Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced today that bow hunting on Sundays during the private land archery deer season will be permitted in most deer management zones in the state — except for those in north central Connecticut. Wilton is in Zone 11, where Sunday hunting will be allowed.
“This new opportunity for hunters will support DEEP efforts to maintain healthy deer populations and ecosystems,” said Rick Jacobson, DEEP Wildlife Division director. “When the density of the deer population in a given area is too high — as it is in much of the state — it is not healthy for deer, other species, or forest lands.”
Sunday hunting is made possible by a new law passed by the General Assembly earlier this year. Public Act 15-204 authorizes DEEP to establish a season for Sunday bow hunting on private properties during the fall archery season in areas of the state with an overpopulation of deer. The law also requires all such hunting must take place at least 40 yards from blazed hiking trails. As with all deer or turkey hunting on private lands, hunters must have written permission from the land owner.
Sunday hunting will go into effect Oct. 1, about two weeks into this year’s fall archery deer season, which runs from Sept. 15 through Dec. 31 in most zones, and through the end of January 2016 in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12, which include communities along Long Island Sound.
“Our efforts have focused on increasing harvest of antlerless deer, coordinating controlled hunts for overabundant deer herds, and assisting communities and large landowners with deer management issues,” said Andrew LaBonte, a Wildlife Division biologist with Connecticut’s Deer Program. “Permitting hunting on Sundays is just one more tool to aid in those management efforts.”
Sunday hunting is expected to increase — by a small percentage — the current annual harvest of about 10,000 to 13,000 deer for all hunting seasons.
Hunters are reminded that all deer harvested must be reported through DEEP’s online harvest (https://www.ct.wildlifelicense.com/HunterReporting/Login.aspx) or telephone reporting system (1-877-337-4868).
Information on hunting seasons — including Sunday bow hunting on private lands — can be found at ct.gov/deep/hunting. The new Sunday bow hunting opportunity will not be reflected in the printed 2016 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, as that guide was produced before the new law was approved.