Connecticut DEP's New Reporting and Tagging of Harvest Regs
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced new regulations that will affect deer and turkey hunting this upcoming season. The regulations concerning the tagging and reporting of deer and turkeys harvested by hunters have undergone significant changes. The new regulations are designed to make the purchase of deer and turkey permits more convenient for sportsmen, as well as save money on the printing and distribution of permits and tags and improve harvest monitoring methods.
One of the most significant changes is that the DEP has done away with the Tyvek® tags that used to come with deer and turkey hunting permits. Instead, hunters are now required to use newly-designed Kill Tags to record information about deer or turkeys they harvest. Copies of the new Kill Tags are on page 37 of the 2009 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide and are also available on the DEP website at www.ct.gov/dep/hunting.
When hunters harvest a deer or turkey, they must fill out a Kill Tag, sign it, and keep the Kill Tag with the animal until it is brought to a check station or 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.
In 2009, 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 18-21) must be brought to a check station. A listing of deer check stations is available on the DEP's website, 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. Hunters using Landowner Permits must also use the same tagging and reporting procedure. However, as in the past, they are not required to bring their deer to a check station.
Hunters with internet access may find that submitting their kill reports on the DEP website is easier than using the telephone reporting system. The telephone reporting system uses an automated attendant that prompts the user to answer a series of questions by pressing the appropriate numbered responses. On the website, hunters can answer questions by using convenient drop-down menus. Other advantages of using the internet to report is that hunters can review reports they have previously submitted and print out copies of these reports for their records.
Kill Tags and instructions on using the new reporting systems are on the DEP website www.ct.gov/dep/hunting. The DEP recognizes that it may take time for some hunters to adapt to the new system, but hopefully they will soon benefit from its convenience.