Connecticut Fall Archery Deer And Turkey Seasons Open September 15

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The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds sportsmen that the 2006 fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey opens September 15. From September 15 to November 14 and December 20-30, bowhunters can pursue both deer and turkeys on state land and on private land where they have written permission of the landowner. Archery hunting for deer also is open from December 6-30 on private land in deer management zones 1 through 10 (refer to the 2006 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide for specific information on the location of deer management zones). In zone 11 (Fairfield County area) and zone 12 (Connecticut shoreline towns) archery hunters can hunt for deer from September 15, 2006 until January 31, 2007.

"The outlook for the 2006 hunting season is good, with an estimated statewide winter deer population of about 76,000 and a statewide turkey population of about 35,000," 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. Landowners should consider using the archery deer hunting season as a method of reducing deer populations, especially in the more developed areas of the state where firearms hunting may not be feasible."

Bowhunters are reminded that if they plan to hunt into January in zones 11 and 12, they will need to purchase a 2007 archery deer permit to take advantage of this extended season. All private land archery hunters, whether they are hunting deer or turkey, are required to carry a signed DEP consent form signed by the landowner and dated for the current season. Permit applications and the 2006 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide (which contains DEP consent forms) are available from town clerks' offices and some DEP offices. The guide and consent forms also can be accessed on the DEP's website at www.ct.gov/dep. Hunters also should consult the DEP website for an up-to-date listing of new state lands open to archery deer hunting.

Bowhunters also are reminded that they are required to have a bowhunter safety certificate before purchasing an archery deer permit. Information on dates and locations for bowhunter education courses offered by the DEP's Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Program can be obtained by calling the Wildlife Division offices at Franklin 860-642-7239 or Burlington 860-675-8130, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Bowhunters are encouraged to sign up for a course as soon as possible due to the limited number of courses being offered and the anticipated high demand for course openings.