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Small Game Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Connecticut Hunting

SMALL GAME HUNTING SEASONS

Licensing and permit costs are listed on Licenses & Permits. Specific laws and regulations for each season are below. Remember, you must have verbal permission to hunt small game on private lands.

RESIDENT GAME BIRDS

Species: Pheasant, Ruffed Grouse, Quail, Chukar and Hungarian Partridge, Wild Turkey (see Turkey Hunting for turkey hunting season information)

Season Dates

  • Pheasant: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Oct. 20 – Dec. 31
  • Ruffed Grouse: Oct. 20 – Nov. 30
  • Quail: Oct. 20 – Nov. 3
  • Chukar and Hungarian Partridge:
    Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Oct. 20 – Dec. 31.

Bag Limits

  • Pheasant: Daily (2); Season (10)
  • Ruffed Grouse: Daily (1); Season (8)
  • Quail: Daily (2); Season (10)
  • Chukar and Hungarian Partridge: Daily (2), Season (10)

Hunting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, except on Oct. 20 (7:00 a.m. until ½ hour after sunset)

License and Permits: Firearms or Archery Hunting License and Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp

Legal Firearms: See firearms and ammunition regulations on Hunting Laws & Regulations.

Special Conditions

  • Extended Quail Season: Quail may be hunted at the Nod Brook WMA and the Flaherty, Mansfield, and Sugarbrook Field Trial Areas from Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and from Oct. 20 – Dec. 31.
  • Landowners hunting game birds on their own land must obtain a Free Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp and are restricted to daily and season bag limits. Private hunting clubs can apply for exemption from stamp requirements. Contact Wildlife Division for details. Members and guests of such exempt clubs are not subject to seasonal bag limits when hunting on club lands. They are also exempt from daily bag limits if they use club tags on all released game birds taken on such club lands. Club tags must be applied immediately upon kill and contain club name, hunting license number, and date taken. Game birds identified in this manner do not count towards the statewide daily limit.
  • Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day: Saturday, October 13, 2018.

Small Game Mammals

Species Gray Squirrel, Cottontail Rabbit, Snowshoe Hare, European Hare, Woodchuck

Season Dates

  • Gray Squirrel: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Sept. 1 – Dec. 31
  • Cottontail Rabbit: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Oct. 20 – Dec. 31
  • Snowshoe Hare: Jan. 1–31 and Nov. 17 – Dec. 31
  • European Hare: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Oct. 20 – Dec. 31
  • Woodchuck: March 15 – Nov. 15

Bag Limits

  • Gray Squirrel: Daily (8); Season (40)
  • Cottontail Rabbit: Daily (3); Season (25)
  • Snowshoe Hare: Daily (2); Season (10)
  • European Hare: Daily (1); Season (10)
  • Woodchuck: No Limit

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, except on Oct. 20 (7:00 a.m. until ½ hour after sunset)

License and Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License

Legal Firearms See firearms and ammunition regulations on Hunting Laws & Regulations.

Special Conditions None

Fox and Coyote Hunting

Species Red Fox, Gray Fox, Coyote

Season Dates

  • Red & Gray Foxes: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Oct. 20 – Dec. 31
  • Coyote: Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

Bag Limits

  • Red and Gray Foxes (combined Daily and Season Limits): Daily (3); Season (30)
  • Coyote: Daily (No Limit); Season (No Limit)

Hunting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, except on Oct. 20 (7:00 a.m. until ½ hour after sunset)

License & Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License

Legal Firearms See firearms and ammunition regulations on Hunting Laws & Regulations.

Special Conditions Foxes and coyotes taken by hunting must be reported by telephone (1-877-337-4868) or online at www.ct.gov/deep/Hunting. Or, they can be pelt tagged (see Trapping Seasons & Regulations).

Raccoon and Opossum Hunting

Season Dates Jan. 1–20 and Oct. 20 – Dec. 31

Bag Limits

  • Raccoon: Daily (5); Season (No Limit)
  • Opossum: Daily (No Limit); Season (No Limit)

Hunting Hours No restrictions on state-owned lands open to hunting and on private lands where landowners have given permission.

License and Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License

Legal Firearms See firearms and ammunition regulations on Hunting Laws & Regulations. Also, when hunting at night, rifles or handguns using ammunition larger than .22 caliber rimfire or shotgun shells larger than #2 shot may not be used.

Special Conditions It is illegal to take raccoons or opossums with the use of a light from a motor vehicle.