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Deer Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Connecticut Hunting

Replacement Antlerless Tags

Replacement Antlerless Tags: If you register an antlerless deer, taken on private land, at one of the check stations which issues replacement tags, you may qualify for a replacement antlerless tag. A current list of “Replacement Tag Deer Check Stations” is available on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting or by calling the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011.

“Earn-A-Buck” Tags: If you register a total of 3 antlerless deer from private land during the same season, at one of the check stations that issue replacement tags, you may qualify for a replacement either-sex tag.

Note: Hunters must bring their deer or deer head and a completed Harvest Tag along with their report confirmation number in order to be issued a replacement tag. The deer must be reported within 24 hours, but the deer or deer head and confirmation number may be brought to a check station within 72 hours. All replacement tags will be issued in limited numbers based on a zone’s deer population management goals. Replacement tags are available in Zones 11 and 12 during the private land shotgun/rifle season, the private land muzzleloader season and the archery season. Consult the Private Land Deer Management Zone Map for a description of zones. Replacement tags will only be valid for use on private lands within designated zones and only where written consent of the landowner has been granted.

Deer Hunting Prohibited Activites

  • Hunting with or allowing any dog in your charge to hunt, pursue, or kill deer.
  • Hunting deer or any other wildlife while in or on a motor vehicle, snowmobile, or all terrain vehicle (See Hunting Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities for special exemptions).
  • Hunting deer by aid or use of a light.
  • Taking or attempting to take any deer with the aid of real or artificial bait in Zones 1 to 10, or on state lands in Zones 11 and 12. (Any food, mineral, or chemical product designed to be eaten by deer is considered bait.)
  • Use of a decoy during the shotgun/rifle and muzzleloader deer seasons.
  • Taking of spotted fawns.

Baiting & Use of Attractants

Attractants allowed during the statewide deer hunting seasons.

  • Deer decoys during the early and late archery seasons only.
  • All types of scent attractants (i.e., doe in heat, buck lure, urine, tarsal glands, food smells, smoke pole) that provide no substance for deer to consume.
  • All types of sound attractants (i.e., doe calls, buck calls, antler rattling, electronic calls).
  • Hunting over planted fields where normal agricultural planting, harvesting, or post-harvest manipulation is used.

In addition to the attractants listed above, the following are allowed ON PRIVATE LANDS ONLY in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12 during the archery, shotgun/rifle, and muzzleloader deer seasons.

  • Minerals or chemicals that may be safely consumed by deer (i.e., salt lick)
  • Artificial or natural foods placed, scattered, distributed or deposited (i.e., hay, grains, fruit, nuts–any foods that may be safely consumed by deer)

NOTE: It is strongly recommended that individuals hunting on private lands in Zones 11 and 12 consult with landowners prior to placing bait.

Definition of Antlerless Deer

Some deer tags allow the harvest of antlerless deer only. An antlerless deer is defined as any deer which has no visible antlers. “Button Bucks” are considered antlerless deer. Either sex deer tags allow the harvest of antlered or antlerless deer.

Tagging & Transporting Deer

Immediately upon killing a deer, complete and sign a Harvest Tag and keep it with the carcass at all times until it is cut up and packaged for consumption. Deer do not have to be open to view during transport. See Tagging & Reporting for more information on Kill Tags and reporting.

Deer Check Stations

Hunters only need to bring their antlerless deer or antlerless deer head, along with a kill report and confirmation number, to a check station if they wish to obtain a replacement tag for use in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12. All other deer must be reported within 24 hours using the phone or internet.

Deer Hunter Survey

Anybody who obtains a deer permit, may be asked to respond to a survey concerning their deer 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 white-tailed deer population. Surveys may be conducted by mail, telephone, or the internet.

Tree Stands on State Properties

The construction or placement of permanent tree stands involving damage to any tree or shrub is prohibited. The use of portable tree stands (climber, ladder or hang-on) is permissible. The use of a full-body safety harness when using a tree stand is strongly recommended.

TREE STAND SAFETY RULES

Serious injury or death can occur to a hunter who improperly uses a tree stand for hunting. If you use a tree stand, follow these safety rules.

  • Always use a full-body safety harness or fall-restraint system.
  • Only use equipment that is in good condition.
  • Avoid hunting from heights greater than 15 feet.
  • Maintain a short tether between you and the tree.
  • Always use a haul line to raise and lower your hunting equipment.

What to Do If You Harvest a Deer with a Neck Collar

Over the past four winters, DEEP Wildlife Division researchers have captured and placed neck collars on over 150 white-tailed deer in northwestern Connecticut, specifically in the towns of Canaan, Cornwall, North Canaan, Salisbury, and Sharon. Some of the collared deer have moved from the initial towns of capture into Colebrook, Goshen, and Norfolk.

The marked deer may have a leather or nylon brown-colored collar; ear tags may or may not be present. Hunters should know that it is both completely legal and safe to harvest and consume these animals. The Wildlife Division asks that if hunters come across a collared deer during the upcoming hunting season, that they should hunt as they normally do — intentionally targeting collared deer or passing on them biases the mortality data. We also ask that if you do harvest a collared deer, please contact us using the phone number on the collar, or at 860-418-5921. We would like to collect the collar and jawbone from the animal if possible.