Connecticut Turkey Season Opens May 6th

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The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds outdoorsmen and women that the 2009 Connecticut spring wild turkey hunting season will run from May 6-30. This year will mark the 29th year that sportsmen have hunted turkeys in Connecticut during the modern era. The statewide turkey population is estimated at approximately 35,000 birds. Last spring, 6,617 hunters took 1,558 bearded turkeys.

"During the past 25 years, spring turkey hunting has become an activity that many look forward to on an annual basis. Connecticut has some of the finest turkey hunting in New England," said Michael Gregonis, a Deer/Turkey Program biologist for the DEP Wildlife Division.

During the 2009 spring season, two bearded turkeys may be taken on state land or three on private land. Hunting is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise until noon each day. All turkeys harvested must be tagged immediately and reported to the DEP on mandatory report cards within 24 hours. Wild turkeys are abundant throughout the majority of Connecticut's woodlands.

As you head outdoors this spring, DEP hunting safety experts recommend the following safety precautions:

  • * Become familiar with two or more areas to hunt, so if someone is already hunting in one of those areas, you can move to another site.
  • * If another hunter is encountered in the woods, remain still and speak in a loud clear voice to announce your presence.
  • * Eliminate the colors red, white, and blue from your hunting outfit. These colors are associated with a gobbler's head and could be mistaken as such.
  • * Hunters must be sure of their target and what is beyond it, prior to taking a shot.

"Common sense and patience are required for maintaining a safe hunting experience and harvesting a gobbler," added Gregonis. "Spring turkey hunting requires preparation. Scouting, calling, and hunting techniques unique to this effort can be learned by attending seminars, reading articles, watching videos, and talking with experienced turkey hunters."

Turkey hunters who hunt on private land are reminded that written landowner permission, on forms provided by the DEP, is required. Hunters may obtain only one permit type during the spring season. State land no-lottery or private land permits may be purchased by following instructions in the 2009 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, which is available at town clerk offices and some DEP offices. The hunting guide also can be accessed on the DEP's website Permits may also be purchased over the counter at the DEP Licensing and Revenue Office, 79 Elm Street, Hartford.