Connecticut Hunting Laws

Connecticut Hunting Laws

Open season is just a few weeks away for most of the US. It's an exciting time of year for veteran hunters and beginners alike. But before heading out to your first hunt in the Land of Steady Habits, make sure you're familiar with Connecticut hunting laws and regulations.

Most seasoned hunters may be well aware that hunting laws evolve almost on a yearly basis. The governments’ main objective is to address public safety for the benefit of the hunter and the hunted.

Hunters Must Know Connecticut Hunting Laws

It's a must to keep up to date on Connecticut hunting laws and regulations before heading out to your first hunt. Studying your state's (or any state's) hunting laws might be a bit time consuming, and we know you're impatient to get out there and start shooting. But breaking the law and having to pay a fine can put a serious damper on your hunting season.

Keep reading to learn about Connecticut hunting laws including dates, which animals you’re allowed to hunt, which weapon you're allowed to use, how to get a hunting license, and much more.

1. Deer Hunting Season

Connecticut Hunting Laws | Deer Hunting


  • Private Lands (Zones 11–12):  Jan. 1 – Jan. 31
  • Private Lands (All Zones):  Sept. 15 – Dec. 31
  • State Land:  Sept. 15 – Nov. 15; Dec. 21 – Dec. 31
  • State Land Bowhunting Only Areas: Sept. 15 – Dec. 31

Bag Limits: 4 deer = 2 deer either sex and 2 antlerless

Additional Bag Limit (on private lands in Zones 11 & 12 during Jan 1 – 31): 2 deer = 1 either sex and 1 antlerless


  • Private Land:  December 7 – December 31
    • Bag Limit: 2 deer (1 either sex and 1 antlerless)
    • Additional Antlerless: Zone 7 = 1 deer
    • Additional Antlerless: Zones 11 & 12 = 2 deer
  • State Land: December 7 – December 20
    • Bag Limit: 1 deer (either sex)

Free Landowner: November 1 – December 31

  • For persons owning 10 or more acres of land
    • Bag Limit: 2 deer (1 either sex and 1 antlerless)

For more detailed hunting season dates, please click here.

Firearms Hunting

Legal Firearms:

  • Shotgun:
    • 12, 16, or 20 gauge loaded with single soft alloy projectile ammunition.
    • Rifled or smoothbore barrels allowed.
  • Centerfire  rifles:
    • 6mm (.243 caliber) or larger.
  • Handgun revolver:
    • .357 caliber or larger
  • Muzzleloader:
    • Rifle or shotgun
    • .45 caliber or larger
    • Single projectile loaded from the muzzle end
    • Telescopic sights and shotgun converters are allowed

Legal Bows:

  • Longbows; recurved bows or compound bows
    • With a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds
  •  Crossbows
    • Minimum draw weight of 125 lbs.
    • Permanent fixed rifle type stock with a functional mechanical safety device.
    • Adjustable stocks are allowed but, folding stocks aren't.
    • Bolt length = at least 18 inches excluding broadhead
    • Telescopic sights are permitted.
  • Mechanical string releases are permitted
  • Arrowheads minimum width of 7/8 inches at its widest with at least 2 blades

The use of rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, handguns, and high-velocity air guns are subject to certain restrictions for any holder of valid firearms hunting license. Learn a lot on the sites' FAQ‘s.

For more details on hunting laws and regulations, click here.

2. Duck Hunting Seasons

Connecticut Hunting Laws | Duck Hunting

Ducks and Mergansers:

  • Early Season:
    • NORTH ZONE – October 8 to October 15
    • SOUTH ZONE – October 8 to October 11

Daily Bag Limit: 6 ducks

Possession Limit: 18 ducks

  • Late Season:
    • NORTH ZONE – November 10 to January 10
    • SOUTH ZONE – November 16 to January 20

Bag Limit: 6 ducks

Possession Limit: 18 ducks

Sea Ducks (Scoter, Oldsquaw, Eider):

  • South Zone:
    • November 12 – January 20

Bag Limit: 5 ducks

Possession Limit: 15 ducks

For other details such as sea ducks hunting seasons, new legislative acts and more, click here.

Federal Regulations & Restrictions

Unless specifically authorized for a special season, no person shall take migratory game birds:

  • With a trap, snare, net, crossbow, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10-gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fishhook, poison, drug, explosive or stupefying substance.
  • With a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler which is incapable of removal without disassembling the gun.

For more specific details on the manner of taking of migratory birds and more, click here.

3. Turkey Hunting Seasons

Connecticut Hunting Laws | Turkey Hunting
  • Spring Season:
    • April 27 – May 28
    • Bag Limit:
      • State Land: 2 Bearded birds
      • Private Land: 3 Bearded birds
  • Fall Season Archery:
    • January 1 – 30 (Private Land Zones 11-12)
    • September 15 – December 31 (Private Land All Zones & State Land Bowhunting Areas Only)
    • December 21 -31 (State Land)
    • Bag Limit: 2 either sex

For full hunting season calendar and other game species seasons, on state land and firearms, click here.

Firearms Hunting

Connecticut Hunting Laws | Firearms Hunting

Legal Bows and Arrows:

  • Long, recurved, or compound bows:
    • Must have a minimum draw weight of 40 lbs.
    • Mechanical string release devices are allowed.
    • Projectiles should not be with any drug, poison or tranquilizing substance.
  • Crossbows:
    • Must have a minimum draw weight of 125 lbs.
    • Permanent fixed rifle type stock.
    • With a functional mechanical safety device.
    • Adjustable stocks are allowed but not folding ones.
    • Bolt length = 18 inches excluding broadhead.
    • Telescopic sights are allowed.
  • Arrowheads:
    • Must have a minimum of 2 blades
    • Must be at least 7/8 inches wide at its widest point
    • designed to open on impact are legal provided they meet the aforementioned requirement.

The use of rifles or handguns except crows is prohibited.

For specifics on rifles, handguns, shotguns, muzzleloaders and more, click here (page 12).

License Information

Connecticut Hunting Laws | License Information

The acquiring of a hunting license and various hunting permits for turkey may be quite meticulous but will surely be worth all the effort. You can read up on the state's requirements and processes for permits by clicking here.


Watch this Giant 165″ Marsh Buck | Public Land WI video by Behind the Bow, where he leads us back to the roots of why we go hunting in the first place.

So there you have it: a short, but detailed overview of the Connecticut hunting laws. I must advise my fellow hunters out there to always follow the law for your own good. For those visiting Connecticut, please consult with your local hunting authorities on the permits/registrations on what you need to do before heading out on the hunt.

As long as you are knowledgeable with the hunting laws in the state of Connecticut and abide by them to the letter, you and your hunting buddies will surely enjoy every minute of hunting.

Hunt safe and hunt proud!

Other states apply different laws and if you want to know about them, just click here to know more.

3 Responses to :
Connecticut Hunting Laws

  1. David R Mayers says:

    I am interested in knowing and obeying the laws about hunting for survival in the wilderness

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