Turkey and deer bowhunting season opens Monday

Connecticut’s deer and turkey bowhunting season opens on Monday, Sept. 16. The season runs through Dec. 31 on most state-owned and private land.

Bowhunting is allowed from a half-hour before sunrise until sunset.

A small game and archery permit is required. When purchasing a permit, hunters must show proof of completing the state Conservation Education and Firearms Safety (CE/FS) bowhunting course or its out-of-state equivalent.

There is a bag limit of two deer of either sex  and two “antlerless” deer, and two of either sex for turkeys.

Crossbows now allowed

Newly enacted legislation now allows the use of crossbows during the bowhunting season.

Possession of a firearm while bowhunting is prohibited. However, Saturday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 16, are Junior Hunter Training Days, and junior hunters with firearms deer permits may be using shotguns on those days.

The shotgun hunting season officially opens for turkeys on Oct. 5, and for deer on Nov. 20.

Private land hunts

To hunt on private land, hunters must receive written permission from landowners. Hunters must carry current signed official consent forms when hunting.

State lands that are open for archery hunting are listed on the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) website, ct.gov/deep.

Bowhunters are required to wear a minimum of 400 square inches of fluorescent orange when hunting between Nov. 20 and Dec. 31. The orange clothing may be removed in tree stands at least 10 feet off the ground.

Decoys are allowed until Nov. 20, but must be covered in fluorescent orange during transport. Live decoys are prohibited.

Rules on attractants

The state limits the types of attractants that may be used when bowhunting. Decoys, scents and noises are permitted. The use of minerals or chemicals (like salt licks) and other food that can be safely consumed by deer may be used on private land only.

New this year, hunters are no longer required to bring their deer to check stations, but all deer harvested must be reported by phone or Internet within 24 hours.