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New Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp replaces pheasant stamp and turkey permits
 
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced the Opening Days of fall firearms hunting seasons. Peak hunting during these seasons occurs during early morning and late afternoon, primarily during the period from mid-October through mid-December. Hunters who plan to harvest migratory birds (waterfowl, woodcock, snipe, rail, and crows) and resident game birds (pheasant, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, partridge, and quail) should be aware of several new or changed laws and regulations that became effective on July 1, 2016.

The fall firearms turkey season opens statewide on Saturday, October 1, and continues through October 31.
Regular waterfowl season opens statewide on Saturday, October 8, in both the north and south hunting zones.
Small game hunting season opens at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 15, for pheasant, quail, ruffed grouse, chukar partridge, and cottontail rabbit.
Statewide firearms deer hunting season begins Wednesday, November 16.Junior Hunter Training Days: Junior hunters have the opportunity to hunt on special designated days for pheasants, waterfowl, and deer. DEEP, in cooperation with local sportsmen’s organizations, will be holding several special Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Events in October and November; the first event is scheduled for Saturday, October 1, at Snake Meadow Club in Danielson. Dates for Junior Hunter Training days including details and registration information about pheasant hunting events are at www.ct.gov/deep/JuniorHunter.
New Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp and Other Changes
(Please note: The following information is not included in the printed 2016 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide. A more detailed explanation on specific requirements for the bird hunting seasons is on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting; select “License & Permit Info.”)
The Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp replaces the Pheasant Stamp AND turkey permits, and is required to hunt pheasants, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, partridge, and quail. The stamp costs $28 for adults and $14 for Connecticut hunters ages 12 - 17. All revenues from the sale of Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamps will be deposited into a dedicated, non-lapsing account to use exclusively for the purchase and management of game birds and their habitat.
Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp: The Connecticut Duck Stamp has been merged with the HIP permit into a single Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp, which will cost $17 ($9 for resident 12 - 17 year olds). It is required for anyone hunting waterfowl, rails, snipe, woodcock, and crows. 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 will continue to go into a dedicated account that is to be used solely for wetland habitat management and acquisition or for improving hunter access.
Three-day Out-of-state Bird Hunting License: A new Three-day Out-of-state Bird Hunting License allows out-of-state hunters to hunt migratory and resident (non-migratory) game birds for three consecutive privilege days (Sundays not included). The $35 fee from this license will go into the Game Bird Conservation account. Out-of-state hunters will still need to purchase either a Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp or a Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp, depending on what species they intend to hunt.
The 2016 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide and the 2016-2017 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide, which contain additional information on laws, regulations, and season dates, can be obtained at any town clerk or DEEP Wildlife Division office, or they can be found on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting. Maps denoting many state-owned hunting areas and most permit-required hunting areas also may be obtained from the DEEP website.
 
2016 hunting licenses, permits, and stamps can be purchased directly online at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing or at one of the many participating town halls, outdoor equipment retailers, and DEEP offices. New this year – most hunting permits and stamps are half price for 12 to 15 year olds (they have been half price for 16 and 17 year olds since 2014).
 
Small Game Season and Permit-required Information
With the exception of opening day (October 15-when hunting begins at 7:00 a.m.)  small game hunting is allowed for most species from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. Waterfowl hunting is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
Permit-required Hunting: In addition to most state forests and wildlife management areas, small game and waterfowl hunting will be available on a number of areas established under the permit-required hunting program. Permit-required areas are open to public hunting via a daily permit system and are made available through the cooperation of private landowners and local sportsmen’s clubs. Details on obtaining permits, as well as a special “seasonal” access permit for junior hunters, ages 12-15, and their mentors at select areas, are on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting; select “Permit Required Hunting Areas” under the 2016 Hunting and Trapping Guide). Sportsmen wishing to hunt any designated permit-required hunting area should consult the 2016 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide for locations of vendors issuing daily permits. Daily permits are available on-line for most of the permit-required areas, except for Sessions Woods WMA, NU King’s Island, Lebanon Coop goose fields, and Yale Forest. Please check the online Sportsmen’s Licensing System (www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing) for further details and a complete list of available areas.
 
Pheasant Prospects Remain Good
This year, DEEP will purchase a total of 14,935 adult pheasants based on revenues from pheasant stamp sales in 2015. This is the same number of birds that were stocked in the 2015 season. Birds will not be stocked at the Kollar WMA, Hebron Permit-Required Area, NU-Maromas Cooperative WMA, the Weber’s Block of Cockaponset State Forest, and the stone house area of Pachaug State Forest. Additional details, such as area allocations and an updated listing of all major stocking areas, are at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.


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CT DEEP Announces Opening Days of Upcoming Fall Firearms Hunting Seasons

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