FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Hunters dressed in bright orange will descend on woods and fields across Connecticut as the state firearms hunting season for deer officially opens on Wednesday, Nov. 15.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recommends the use of a regulated and controlled hunt to control the deer population in Connecticut.
Deer have few natural predators, and their population can double in size in two years, DEEP said. High deer populations can damage forest habitats and gardens, and they pose a threat to motorists on Connecticut roadways.
"The Wildlife Division recommends the use of regulated and controlled hunts to effectively and efficiently reduce and maintain deer populations in balance with cultural and habitat carrying capacities," DEEP said.
With the new season underway, Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police are offering the following reminders and rules to keep everyone safe this season:
- Assume all firearms are loaded.
- Control the muzzle and keep it pointed in a safe direction.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
- Be sure of the target and what lies beyond.
- When you plan to spend time outdoors, let someone know where you are going and when you will return.
- Familiarize yourself with the area where you plan to go and know the activities that occur there.
- Wear brightly colored clothing. A fluorescent orange vest and/or hat is recommended.
- If you see another person while in the woods, whether a hiker, hunter, biker or horseback rider, call out to them to make them aware of your location.
- Respect property rights. Remember, all users are required to obtain permission from the owner before entering private property. For many hunters, written permission must be carried while on private property.
- Hunting is allowed on private lands and on most state forests and wildlife management areas, and some state parks.
The season on private land for shotgun/rifle deer hunters runs through Dec. 5.
State land hunters have different hunting permits, “A” or “B” seasons. “A” season permit holders may hunt on state land from from Nov. 15 to Nov. 24, and “B” season permit hunters from Nov. 25 to Dec. 5. Bag limit is one deer, either sex, for both season permits.
And before the hunters head out, officials say don’t forget your:
- hunting license
- private land/ state land deer permit
- deer harvest tags
- a pen to fill out harvest tags
- private land consent forms (completely filled out)
- 400 square inches of blaze orange clothing
- a harness if hunting from an elevated tree stand
For more information on Connecticut's hunting laws please, visit www.ct.gov/deep/hunting
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