2010 Connecticut Deer Season Closes With Near Perfect Safety Record

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The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)20 announced that with the close of 2010, Connecticut sportsmen enjoyed another safe and productive deer hunting season. More than 64,000 deer hunting permits are issued annually and deer hunters spend nearly 450,000 days afield each year. Two minor incidents were reported, one involving the discharge of a firearm. No firearms-related injuries were reported during the 2008 and 2009 deer hunting seasons.

The archery season, now closed, continued through January on private land only in deer management zones 11 and 12, which comprises Fairfield County and the shoreline towns.

"Connecticut hunters continue to be national leaders in hunting safety, due in large part to a mandatory firearms education regimen which has produced a safety-conscious generation of hunters," stated Rick Jacobson, Director of the Department’s Wildlife Division. "Although we are pleased with our hunting safety record, one mishap is too many and our goal is to reduce such incidents to zero", continued Jacobson.

Since 1982, the Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Program has provided hunter safety courses to over 100,000 students taught by a dedicated corps of 328 volunteer instructors. Administration for the program, support staff, and all supplies and materials are funded through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, commonly referred to as the Pittman-Robertson Act. Funding for the program is derived from a federal excise tax on sporting arms and equipment, which is distributed to the states for use in hunter education, wildlife research and management, and land acquisition. The required match in non-federal funds is provided by in-kind time donated by the volunteer instructors. Instructors donate nearly 11,000 hours of their time each year conducting firearms, bowhunting, and trapping classes to ensure that students are knowledgeable, responsible and safe in the pursuit of their outdoor activities.

A complete schedule or information about hunting safety courses can be obtained by contacting the DEP Wildlife Division at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area at 860-675-8130 or Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area 860-642-7239. Course listings also are available on the DEP website (www.ct.gov/dep).