Connecticut Hunting: Your Step-by-Step Guide To the Laws, Regulations, Licenses, Seasons ... And More!

While Connecticut is one of the smallest states in the US in terms of landmass, it still has various games available for hunters to take. The state has quite a number of small games, but the most abundant big games are Turkeys and Deer. Although there are bears in the state, it is unlawful to hunt them. They are only available for recreational sightseeing.

Connecticut Hunting Regulation

Hunters in Connecticut must abide by all federal, state, and hunting laws and regulations. Furthermore, there may be other regulations for municipalities and private landowners.

Connecticut hunting regulations include the following:

Firearm Hunting Regulations:

Some of Connecticut hunting regulation concerning the possession and use of firearms include the following

  • 500 Foot Regulation

It is unlawful to possess a loaded firearm, hunt wildlife, or discharge a firearm, within 500 feet of buildings that contain humans and/or domestic animals, and buildings used to store combustible substances and materials.

However, an exception is allowed if you obtain permission from the owner of such buildings, their families, or spouses. Also, the 500-foot firearm regulation does not affect archery hunting in Connecticut.

  • Possession of Hunting Firearms in Vehicles

Connecticut prohibits the possession of loaded firearms in vehicles, regardless of if it is a hunting firearm or not. Gun laws of the state only allow those with registered handguns and revolvers to possess them in vehicles.

  • Use of Rifles and Handguns for Hunting

Connecticut does not allow the use of rifles, revolvers, and handguns that operate with a.22 or larger ammunition for hunting. Also, in areas leased for hunting by the state, or areas that require the possession of permits to hunt, any type of rifle or handgun is prohibited. It is also illegal to make use of handguns and rifles to hunt waterfowls, turkey, and all other migratory birds found in the state. Exceptions are however made for crows.

  • Hunting with Shotguns

Shotguns that fire more than 2 shots are not allowed for hunting in land leased or owned by states, and parts of the state where a permit is required to hunt. Shotguns are also prohibited on land owned by private owners.

It is illegal to make use of a lead shot for waterfowl hunting. But you can make use of shotguns that have less than 10 gauge to hunt waterfowls in the state.

Shotguns required for hunting waterfowls and other migratory bird species in Connecticut should contain, at most 3 shells, 2 for the magazine and 1 for the chamber. Exceptions are allowed for turkey hunting in Connecticut, crow hunting in Connecticut, and deer hunting in Connecticut.

Another exception to shotgun regulations in Connecticut is that you can make use of unplugged shotguns while hunting during the goose season in September. Depending on where you are hunting, there may be additional regulation for the use of shotguns.

  • Hunting with Muzzle Loaders

Muzzleloaders are either shotguns or rifles with at least .45 calibers that make use of a gun powder and projectile attached at the muzzle end of the firearm. In Connecticut, it is legal to make use of a shotgun converter but there is the same prohibition on smoothbore muzzleloaders as shotgun prohibition.

However, there is an exception for the use of muzzleloaders on lands owned by the state and it is legal to use muzzleloading rifles with about .36 calibers and with round ball ammunition.

Bow Hunting Regulations

Some of Connecticut Bow Hunting Regulation include the following:

  • Bowhunter Education

You must complete a bowhunter education course before you can take wildlife and games with bow and arrow. Connecticut mandates all bowhunters in the state to have proof to show that they have completed the course while hunting small games.

  • Lawful Bow and Arrows

Not all bow and arrows are accepted in Connecticut. For turkey and deer hunting in Connecticut, the bow permitted must be long, possess compound bows, recurved, and have a draw weight of at least 40 crossbows and pounds. You are also allowed to use mechanical strings, but coating a projectile with chemicals, poison or drugs is a prohibition.

  • Crossbows

Crossbows are legal for the hunting of a lot of games. However, the crossbow should have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds. It must also have a permanently fixed rifle and an efficient automated safety device.

The state also permits the use of crossbow sticks that are adjustable, but the folding stock may not be adjustable. The arrow must not be less than 18 inches long, and this does not include the broadhead length. A crossbow is loaded when it has been pulled to its limit, and the bolt is in place.

For deer and turkey hunting in Connecticut, the arrowhead that is accepted should possess a minimum of 2 blades and should be at most 8 inches wide. It does not matter if an arrowhead was manufactured to open at impact, as long as it meets these measurements, it is legal.

  • Possession of Firearms for Bowhunting

It is a prohibition to have a firearm with you while bow hunting in Connecticut.

Bag Limit Regulation

Another important regulation that hunters must take note of is the bag limit regulation. It includes the following:

  • Daily Bag Limit

This refers to the number of game species that a hunter can take within a day, estimated as the hours between 12 am to 12 am the next day. While hunting in these 24 hours, it is a violation for a hunter to take more than this daily limit.

  • Possession in Storage

This is a seasonal bag limit for the amount of non-migratory wildlife and game species that may be stored for a specific game, from the inception of the season. It is a violation of bag limit regulation to exceed the required limit for a season. For migratory games like snipe, waterfowls, and coots, their possession in storage limit is regulated by federal hunting laws.

  • Season Bag Limit

This is the limit of the number of wildlife and games that can be taken during the period of open season.

Hunter Harassment Law

Connecticut also has hunter harassment laws to protect the activity in the state.

The law states that on no account should any individual interfere with a legal hunting practice taking place in a wildlife area or any other location in the state.

Violation of this law occurs when someone deliberately does any of the following:

  • Drives in wildlife to disturb hunting activities.
  • Prevents hunting by impeding or harassing a hunter carrying out the activity
  • Performs any artificial or olfactory stimuli to disturb the behavioral pattern of wildlife.
  • Mount barriers to prevent or limit the activities of hunters.
  • Enters a hunter line of fire while trying to shoot down a game.
  • Disturb a publicly or privately owned property meant for the legal hunting of games in the state.
  • Impedes a private land portion without any permission from those in charge.

Connecticut Hunting License Permits and Tags

You must have a license or permit to hunt before you can take games and wildlife in Connecticut. There are various hunting licenses available to residents and non-residents.

License tags and permits available for hunting in Connecticut include the following:

Firearms Hunting License

This is a general firearm hunting permit available for residents and nonresidents of Connecticut. It costs $19 for adult residents of the state, $10 for teenage residents, and $91 for non-residents.

Firearms Hunting and Inland Fishing License

This license is for both hunting and inland fishing in Connecticut. Is available for residents and nonresidents of the state and costs $38 for adult residents, $19 for teenage residents, and $110 for non-residents.

Firearm Hunting and All Waters Fishing License

This license will allow firearm hunting and permission to fish in all water bodies in Connecticut. It is available for residents and nonresidents and costs $40 for adult residents, $20 for teenage residents (16 and 17 years), and $120 for non-residents.

Firearm Hunting and Marine Water Fishing License

This license is valid for the combination of firearms hunting and marine water fishing in Connecticut. It is available for both residents and nonresidents, and it costs $25 for adult residents, $13 for teenage residents (16 and 17 years), and $94 for non-residents.

Archery Deer and Small Games Hunting License

Holders of this license can take deer with archery and will also have permission to take small game species in Connecticut. It is available for residents, and also as an out-of-state Connecticut hunting license for non-residents. It costs $41 for adult residents, $21 for teenage residents (16 and 17 years), and $135 for non-residents.

Archery Deer and Small Games Hunting License Plus All Water Fishing License

In addition to the permission of hunting deer and small games, this license also allows fishing in all water bodies in Connecticut. It costs $65 for adult residents and $33 for teenage residents (16 and 17 years).

Trapping License

This license allows hunters to set traps or bait wildlife and games in Connecticut. It costs $34 for adult residents, $17 for teenage residents (16 and 17 years), and $250 for non-residents.

Licenses are also issued in Connecticut based on age and they include the following

Junior Firearm Hunting License

This license is issued to residents and nonresidents of Connecticut between the ages of 12 and 15. It costs $11 for both residents and non-residents.

Junior Archery Deer and Small Game License

The license is valid for residents and nonresidents between the ages of 12 and 15, to take deer and hunt small game in Connecticut. It costs $10 for residents and $19 for nonresidents

Junior Trapping License

This is only valid for residents of Connecticut under the age of 15. It costs $11.

Annual Hunting License

This hunting license is available for residents of Connecticut that are 65 years old or more. It is free.

Annual Trapping License

This is a trapping license available to residents that are 65 years old or more. It is free.

Connecticut Fishing License Permits and Tags

Fishing licenses available in Connecticut include the following:

Resident All Water Fishing License

This is a resident-only fishing license, and holders will be able to fish in both inland and marine waters. It costs $32 for adult residents and $16 for teenagers.

Residents Inland Fishing License

Holders of this license will be able to fish only in inland waters. It costs $28 for adult residents and $14 for teenagers.

Residents Inland Fishing and Small Game Hunting

This license will allow holders the fish on inland waters and hunt small games in the state. It costs $38 for adult residents and $19 for teenage residents.

Residents All Water Fishing Bow and Arrow Permit Plus Small Games and Deer Hunting.

This license allows fishing in all waters and archery hunting of deer and small game animals. It costs $65 for adult residents and $32 for teenage residents.

Non-Residents Season Inland Fishing license

This license is issued to nonresidents that want to fish in inland waters. It costs $55.

Nonresident Season All Waters Fishing License ‘

Gives permission to nonresidents to fish in both inland and marine waters. It costs $63.

Nonresidents 3 Days Inland Fishing License

This license is available for nonresidents that want to fish in inland waters. It is valid for only 3 days and costs $22.

Residents Marine Water Fishing License

Holders of this license will be able to fish in marine waters. It costs $10 for adult residents and $5 for teenage residents.

Residents One Day Marine Water Fishing

Allows Residents to fish in marine water, but the license will be valid for just a day. It costs $5 for adult residents and $3 for non-residents.

Residents Marine Water Fishing and Firearm Hunting

This license allows the combination of fishing on Marine water and hunting during firearm season. It costs $25 for adult residents and $13 for teenage residents.

Nonresidents Marine Fishing License

This license is issued to non-residents of Connecticut for fishing on marine waters. It costs $15.

Nonresidents Marine Water Fishing and Firearms Hunting License

This license will allow non-residents to fish on marine waters, and hunt with the use of firearms. It costs $94.

Nonresidents Three Days Marine Fishing License

This license allows non-residents to fish on Marine water, but it is valid for just 3 days. It costs $8.

Armed Forces Marine Water Fishing License

This is a special license issued to members of the US military or National guard for fishing on marine waters in Connecticut. It costs $10.

Armed Forces Inland Fishing Permit

This is a special license issued to members of the US military or National guard for fishing on Inland waters in Connecticut. It costs $28.

Armed Forces Inland Fishing Permit with Small Game Firearms Hunting

This allows members of the US armed forces to fish on inland waters and also hunt small game species in Connecticut.

Armed Forces All Water Permit

This permit will allow members of the Armed Forces to fish on all water bodies in the US.

Connecticut Hunting Season 2020/2021

Connecticut like other western parts of the USA has a great climatic condition and weather that favors hunting season.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Connecticut includes the following:

Connecticut Deer Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (15th of September to 31st of December)
  • Shotgun and Rifle Season (For Public Land: 18th of November to 8th of December and for Private Lands: 2nd of November to 31st of December)
  • Muzzleloader Season (For Private Land: 9th of December to 31st of December and for State Lands: 9th of December to 22nd of December)

Connecticut Turkey Hunting Season

  • Fall Archery Season (15th of September to 31st of September)
  • Fall Firearm Season (3rd of October to 31st of October)

Connecticut Small Games Hunting Season

  • Cotton Rabbit Season 19th of October to 31st of December)
  • Squirrel Season 1st of September to 31st of December)
  • Woodchuck Season (16th of March to 16th of November)
  • Chukar Partridge Season (17th of October to 31st of December)
  • Quail Season (17th of October to 2nd of November)
  • Pheasant Season (17th of October to 31st of December)
  • Grouse Season (17th of October to 30th of December)

Season dates for each species season may vary based on the different hunting zones in Connecticut

Connecticut Wildlife Game and Fish

Some of the wildlife and games available for hunting in Connecticut include the following:

Connecticut Deer Hunting

Whitetail deer hunting in Connecticut is not in itself a revered sport, but the deer horns serve as trophies for hunters. Deer hunting in Connecticut is common because of the delicious deer meat called venison.

Connecticut Turkey hunting

Turkey hunting is fun in Connecticut. The game is very special in the state. They are quite difficult to hunt because they blend well with their environment and are very effective games.

Connecticut Duck Hunting

Duck hunting in Connecticut is usually a lively event. Ducks are quite fast and have a speed that can cover a distance of 1 mile in 1 minute. During their yearly migration, ducks can move as far as South America and come back again.

Connecticut Goose Hunting

There are various geese available for hunting in Connecticut. It is one of the states favored by goose hunters in the US. The popular species of goose found in the state are Snow geese, Blue geese, and Canada geese.

Connecticut Pheasant Hunting

Pheasant hunting in Connecticut is not a walk in the park. Pheasants blend well with their environment and make use of this to guise from hunters. Like in most parts of the nation, pheasants are abundant in Connecticut. They inhabit regions of the state like meadows, wooden and field areas.

Connecticut Quail Hunting

Quail hunting in Connecticut is a famous sport. They inhabit fields and farming settlements in the state. They come in mixtures of various colors like black, grey, browns, etc. They are very difficult to hunt too.

Connecticut Grouse Hunting

Grouse know how to blend into their surroundings and hide from hunters because of their colors. They occur in large numbers in Connecticut and inhabit farming lands, wooden areas, meadows, and fields.

Connecticut Shooting Ranges

Some of the shooting ranges available to the public in Connecticut include the following:

  • Wooster Mountain State Park Cooperative Shooting Range
  • High Rock Cooperative Shooting Range
  • Glastonbury Public Shooting Range
  • Nye Holman Field Archery Range

Connecticut Hunting Land for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in Connecticut include the following:

  • Winchester Town, CT 06098. Litchfield County, 434 ac.
  • Killingly Town, CT 06241. Windham County, 645 ac.
  • Ashford, CT 06278. Windham County, 3 ac.
  • Woodstock, CT 06281 Windham County, 13.6 ac.
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