CT HUNTERS: Fall archery deer and turkey seasons open Sept. 15

The 2014 fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey will open on Monday, Sept. 15 and continue through Jan. 31, 2015 in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12 (Fairfield County and Connecticut shoreline towns); and Dec. 31 of this year in Deer Management Zones 1 to 10 (the rest of the state).

“The outlook for the 2014 hunting season is good,” said Rick Jacobson, Wildlife Division director for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). “Although there are good deer hunting opportunities throughout most of Connecticut, the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns provide the best opportunities, especially for bow-hunters.

“Many landowners use the archery deer hunting season as a safe and effective method of reducing deer populations, especially in the more developed areas of the state where firearms hunting may not be feasible,” Jacobson said.

In these areas (Deer Management Zones 11 and 12), DEEP has continued to liberalize the archery deer hunting season to maximize hunter efficiency and lower deer populations to more desirable levels.

Reporting kills

Hunters are required to report their deer and turkey kills within 24 hours either on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/hunting) or by calling a toll free number (877-337-4868).

Deer hunters in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12 who take advantage of the Replacement Antlerless and Earn-a-Buck tag programs must complete this same tagging and reporting procedure prior to going to a check station that issues replacement tags.

A listing of replacement tag vendors is available on the DEEP website. After reporting their harvest via the Internet or by telephone, hunters will be given a confirmation number to write on their Harvest Tag. This confirmation number serves as proof that the harvest was legally reported.

Private land consent forms

All private land archery hunters are required to carry a DEEP consent form signed by the landowner and dated for the current season. Consent forms can be found in the Hunting Guide or at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.

Deer and turkey permits can be purchased online at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing or at participating town halls, vendors, and at some DEEP offices. Hunters should consult the DEEP website for an up-to-date listing of new state lands open to archery hunting.

Other important information

Crossbows:  Recently passed regulations now allow the use of crossbows during Connecticut archery hunting seasons. Crossbow hunters are required to have an archery permit, which is available only to those who have completed a bow-hunter education course.

Archery season reminders:  When hunters harvest a deer or turkey, they are required to fill out a Harvest Tag, sign it, and keep the Harvest Tag with the animal until it is processed for consumption.

Copies of Harvest Tags and instructions for their use are on page 27 of the 2014 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, as well as on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.

Mosquitoes:  Hunters are advised to take precautions against mosquito bites as West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes in Connecticut. Hunters should cover bare skin, use insect repellent while out in the field hunting, and be aware of the locations where infected mosquitoes have been identified. For detailed information go to the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website at www.ct.gov/mosquito.

Wearing fluorescent orange:  Bow-hunters are reminded that they must wear 400 square inches of fluorescent orange while walking to and from their tree stands during the firearms deer hunting season. However, once in a tree stand, elevated at least 10 feet off the ground, bow-hunters may remove the fluorescent orange clothing.