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Small Game Hunting

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Small Game Hunting Seasons

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

Pheasant Hunting

Season Dates Jan. 1–8 and Oct. 15 – Dec. 31

Bag Limits Daily (2); Season (10)

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, except on Oct. 15 (7:00 a.m. until ½ hour after sunset)

License & Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License, and Pheasant Tag Series

Legal Firearms See firearms and ammunition regulations.

Special Conditions

  • Only one Pheasant Tag Series may be purchased per season. A valid pheasant tag must immediately be attached to harvested birds and must not be removed until cut up for consumption or mounted for display. Use of someone else’s tags or re-use of tags is prohibited. Landowners hunting pheasants on their own land are exempt from tagging requirements, but are still restricted to daily and season bag limits. Private hunting clubs can apply for exemption from tagging 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 pheasants taken on such club lands. Club tags must be applied immediately upon kill and contain club name, hunting license number and date taken. Pheasants identified in this manner do not count towards the statewide daily limit of two.
  • Junior Hunter Training Day: Saturday, October 8, 2011. Details

Other Upland Game Birds

Species Ruffed Grouse, Quail, Chukar Partridge, Crow

Season Dates

  • Ruffed Grouse: Oct. 15 – Nov. 30
  • Quail: Oct. 15 – Oct. 29
  • Chukar Partridge: Jan. 1–8 and Oct. 15 – Dec. 31
  • Crow: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Oct. 15 – Dec. 31

Bag Limits

  • Ruffed Grouse: Daily (1); Season (8)
  • Quail: Daily (2); Season (10)
  • Chukar Partridge: Daily (2), Season (10)
  • Crow: No limit

Hunting Hours ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, except on Oct. 15 (7:00 a.m. until ½ hour after sunset)

License & Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License

Legal Firearms See firearms and ammunition 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. 1–8 and from Oct. 15 – Dec. 31.
  • Crow Hunting: While crow hunting from a stationary position a hunter is exempt from the fluorescent orange clothing regulation (see Hunting Laws & Regulations).

Woodcock, Snipe, Coot & Rail Hunting

Season Dates See Migratory Bird Hunting Guide

Bag Limits See Migratory Bird Hunting Guide

Hunting Hours See Migratory Bird Hunting Guide

License & Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License and a Connecticut HIP permit.

Legal Firearms Shotguns are the only firearms which may be used. Shotguns must be capable of holding no more than 3 shells. See ammunition regulations for shotguns.

Special Conditions

  • Federal Regulations: in addition to Connecticut hunting laws, migratory bird hunters are subject to all Federal Laws and Regulations.

Waterfowl Hunting

Species Duck, Merganser, Goose, Coot

Season Dates See Migratory Bird Hunting Guide

Bag Limits See Migratory Bird Hunting Guide

Hunting Hours See Migratory Bird Hunting Guide

License & Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License. Connecticut HIP permit. Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp and Connecticut Migratory Bird Hunting Authorization also required for hunters 16 years or older. See Licenses & Permits for information about obtaining the CT stamp. Note, federal waterfowl stamps are not valid unless signed in ink on the face of the stamp.

Legal Firearms Shotguns are the only firearms which may be used. Refer to the Migratory Bird Hunting Guide for regulations regarding the number of shells a shotgun may hold.

Special Conditions

  • Non-Toxic Shot: Non-toxic shot is required for waterfowl hunting. The maximum size shot allowed is BB for steel and #2 for other federally approved non-toxic shot types.
  • Possession of Lead Shot: possessing lead shot while waterfowl hunting is a violation.
  • Federal Regulations: in addition to Connecticut hunting laws, waterfowl hunters are subject to all Federal Laws and Regulations.
  • No Hunting Buffer Zone: while hunting in tidal areas from land or from floating blinds anchored to land or rock positions, the no hunting buffer zone around permanent buildings is 250 feet (see 500 Foot Regulation).
  • Fluorescent Orange Clothing: while hunting waterfowl from boats or stationary positions a hunter is exempt from the fluorescent orange clothing regulation (see Hunting Laws & Regulations).
  • Junior Hunter Training Days: See Migratory Bird Hunting Guide for details.

Small Game Mammals

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

Season Dates

  • Gray Squirrel: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28, Sept. 1–30, and Oct. 15 – Dec. 31
  • Cottontail Rabbit: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Oct. 15 – Dec. 31
  • Snowshoe Hare: Jan. 1–31 and Nov. 19 – Dec. 31
  • European Hare: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Oct. 15 – Dec. 31
  • Woodchuck: March 15 – April 26, May 30 – Sep.30 and Oct. 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. 15 (7:00 a.m. until ½ hour after sunset)

License & Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License

Legal Firearms See firearms and ammunition regulations.

Special Conditions None

Fox & Coyote Hunting

Species Red Fox, Gray Fox, Coyote

Season Dates

  • Red & Gray Foxes: Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 and Oct. 15 – Dec. 31
  • Coyote: Jan. 1 – April 26, May 30 – Sep. 30, and Oct. 15 – Dec. 31

Bag Limits

  • Red & 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. 15 (7:00 a.m. until ½ hour after sunset)

License & Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License

Legal Firearms See firearms and ammunition regulations.

Special Conditions The pelts of these species must be tagged (see Pelt Tagging Requirements and Carcass Collection).

Raccoon & Opossum Hunting

Season Dates Jan. 1–15 and Oct 15 – 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 & Permits Firearms or Archery Hunting License

Legal Firearms See firearms and ammunition regulations. Also, when hunting at night, rifles or handguns using ammunition larger than .22 caliber rimfire long rifle, 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.

 

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