Connecticut Archery Deer and Turkey Opens Oct. 15th

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The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds sportsmen that the 2010 fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey opens September 15. From September 15 to December 31, bowhunters can hunt for both deer and turkeys on designated state lands and on private land where they have written permission of the landowner. In zone 11 (Fairfield County area) and zone 12 (Connecticut shoreline towns), archery hunters can hunt for deer and turkeys from September 15, 2010, until January 31, 2011.

When hunters harvest a deer or turkey, they are required to fill out a Kill Tag, sign it, and keep the Kill Tag with the animal until it is brought to a check station or it is processed for consumption. When transporting a harvested deer or turkey, the tag does not have to be attached to the animal. Hunters can carry the completed, signed Kill Tag in their pocket so there is no chance of losing it. However, if the animal is left in the woods or at a vehicle, the Kill Tag must remain with the animal. In this instance, it is recommended that the Kill Tag be placed in a plastic bag and secured to the animal. Copies of Kill Tags are on page 21 of the 2010 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide and are also available on the DEP Web site at www.ct.gov/dep/hunting.

Starting last year, the number of days that deer must be brought to a check station has changed. Only deer taken during the first four days of the shotgun/rifle season (November 17-20), including deer taken by bow, must be brought to a check station.  A listing of deer check stations is available on the DEP Web site, at DEP offices, and at most licensing agents. At all other times, hunters are required to report their deer and turkey kills within 24 hours using one of two methods. Kills can be reported on the DEP website (www.ct.gov/dep/hunting>) or by calling a toll free number (1-877-337-4868). Hunters are no longer required to mail in a kill report card. After reporting their kill via the Internet or by telephone, hunters will be given a confirmation number to write on their Kill Tag. This confirmation number serves as proof that the kill was legally reported. 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.

"The outlook for the 2010 hunting season is very good," said Howard Kilpatrick, a Deer/Turkey Program biologist for the DEP Wildlife Division. "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 bowhunters. 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." In these areas (deer management zones 11 and 12), the DEP has continued to liberalize the deer-hunting season to maximize hunter efficiency and lower deer populations to more desirable levels.

All private land archery hunters, whether they are hunting deer or turkey, are required to carry a DEP consent form signed by the landowner and dated for the current season. Deer and turkey permits can be purchased on-line at www.ct.gov/dep/sportsmenlicensing or at participating town halls, vendors, and at some DEP offices. The guide and consent forms also can be accessed on the DEP Web site at www.ct.gov/dep/hunting. Hunters should consult the DEP Web site for an up-to-date listing of new state lands open to archery hunting. Bowhunters also are reminded that they are required to have a bowhunter safety certificate before purchasing an archery deer permit.