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Connecticut Hunting Guide

Although Connecticut is smaller than many other states by land mass, it does present a diverse selection of hunting opportunities. Deer, turkey, and small game are all popular hunting species in Connecticut. The state also has a sizeable amount of hunter-friendly public land.

What to Hunt

Connecticut has a small, but diverse, selection of game species for hunters to enjoy.



Connecticut supports a sizeable population of Eastern turkeys. Connecticut has a bag limit of five bearded birds total between private and state land. Turkey may be shot with shotguns that are at least 20 gauge, and incapable of holding more than three shells. Bows must have a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds, and crossbows are permitted.

whitetail deer


Connecticut’s deer population has been growing slowly over the past several years. Although harvest numbers are often lower than some other states, Connecticut offers large amounts of land that is suitable for whitetail deer hunting. Connecticut has seasons to hunt deer using archery, shotguns, rifles, revolvers, and muzzleloaders. Deer may be hunted on state land and private land, with the landowner’s permission.



Connecticut offers a diverse selection of waterfowl for hunters to enjoy, including goose, snipe, woodcock, and black duck. The regulations for each species may vary, but most types of waterfowl can be found in abundance across Connecticut’s wetlands. Waterfowl must be hunted with a shotgun, which must have a total capacity of no more than three shells.


Small Game

Connecticut’s small game options include squirrels, hare, and rabbits. These can be found across the state, and season dates run through most months of the year.


Pheasant & Game Birds

Connecticut’s pheasant season usually runs January-February and October-December. There is a daily bag limit of 2, and a season bag limit of 10. Connecticut also offers several pheasant hunting opportunities for youth and junior hunters. Hunters may also take advantage of resident birds in Connecticut including ruffed grouse, quail, chukar, and Hungarian partridge. Migratory birds including crow, woodcock, snipe, and rail may also be hunted, primarily in the fall and winter. There is no bag limit on crows.

Other Connecticut game species include: Pheasant, Chukar and Hungarian Partridge, Ruffed Grouse, Quail, Crow, Gray Squirrel, Gray Cottontail Rabbit and European Hare, Snowshoe Hare, Woodchuck, Coyotes, Grey and Red Foxes, Raccoon and Opossum, etc. found in the "Hunting Seasons" section at bottom of the page

Where to Hunt

Connecticut offers a variety of public lands that are available for hunting. These areas can be found across the entire state, with slightly more density in the eastern part of the state.

Wildlife Management Areas

Although a relatively small part of the state is dedicated to public lands, there are small wildlife management areas throughout Connecticut. These provide a diverse set of hunting opportunities, including pheasant, deer, and waterfowl.

State Forests

Like WMAs, state forests are not especially abundant in Connecticut, but they do occur throughout the state. The Housatonic and Tunxis State Forests are particularly large, at over 10,000 acres each. Some of these areas are designated specifically for deer and/or turkey hunting throughout the year.

Other Public Access Areas

Connecticut offers a series of flood control areas and lakes for hunters to enjoy. These areas are small in total acreage, but support ample pheasant and small game hunting opportunities.

Licensing Fees

Any potential hunter must be at least 12 years old to hunt or purchase a firearms hunting license in Connecticut. Those age 12-15 must purchase a junior hunting license, and must be supervised by a licensed hunter over the age of 18. One licensed adult may not supervise more than two minors at the same time. Completion of a hunter’s education course is required prior to obtaining a license.

License Resident Nonresident
​Firearms Hunting ​$19.00 ​$91.00
​3-day Out-of-state (Non-resident) Bird Hunting ​--- ​$35.00
​Junior Firearms Hunting (Ages 12 to 15) ​$11.00 ​$11.00
​Age 65+ Annual Firearms Hunting License ​Free ​---
​Archery Deer/Small Game ​$41.00 ​$135.00
​Junior Archery Deer/Small Game (Ages 12 to 15) ​$10.00 ​$19.00
​Trapping ​$34.00 ​$250.00
​Resident 16- and 17-year-old Trapping ​$17.00 ​---
​Junior Trapping (Ages 15 and under) ​$11.00 ​---
​Age 65+ Annual Trapping License ​Free ​---

Hunter Education

A hunting license is required for all hunters in Connecticut. No hunting licenses will be issued to any person without a certificate indicating the completion of a hunter education course. A recognized equivalent course from out of state may be acceptable. Courses must be completed online with an accompanying field day to conclude the lessons. To become certified in hunting (with a firearm or a bow), a person must be at least 10 years of age.

Youth Hunting

Connecticut offers many options to support youth hunting. Several days and zones are designated as youth hunt days throughout the year. Junior hunting licenses are required for minors to hunt in Connecticut.

To obtain such a license, the licensee must complete a hunter education course.


Connecticut designates the following species as furbearing mammals: mink, muskrat, weasel, coyote, gray fox, red fox, raccoon, opossum, river otter, beaver, and skunk.

A trapping license is required to take any of these animals by way of trap. When trapping on state lands, an additional permit fee of $120 per trap applies.

Most furbearers may be trapped between November and March. There is a bag limit of 8 on river otters and 2 on fishers, but other furbearers have no bag limits.

Hunting Seasons

Game Season
Pheasant Jan 2 2023 - Feb 28 2023
Oct 21 2023 - Dec 30 2023
Chukar and Hungarian Partridge Jan 2 2023 - Feb 28 2023
Oct 21 2023 - Dec 30 2023
Ruffed Grouse Oct 21 2023 - Nov 30 2023
Quail Oct 21 2023 - Nov 4 2023
Crow Jan 14 2023 - Mar 25 2023
Aug 12 2023 - Oct 13 2023
Oct 21 2023 - Nov 30 2023
Spring Turkey* Apr 26 2023 - May 27 2023
Sep 15 2023 - Dec 30 2023
Jan 2 2024 - Jan 31 2024
Gray Squirrel Jan 2 2023 - Feb 28 2023
Sep 1 2023 - Dec 30 2023
Gray Cottontail Rabbit and European Hare Jan 2 2023 - Feb 28 2023
Oct 21 2023 - Dec 30 2023
Snowshoe Hare Jan 2 2023 - Jan 31 2023
Nov 18 2023 - Dec 30 2023
Woodchuck Mar 15 2023 - Nov 15 2023
Coyotes Jan 2 2023 - Dec 30 2023
Grey and Red Foxes Jan 2 2023 - Feb 28 2023
Oct 21 2023 - Dec 30 2023
Raccoon and Opossum Jan 2 2023 - Jan 21 2023
Oct 21 2023 - Dec 30 2023
Deer* Sep 15 2023 - Dec 30 2023

*Hunting dates for this species may vary by zone, method of take, or subspecies of animal. Visit the state’s website here to find out more.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information.