Changes to Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Regulations (effective July 1, 2016)
New statutes and regulations related to hunting and trapping may be added during the calendar year or some may change, as well. Although we do our best to have the most up-to-date information in this guide, be prepared for changes to occur. The best way to stay current is to check the DEEP website often, especially before hunting seasons start, at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting; follow our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife; and subscribe to our free E-newsletter Wildlife Highlights (www.ct.gov/deep/WildlifeHighlights) and Connecticut Wildlife magazine (www.ct.gov/deep/WildlifeMagazine; $8.00 for 6 issues).
- Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Days are allowed on both state and private land. Originally, junior hunters could only hunt on private land for this special day.
- The seasonal possession limit for snapping turtles harvested during the regulated season dates of July 15 – September 30 was reduced from 30 to 10.
- The “long rifle” limitation on the array of .22 caliber rimfire ammunition to be used for hunting on state-owned lands was removed.
- The squirrel season begins on September 1 and continues through February 28 (excluding Sundays).
- The woodchuck season is from March 15 through November 15 (excluding Sundays).
- The coyote hunting season is from January 1 through December 31 (excluding Sundays).
- The chukar partridge season was extended until the last day in February.
- A season was established for Hungarian partridge which starts on the third Saturday in October and runs through the end of February. The daily bag limit for Hungarian partridge is two and the season bag limit is 10.
- The quail season was extended through the last day in February on the following state-controlled field trial or dog training areas: Dr. John E. Flaherty Field Trial Area, Mansfield Hollow Dam, Nod Brook Management Area, and Sugarbrook Field Trial Area.
- Non-toxic shot is required for hunting coot and rail (it is already required for waterfowl hunting).
New Legislation (Public Act 16-27)
- Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp: The $13 Connecticut Duck Stamp has been merged with the $4 Harvest Information Program (HIP) Permit into a single Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp, which costs $17. This new, single stamp is required for anyone hunting waterfowl, rails, snipe, woodcock, and crows. The biggest changes with this legislation are that crow hunters must now purchase the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp, and ALL migratory bird hunters, regardless of age, must obtain the Connecticut stamp. Junior hunters (ages 12 to 15), who previously only had to purchase a HIP Permit in addition to the junior license, must now obtain a Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. However, the cost of the stamp for resident junior hunters is $9. Hunters under the age of 16 do not need to purchase a federal Duck Stamp to hunt waterfowl. All of the proceeds from the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp continue to go into a dedicated account that is to be used solely for wetland habitat management and acquisition or for improving hunter access.
- Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp: The Pheasant Stamp AND turkey permits have been replaced with a single $28 Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. This new stamp is required to hunt any resident (non-migratory) game birds, including pheasant, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, chukar and Hungarian partridges, and quail. The cost of the Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp is $14 for Connecticut hunters between the ages of 12 and 17. All revenue from the sale of Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps is deposited into a separate, non-lapsing account to use exclusively for the purchase and management of game birds and their habitat.
- Three-day Out-of-state Bird Hunting License: Another piece of this new legislation is the creation of a three-day out-of-state (non-resident) bird hunting license. This license costs $35 and allows out-of-state hunters to hunt migratory and resident (non-migratory) game birds for three consecutive privilege days (Sundays not included). The fee ($35) from this license goes into the Game Bird Conservation account. Out-of-state hunters will still need to purchase a Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp and/or Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp, depending on what species they intend to hunt.
- Reduced Permit and Stamp Fees for Junior Hunters: In 2014, Public Act 14-201 established a 50% reduction in all license fees, as well as a 50% reduction in hunting and sport fishing permit, tag, and stamp fees, for resident 16 and 17 year old hunters and anglers. 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.
Connecticut Bird Hunting Stamps Are for the Birds!
The new Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp is required to hunt pheasants, wild turkey, quail, partridges, and ruffed grouse. Previously, if hunters wanted to pursue pheasants and turkeys, they would have to purchase a pheasant stamp and a separate permit for each turkey season (Spring Private Land, Spring State Land, Fall Firearms Private Land, Fall Firearms State Land, Fall Archery). Hunters that participated in the pheasant and all of the turkey seasons would have paid $123. With the new stamp, hunters can now participate in all of the turkey seasons and legally harvest the aforementioned game birds for a fee of $28.00. All revenue from the sale of Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps will be deposited into a non-lapsing, dedicated fund to provide a stable funding source for the Pheasant Program, establish new game bird habitat improvement projects, and maintain existing turkey brood habitat. This is an exciting new prospect and is sure to pay large dividends into the future.
The Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Program is a great example of how conservation works — concerned citizens paying into a program that was formed to protect and enhance vital habitat. All revenue from the sale of Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamps goes into a dedicated account that is used solely for wetland habitat management and acquisition or for improving hunter access. Over 3,145 acres of critical wetlands have been protected in Connecticut using stamp funds. These wetlands benefit not only waterfowl, but also a multitude of other wildlife species like herons, egrets, fish, and amphibians.