hunter education program, has launched a series of advanced hunter education workshops. The goal of these offerings is to reinforce the lessons learned in hunter safety courses while also teaching skills specific to a particular aspect of hunting. By building hunters’ abilities beyond what students receive in basic hunter safety courses, advanced hunter education intends to retain hunters who may still be working towards success in the field. It also builds interest and excitement to recruit those who have not yet hunted and reactivates those who have hunted in the past and may have lapsed in participation. The advanced hunter education workshops cover a variety of topics and provide opportunities for learning skills and techniques to promote success in the field. Each workshop is offered on a yearly basis, usually in two or more locations throughout the state. The CE/FS Program expects to add new programs in the future. Information on current and any additional workshops can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/AdvancedHunterEdu. All programs are free and open to the public. Registration is mandatory and opens approximately 30 days before the event.
Venison Processing Workshop: February 9 and February 16, 2019
One of the most daunting challenges for a deer hunter is processing an animal once it is harvested. This workshops guides participants through the steps of taking a deer from whole animal to freezer-ready, packaged meat. The workshop team includes a professionally-trained butcher, a restaurant owner/chef, and a cadre of experienced deer hunters. Students are guided through skinning and butchering, while workshop staff explains the cuts of meat on a deer and their equivalent in domestic stock. A demonstration on preparing venison covers sausage-making and other basic to moderately-difficult recipes. Participants leave the seminar with a recipe booklet, list of processing supplies, and an enhanced understanding of how to break down a white-tailed deer.
Spring Turkey Hunting Seminars: March 16, April 6, and April 13, 2019
Presented by a combination of DEEP biologists and volunteer CE/FS instructors, these seminars are a perfect starting point for both new and experienced turkey hunters. DEEP’s Wild Turkey Program biologist introduces participants to the success story of Connecticut’s wild turkey population, as well as basic biology and habitat requirements. Participants are given tips and tactics for hunting turkeys with both a bow and firearms. Basic calling techniques and setup are also covered. During the last portion of the seminar, students have an opportunity to pattern their shotguns under the guidance of a CE/FS instructor.
Waterfowl Hunting Seminar: September 8, 2019
This seminar is presented by the Connecticut Waterfowlers Association (CWA) in partnership with the CE/FS Program. It prepares both new and experienced hunters for the waterfowl season, beginning with a review of the safety considerations required to hunt ducks and geese. Next, students participate in the discussion of basic setups for hunting geese in agricultural fields, as well as both ducks and geese over water. Examples of watercraft used for duck and goose hunting are discussed, along with the basic techniques for calling. The seminar concludes with samples of locally harvested waterfowl.
Small Game Hunting Clinic: September 14 and September 15, 2019
Small game hunting requires minimal investment in equipment and offers a great deal of opportunity in Connecticut. This clinic provides information on how to capitalize on the diverse small game hunting in our state. Classroom instruction begins with a presentation from DEEP’s Small Game Program biologist on habitat and biology of common small game animals. Then, experienced small game hunters provide instruction on hunting techniques and equipment. The clinic also includes live demonstrations of field dressing and game care for several small game species. Finally, students are given the opportunity to skin and dress gray squirrels using the techniques they learned in the classroom.
Deer Hunting Marksmanship Clinic: October 12 and October 19, 2019
This clinic gives participants the opportunity to sight in their shotgun or rifle ahead of the November firearms deer seasons. Students are required to bring their deer hunting firearm (cased and unloaded) and 60 rounds of ammunition to the Glastonbury Shooting Range on the day of the clinic. Upon arrival, students receive a lesson on basic marksmanship principals, followed by a range safety brief. Students are paired up with a coach who works with them to sight in their firearm to 100 yards. Once a student’s firearm is on target, there is the option to shoot from multiple realistic hunting shooting positions, including from a treestand and ground blind.