Connecticut Game Bird Hunting Laws and Regulations

Permission and Regulations for Small Game Hunting

Required Permission for Private Land Hunting

  • Verbal Consent: Hunters must obtain verbal permission from the landowner before hunting small game on private land.

Season-Specific Laws and Regulations

Each hunting season comes with its own set of laws and associated costs. Hunters are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these regulations:

  • Resident Game Birds: Includes species that are non-migratory and found within the state.
  • Migratory Game Birds: Comprises bird species that migrate through or reside part of the year in the state.
  • Small Mammals: Refers to small-sized game such as squirrels, rabbits, and others.
  • Furbearer Hunting: Pertains to the hunting of animals valued for their fur, such as foxes, raccoons, and similar species.

Licensing and Permits

  • Costs: Detailed information regarding license and permit costs necessary to hunt these categories of small game is provided.

Resources for Aspiring and Returning Hunters

  • Small Game Hunting Roadmap: A guide designed to assist those who are either new to small game hunting or looking to re-engage with the sport.

By ensuring comprehension and adherence to specific season regulations and obtaining the proper permissions, hunters contribute to the ethical pursuit of small game hunting, thereby supporting wildlife management efforts across the state.

Resident Game Bird Hunting Seasons and Requirements

Overview of Species and Seasons

Hunting seasons for various resident game birds in the state:

  • Pheasant:
    • Jan. 1 - Feb. 28
    • Oct. 15 - Dec. 31
  • Ruffed Grouse:
    • Oct. 15 - Nov. 30
  • Quail:
    • Oct. 15 - Oct. 31
  • Chukar and Hungarian Partridge:
    • Jan. 1 - Feb. 28
    • Oct. 15 - Dec. 31

Bag Limits per Species

  • Pheasant:
    • Daily Limit: 2
    • Season Limit: 10
  • Ruffed Grouse:
    • Daily Limit: 1
    • Season Limit: 8
  • Quail:
    • Daily Limit: 2
    • Season Limit: 10
  • Chukar and Hungarian Partridge:
    • Daily Limit: 2
    • Season Limit: 10

Hunting Hours

  • Permitted from half-hour before sunrise until half-hour after sunset.

Licensing Requirements

  • License Types: Either a Firearms or Archery Hunting License.
  • Conservation Stamp: A Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp is also required.

Special Conditions and Opportunities

  • Extended Quail Season: At specific areas like Nod Brook WMA, and other Field Trial Areas, extended hunting from Jan. 1 - Feb. 28 and Oct. 15 - Dec. 31 is allowed.
  • Landowner Stamp: Landowners hunting on their own land need the Free Landowner Resident Game Bird Stamp and must adhere to daily and season limits.
  • Junior Pheasant Hunter Training Day: On October 8, 2022, local clubs will host training events. Additionally, "Hunt on Your Own" days at state-owned locations are for junior hunters with adult supervision.
  • Grouse Hunter Log: All grouse hunters are encouraged to report their hunts, regardless of the outcome.

For a successful and lawful hunting experience, hunters must respect these seasons, bag limits, and license requirements, and they are encouraged to take advantage of special hunting programs and reporting practices.

Saturday Pheasant and Small Game Hunting Permit Requirements

Mandatory Permits for Select Areas

  • Permit Requirement Dates: October 15 - November 12, 2022.
  • Applicability: All hunters aiming to hunt pheasants or small game on Saturdays at certain locations.

Hunting Time Slots and Stocking

  • Available Periods:
    • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
    • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Stocking Schedule: These areas will be replenished with game on Saturday mornings and before each hunting shift.

Reservation and Check-in Procedures

  • Reservation Limit: Hunters can make up to three reservations for the Saturday permits.
  • Cancellation Policy: No cancellations once a reservation is made.
  • Check-in: All hunters must check in with on-site staff upon arrival.

Regulations for Junior Hunters

  • Junior Hunting: Permit holders may bring one junior hunter without a separate permit.
  • Adult Guests: The permit holder cannot bring an adult guest; this privilege is exclusive to junior hunters.

Hunting Without Permits

  • Post-Permit Hunting: Areas become open for hunting without permits after 3:30 PM.

Acquiring Permits

  • Booking Start Time: Reservations open on the Monday before the Saturday hunt at 7:00 AM.
  • Online System: Permits can be reserved via the Online Outdoor Licensing System.
    • Device Tip: When accessing via mobile, switch to desktop view to complete the application process.
  • Pheasant Hunting Info: Additional details available on the Pheasant Hunting webpage.

Special Areas for Saturday Hunting

  • NU-Skiff Mountain Cooperative Area
  • Naugatuck State Forest (Hunter's Mountain Block)
  • Simsbury WMA
  • Durham Meadows WMA

Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons

HIP Permit Updates

  • Third-Party Vendors: Changes have been made to HIP permits purchased through third-party vendors. Hunters should learn how these alterations may impact them.
  • DEEP's System: No changes apply to HIP permits obtained directly from DEEP's Online Outdoor Licensing System.

Resources for Migratory Bird Hunters

  • Waterfowl Hunting Roadmap: Available for beginners or those returning to migratory bird hunting, offering guidance to get started.

Adherence to the permit system and understanding the updated regulations are crucial for hunters seeking to engage in Saturday pheasant and small game hunting as well as migratory bird hunting seasons. These measures ensure proper wildlife management and a fair opportunity for all participants.

Crow Hunting Season Dates and Regulations

Season Schedule (Days Applicable)

  • January 8 - March 26: Monday through Saturday
  • August 13 - October 7: Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
  • October 15 - November 30: Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday

Bag Limit

  • Crows: There is no bag limit for crows.

Permitted Hunting Hours

  • Hunters may hunt from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset.

Licensing Requirements for Crow Hunting

  • License Types Needed: A Firearms or Archery Hunting License is required.
  • Conservation Stamp: Additionally, a Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp must be obtained.

Legal Firearms

  • Specific firearms may be used for crow hunting as outlined by Connecticut hunting regulations.

Special Conditions for Crow Hunters

  • Stationary Hunting: Hunters positioned stationary are not required to wear fluorescent orange clothing.
  • Federal Laws Compliance: In addition to state laws, crow hunters must adhere to all relevant Federal Laws and Regulations regarding migratory birds.

Crow hunters must ensure they are compliant with both state and federal hunting regulations, possess the necessary licenses and stamps, and follow the prescribed hunting days and hours to legally participate in crow hunting seasons.

Hunting Seasons for Woodcock, Snipe, and Rail

Seasonal Information

  • Species Covered: The hunting seasons apply to Woodcock, Snipe, Rails, Coot, and Crows.
  • Season Dates Reference: Hunters should consult the current Migratory Bird Hunting Guide for specific season dates.

Licensing Requirements

  • License Types Needed: A Firearms or Archery Hunting License is required to hunt these species.
  • Conservation Stamp: A Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp must also be obtained.

Ammunition Regulations

  • Non-toxic Shot: Use of non-toxic shot is mandated for hunting coot and rail species.
  • Shot Size Restrictions: The largest permissible shot size is BB for steel shot, and size #2 for other types of federally approved non-toxic shot.

Special Considerations

  • Legal Firearms: Specific firearms deemed legal for hunting these bird species must be used, as outlined in Connecticut hunting regulations.
  • Federal Compliance: In addition to adhering to state laws, migratory bird hunters are also subject to all Federal Laws and Regulations concerning the hunting of these species.

Hunters targeting Woodcock, Snipe, Rails, Coot, and Crows must ensure compliance with licensing requirements, the use of non-toxic ammunition, and are advised

Waterfowl Hunting in Connecticut: Regulations Overview

Target Species

Hunters can pursue various waterfowl species including Ducks, Mergansers, Geese, and Brant.

Season Dates

For specific hunting season dates, consult the latest Migratory Bird Hunting Guide.

Licensing Requirements

Hunters must have a Firearms or Archery Hunting License and the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. Hunters aged 12-15 are also required to obtain this stamp. Additionally, for those 16 and over, a signed Federal Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp is mandatory.

Legal Firearms Usage

Only shotguns may be used for hunting waterfowl. Capacity regulations for shotguns are detailed in the Migratory Bird Hunting Guide.

Specialty Regulations and Conditions for Waterfowl Hunting

  • Non-toxic Shot Requirement: When hunting, use only non-toxic shots. The maximum permitted shot size is BB for steel shot and #2 for other approved non-toxic shot types.
  • Prohibition of Lead Shot: Possessing lead shot is illegal during waterfowl hunting.
  • Adherence to Federal Laws: State regulations are supplemented by federal laws including those governing legal shooting hours, which conclude at sunset.
  • No Hunting Buffer Zone: A 250-foot no hunting buffer zone around permanent buildings must be observed when hunting in tidal areas from land or floating blinds.
  • Fluorescent Orange Clothing Exemption: Fluorescent orange clothing is not required for waterfowl hunters operating from boats or stationary positions.

Junior Waterfowl Hunter Training Days

Information about training days for junior hunters will be published in the upcoming Migratory Bird Hunting Guide slated for release in the summer 2022.

Wild Advisor Pro


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.