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Take a Youth Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Connecticut Hunting

Help a new generation discover a
passion for hunting and the outdoors!

Connecticut designates specific days when experienced adult hunters are encouraged to take a youth hunting, helping them learn safe and effective hunting practices, develop observational skills, and gain confidence and a comfort level they need to discover a passion for hunting and the outdoors. Mentors usually come away from the experience knowing that they have introduced a young person to a sport that they love and inspired him or her to become an avid and successful hunter and conservationist. On these days, licensed junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) may hunt when accompanied by a licensed adult hunter 18 years of age or older. The adult mentor may not carry a firearm and at all times must remain within physical contact in a position to provide direct supervision and instruction.

NEW! In 2016, Public Act 16-27 extended the 50% fee reduction for permits and stamps to encompass resident hunters and anglers less than 18 years of age. For more details, check the appropriate sections of this guide to find out the license, permit, and stamp fees for resident 12 to 17 year old hunters.

Stay up-to-date on Junior Hunter events and activities on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/JuniorHunter and our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife.

Junior Hunter Training Days

TURKEY

April 15 through April 22, 2017 (excluding Sunday)

Private Land: Licensed junior hunter and adult mentor must both have a valid Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp and written consent from landowner.

State Land: Licensed junior hunter and adult mentor must both have a Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. Adult mentor may assist in calling turkeys.

Hunting hours for Junior Turkey Hunter Training Days only are 1/2 hour before sunrise to 5:00 PM.

Report Your Turkey Harvest: Immediately upon harvest, complete a Deer/Turkey Harvest Tag. All turkey and deer taken must be reported within 24 hours via the DEEP’s website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting) or by telephone at the toll-free number, 1-877-337-4868. If you report by telephone, you will need to know the 3-digit number code of the town in which the animal was harvested. If you harvested your animal on state land, you will also need to know the 3-digit number code of the public hunting area. After reporting via the internet or by telephone, you will be given a confirmation number to write on your Harvest Tag. This confirmation number will serve as proof that you have legally reported your harvest.

WATERFOWL

See the 2017–2018 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide for the designated Junior Waterfowl Hunter Training Days (usually two Saturdays in the fall). The Guide should be available in mid- to late summer 2017 at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.

Junior hunters must have a valid small game junior hunting license and a 2017 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. Adults must possess a valid hunting license; however, they are not allowed to carry a firearm. Ducks, geese, mergansers, and coots may be hunted. Bag limits and shooting hours are the same as for the regular duck and goose hunting seasons.

The Connecticut Waterfowl Association sponsors a free Waterfowl Hunter Mentoring Program which pairs up experienced volunteer mentors with novice youth and adult hunters. Participants will find out about the different types of waterfowl hunting opportunities available in Connecticut and enjoy a “hands on” experience where they will spend most of their time outdoors as they learn techniques for hunting different species and how to be a successful waterfowl hunter. They will also have the opportunity to shoot clay targets with the assistance of a skilled coach. Learn more at www.ctwaterfowlers.org.

PHEASANT

Saturday, October 14, 2017

State and Private Land: Youth participants must possess a current junior hunting license and a Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. There may be exceptions if hunting on a private shooting preserve or a hunting club property with a Resident Game Bird Stamp exemption. Adults must possess a valid hunting license; however, they are not allowed to carry a firearm.

Participate in Junior Pheasant Hunter Events!

Special events for junior pheasant hunters are held at various sportsmen’s clubs throughout Connecticut on the Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day (October 14) and additional dates. These mentored events allow junior hunters to sharpen their shooting skills on a trap field and then take to the field to hunt with either a certified volunteer hunter safety instructor or experienced hunter, as well as with well-trained bird dogs with their handlers. “Hunt on Your Own” junior pheasant hunts are also available at designated locations for licensed junior hunters accompanied by a licensed adult hunter. Learn more at www.ct.gov/deep/juniorhunting.

DEER

Saturday, November 4 through Saturday, November 11, 2017 (excluding Sunday)

Private Land: Licensed junior hunter and adult mentor must each have a valid private land shotgun/rifle deer permit and written consent from landowner.

State Land: Licensed junior hunter must have a state land shotgun deer permit (Lottery or No-Lottery). Adult mentor must have a valid deer permit of any type. Deer hunting on Junior Deer Hunter Training Days is permitted on any Lottery or No-Lottery Deer Area, regardless of area designated on the permit, with the following exceptions:

1. Yale Forest, MDC Barkhamsted Reservoir-Barkhamsted East Block, MDC Barkhamsted Reservoir-Hartland East Block, MDC Nepaug Reservoir-Valentine Block, and MDC Nepaug Reservoir-Pine Hill Block are not open during Junior Deer Hunter Training Days.

2. Centennial Watershed State Forest and Bristol Water Company are only open to junior hunters and mentors who have both been awarded a permit for these areas.

Report Your Deer Harvest: Instructions for reporting a deer harvest is the same for reporting a turkey harvest (see instructions under Junior Turkey Hunter Training Days).

Success in the snow or snowy success? Young hunters (left to right) Mark Capel and Marc D’Elia experienced a great goose hunt on a snowy December morning mentored by veteran waterfowlers (right to left) Billy Wolf and Pat Capel. (Photo by Greg Chasko)

Adrien Gowac harvested his very first deer during the first hour of hunting on opening day of the 2015 Junior Deer Hunter Training week. He proudly filled out his first harvest tag. (Photo by Keith Gowac)

Jeffry Stober (left; 13 years old)and Kyle McElroy (12 years old) both successfully harvested their first ever spring turkeys during the 2016 Junior Turkey Hunter Training days. Together with both of their dads, the four-person hunt in Hebron, Connecticut, was a first experience that will surely keep them hooked for a lifetime. (Photo by Patrick McElroy)

Share Your Hunting and Trapping Photos with Us!

Help us highlight the successes of young and first-time hunters and trappers by submitting photographs to the DEEP Wildlife Division at deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov. The photos may be used (with written permission only) in the Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, Wildlife Highlights E-newsletter, Connecticut Wildlife magazine, on the DEEP website, or on the CT Fish and Wildlife Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife).