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Turkey Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Connecticut Hunting

Turkey Hunting Seasons

Hunters may pursue wild turkeys during the Spring, Fall Archery, and Fall Firearms seasons. Spring hunters may hunt with archery equipment and/or shotguns. Spring archery hunters must purchase a Small Game and Deer Archery Permit and Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. Spring shotgun hunters must purchase a Firearms Hunting License and Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. Spring turkey archery and firearms hunting bag limits and season lengths are not separate; whereas fall archery and fall firearms are separate seasons with their own unique bag limits and season timeframes. Fall archery turkey hunters must purchase a Small Game and Deer Archery Permit and Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. Fall firearms turkey hunters must purchase a Firearms Hunting License and a Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. Licensing and stamp costs are listed on Licenses & Permits. Specific laws and regulations for each turkey season are below.

Spring Turkey Seasons

Season Dates

  • April 24 – May 25 State Land, Private Land, and Landowner

Bag Limits

  • State Land: 2 Bearded birds
  • Private Land: 3 Bearded birds

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to 12 noon.

License and Permits CT Residents: Firearms hunting license or Small Game and Deer Archery Permit and a Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.

Non-residents: 3-day out-of-state bird hunting license or non-resident firearms hunting license and a Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.

Legal Firearms Shotguns, 20 gauge or larger, with: #4, 5, 6, 7, 7½ shot, or any combination. Shotguns must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells.

Legal Bows See Hunting Laws & Regulations for a description of legal bows and arrows for turkey hunting. Mechanical string release devices are permitted.

Special Conditions

  • State Land Hunting: See tables on Wildlife Management Areas, State Forests & State Parks for state lands open for spring turkey hunting.
  • Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging & Reporting for information on tagging and reporting.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting (see Private Land Consent Form (PDF)).
  • Decoys: Decoys may be used, but live decoys are prohibited.
  • Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp: Only available to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land. This stamp does not allow the harvest of turkeys over standard bag limits.
  • Junior Turkey Hunter Training Days: Saturday, April 13 through Saturday, April 20, 2019 (excluding Sunday). See Take a Youth Hunting for details.

Fall Archery Turkey Seasons

Season Dates

  • Jan. 1 – Jan. 31 Private Lands (Zones 11–12)
  • Sept. 16 – Dec. 31 Private Lands (All Zones)
  • Sept. 16 – Nov. 19 State Land
    Dec. 25 – Dec. 31
  • Sept. 16 – Dec. 31 State Land Bowhunting Only Areas

Bag Limit 2 Either Sex

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License and Permits Small Game and Deer Archery Permit and Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.

Legal Bows See Hunting Laws & Regulations for a description of legal bows and arrows for turkey hunting. Mechanical string release devices are permitted.

Special Conditions

  • Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging & Reporting for information on tagging and reporting.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting (see Private Land Consent Form (PDF)).
  • Decoys: Decoys may be used, but live decoys are prohibited.
  • State Land Hunting: See tables on Wildlife Management Areas, State Forests & State Parks for listing of lands open to fall bow hunting.
  • Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp: Only available to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land. This stamp does not allow the harvest of turkeys over standard bag limits.

Fall Firearms Turkey Seasons

Season Dates

  • Oct. 5 – Oct. 31 State Land, Private Land, and Landowner

Bag Limits

  • State Land: 1 Either Sex
  • Private Land: 2 Either Sex

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

License and Permits Firearms hunting license or a 3-day out-of-state bird hunting license, and a Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp.

Legal Firearms Shotguns, 20 gauge or larger, with: #4, 5, 6, 7, 7½ shot, or any combination. Shotguns must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells.

Special Conditions

  • State Land Hunting: See table on Wildlife Management Areas, State Forests & State Parks for open state land hunting areas.
  • Tagging and Reporting: See Tagging & Reporting for information on tagging and reporting.
  • Private Land Permission: Signed written consent of the landowner on official forms for current season must be carried while hunting (see Private Land Consent Form (PDF)).
  • Decoys: Decoys may be used, but live decoys are prohibited.
  • Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp: Only available to persons owning 10 or more contiguous acres of land. This stamp does not allow the harvest of turkeys over standard bag limits.

Turkey Hunting Prohibited Activities

  • The use of bait, electronic calling devices, live decoys or animals (including dogs) to hunt wild turkeys is prohibited. Except that a dog may be used to hunt turkey during the fall firearms season on private lands only.
  • You may not call turkeys for another hunter. Exceptions:
    • If you have a current Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp with or without unused tags remaining, you may call for another hunter on state land.
    • If you have a current Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp with or without unused tags remaining and a signed consent form for a private land parcel, you may call for another hunter hunting on that private land parcel.
  • You may not attempt to take turkeys by participating in a cooperative drive.
  • You may not shoot turkeys from a building or other permanent structure.
  • You may not shoot turkeys roosting in trees.

Tagging & Reporting Turkey Kills

Immediately upon killing a turkey, complete and sign a Harvest Tag and keep it with the carcass at all times. The Harvest Tag must remain with the turkey until it is cut up for consumption. See Tagging & Reporting for more information on Harvest Tags and reporting.

Turkey Hunter Surveys

Anybody who obtains a Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp may be asked to respond to a survey concerning their turkey 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 wild turkey population. Surveys may be conducted by mail, telephone, or the internet.

CE/FS Wild Turkey Hunting Safety Seminars

  • March 16, 2019 — Western side of the state
  • April 6 and April 13, 2019 — Eastern side of the state

Both experienced and first-time turkey hunters stand to benefit from attending one of these seminars which provide “A to Z” hunting information, including safe hunting practices, specialized equipment, calls and decoys, site setup, and other strategies for harvesting turkeys. A DEEP Wildlife Division biologist will also present information about wild turkey biology, population trends, and management history in Connecticut. Seminar participants will have an opportunity to pattern their shotguns for turkey hunting following classroom instruction. To do so, participants must bring the shotgun they intend to use during the spring season, ammunition, a shotgun choke appropriate for turkey hunting, and eye and ear protection.

Registration is required and begins 30 days prior to the seminar. Check the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting for times and locations of each seminar.