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Public Hunting Areas

Hunting Regulations Icon Connecticut Hunting

PERMIT-REQUIRED HUNTING AREAS

Access to Permit-Required Hunting Areas is regulated by agreement with private landowners, towns, state agencies, water companies, universities, non-profits, and cooperating sportsmen’s clubs. Most Permit-Required Hunting Areas are open to the public from the third Saturday in October through the last day of February for small game and waterfowl hunting by special permit and are subject to certain restrictions. Hunting during any other period requires landowner permission unless specifically noted in this guide as open. Access to some DEEP-owned lands is also regulated through a permit system. Maps describing each Permit-Required Area are available on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/HuntingAreaMaps). Permit-Required Hunting Areas are posted with yellow plastic signs designating the properties under agreement. A listing of Permit-Required Hunting Areas appears on Public Hunting Areas. Note: Some areas are only accessible with a permit issued directly from the entity that owns or manages the property. See the Permit-Required sections on Public Hunting Areas.

Daily Permits and Mandatory Survey: Permittees are required to submit a hunter survey when using these areas. Hunter surveys are attached to the permit or are available online.

Issuance of Daily Permits:

  • Permits are issued free-of-charge to any persons holding valid hunting licenses and who are not eligible for “season” permits.
  • Each permit is valid for one licensed sportsman (unless it is a goose field or waterfowl blind permit, or weekend pheasant permit) for a specified time frame and location.
  • Daily permits are first-come, first-serve. Once the quota is met, no more permits can be made available for that day.
  • Junior hunters may hunt on Permit-Required Areas when accompanied by a licensed person at least 18 years of age. Junior hunters need their own permit unless they are hunting pheasants with an AM/PM Saturday permit holder.
  • Permits will be issued 3 to 5 days in advance.

Online Issuance of Permits: Daily permits for most Permit-Required Hunting Areas can be obtained for free online. These permits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Only one online permit can be obtained per selected hunting date. The listing of Permit-Required Areas on the next page indicates which areas have online permitting.

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.

Visit Sessions Woods

341 Milford Street (Route 69), Burlington, CT
For more information, call 860-424-3011

Learn About Connecticut’s Wildlife

  • Exhibit Area
  • Self-guided hiking trails
  • Demonstrations of wildlife management techniques
  • Beaver marsh, observation tower, waterfall

Sportsmen helped pay for the DEEP Wildlife Division’s acquisition of the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act funds. The exhibits, trails, and educational programs at Sessions Woods show citizens how to have a positive impact on Connecticut’s wildlife and other natural resources.

Permit-Required Area DAILY PERMITS – State-owned, State-leased, and State-managed Lands

Daily permits for most Permit-Required Hunting Areas can be obtained for free online. These permits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Only one online permit can be obtained per selected hunting date. To see which areas have online permitting, consult the Permit Vendor List or Public Hunting Area Maps. To get an online permit for most areas, you must log into your hunter profile on the Online Sportsmen Licensing System at www.ct.gov/deep/Sportsmenlicensing. Once there, you will need to select the OTHER or the BIRDS AND WATERFOWL tab at the top of the page. You should then see a list that includes DAILY PERMITS. If you select ADD, you will see 4 days worth of permits, along with a list of areas where permits are still available. You can add one permit per day to your cart. You must CHECK OUT to add the daily permit to your license. There is no fee, but you will need to reprint your license and carry it with you to verify that you have a permit for the correct location and date.

Refer to tables on Public Hunting Areas to see what types of hunting are permitted.

WESTERN CONNECTICUT

  • Bristol Fish and Game­ Association­ (1,663 acres)
    Open from the third Sat. in October until the Sat. after Thanksgiving.

    • Online Permitting Only
  • Centennial Watershed State Forest, Garder Rd.,
    Monroe Block (93 acres)
    Small Game and Waterfowl Only

    • Online Permitting Only
  • Meriden Rod and Gun Club (1,364 acres)
    • Fishing Factory II
      1426 Meriden-Waterbury Road (Rte. 322)
      Southington, CT: 860-621-8145
    • Online Permitting Available
  • NU-Skiff Mountain Cooperative WMA (710 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • Pequonnock Valley (176 acres)
    Hunting on Mon., Wed., Fri. and Sat. only from Oct. 17 through the third Saturday in December.

    • Online Permitting Only
  • Quinnipiac River State Park (340 acres)
    Daily permits not required before third Saturday in October or after first Saturday in December.

    • Online Permitting Only
  • Sessions Woods WMA (771 acres)
    Waterfowl blind permittees may bring 1 guest.

    • Online Permitting Only
    • Hunters with a waterfowl hunting permit must hang a sign when using the blind at the marsh. Pick up the sign at the Sessions Woods main office (Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM-4:00 PM) no more than 3 days in advance of a scheduled hunting date.
  • Seymour Fish and Game Club (94 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • Stanley Works Cooperative WMA (1,100 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • Suffield Sportsmen’s Association (1,164 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • Trout Brook Valley (327 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only.
    • Call 860-424-3011 for gate combo.
  • Wallingford Town Owned Area (840 acres)
    Hunting on Mon., Wed. and Sat. only from Oct. 17, 2020 through
    Feb. 28, 2021, and Thanksgiving Day.

    • Online Permitting Only

EASTERN CONNECTICUT

  • Bolton Area (238 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • East Windsor-Enfield Area (1,530 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • Hebron Area (454 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • Higganum-Haddam Rod and Gun (33 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • Lebanon Coop. Mgmt. Area (214 acres) Goose Field Permits
    Goose field permittees may bring up to 2 guests

    • Online Permitting Only
  • Lebanon Coop. Mgmt. Area Marsh Permits
    (Small game and waterfowl)

    • Online Permitting Only
  • Norwich Fish and Game (700 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • NU-Maromas Coop. Area (1,400 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • Sprague Town Land PR Area (620 acres)
    Game bird and migratory bird hunting only.
    Steel shot must be used for all species

    • Online Permitting Only
  • Woodstock Landowners (200 acres)
    • Online Permitting Only
  • Yale Forest (7,700 acres)
    Open for small game, waterfowl, and turkey hunting with a season permit. This area is not open for Junior Hunter Training Days.

    • JT’s Fly Shop
      664 Buckley Hwy.
      Union, CT: 860-684-1575

SATURDAY PHEASANT HUNTING PERMITS

Saturday AM/PM permits are required Oct. 17 – Nov. 14, 2020 at Cromwell Meadows WMA, Durham Meadows WMA, Simsbury WMA, Nathan Hale SF, Naugatuck SF – Hunter’s Mnt. Block, and Skiff Mountain Coop WMA. Specific details about these permits are at www.ct.gov/deep/pheasanthunting. Obtain permits at www.ct.gov/deep/Sportsmenlicensing.

 

 

MOSQUITO ADVISORY

2019 was an active year in Connecticut for detecting mosquitoes infected with eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) – 4 human cases of EEE infection were reported, resulting in 3 fatalities. Before venturing out during the fall hunting seasons (late summer and early fall are the peak times for EEE presence), visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website at https://portal.ct.gov/mosquito to obtain weekly surveillance updates of mosquito and virus activity and information on precautionary and control methods against mosquitoes.

 

HUNTERS FOR THE HUNGRY

This program allows hunters to donate their game to charitable food organizations. The meat must be processed and refrigerated. Whole deer may also be donated through participating processors.

For information on where you can donate, call one of the following Hunters for the Hungry contacts:

Bob Jean
860-608-8555
Oakdale

Scott Ragoni
732-310-1665
Greenwich

 

TREE STAND SAFETY RULES

A hunter who improperly uses a tree stand for hunting may suffer a serious injury or death. Follow these tree stand 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.

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 and Environmental Protection. Questions concerning special permits should be directed to the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011.

CGS Sec. 26-29b: provides a free hunting license (permits and stamps not included) to individuals who have permanently lost the use of a limb. Non-residents are eligible for this free license if their state provides the same privilege to Connecticut residents. Verification of the disability, signed by a licensed physician must be presented.

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 hunting implement while the vehicle is in motion. Note: 4-wheel drive trucks, vans, SUVs, 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.

State Land Access for Disabled Hunters: Disabled hunters wanting to access state land with all-terrain vehicles or who have questions about free hunting licenses or shooting from an ATV should contact the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3639 for more information.

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 tables Public Hunting Areas 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.

Only artificially propagated game birds (pheasants, chukar partridge, quail, ducks) and pigeons of either sex may be liberated. All birds liberated shall be full winged and capable of maintaining normal flight and shall be in a condition suitable to maintain themselves in the wild. No birds or animals are to be shot except during the open season; use of blank cartridges will be permitted.

  • Nod Brook Wildlife 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 to use these areas for field trials.

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

Dates for state land and state-leased areas are scheduled in December of the preceding year. Any group wishing to use one of the above listed areas should contact Laurie Fortin at 860-424-3963 or laurie.fortin@ct.gov in the month of December.

Please Report Sightings of this Beetle

The non-native Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) has been attacking trees in the United States. Tunneling by beetle larvae girdles tree stems and branches. Repeated attacks lead to dieback of the tree crown and, eventually, death of the tree. The ALB probably travelled to the United States inside solid wood packing material from China.

The ALB has one generation per year. Adult beetles are usually present from July to October, but can be found later in the fall if temperatures are warm. Adults usually stay on the trees from which they emerged or they may disperse short distances to a new host to feed and reproduce.

Adult beetles are ¾ to 1¼ inches long, with a shiny jet black body and mottled white spots on the back. The long antennae are 1½ to 2½ times the body length with distinctive black and white bands on each segment. The feet have a bluish tinge.

For more information regarding the ALB, visit the DEEP Forestry Division’s webpages
at www.ct.gov/deep/forestry.

To report any suspected findings, contact:

Deputy State Entomologist Dr. Victoria Smith
203-974-8474 or

CT State Entomologist Dr. Kirby Stafford
203-974-8485.