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This Saturday, Oct. 19, marks the beginning of another Connecticut upland game season.
Leading the list of sought-after game birds will be the ring-necked pheasant (Oct. 19-Dec. 31, daily limit 2, season limit 10) and ruffed grouse (Oct. 19-Nov. 30, daily limit 1, season 8).
Also on the “wild game to be hunted” menu are quail (Oct. 2-Nov. 2, daily limit 2, season 10).
Chukar and Hungarian partridge are also fair game for the opening day of upland season, with a daily bag limit of 2 and a season bag limit of 10. Their season runs until Dec. 31.
Over the years finding places to hunt has become rather limited, but there are quite a bit of state properties available if you take the time to look them up. Pages 37-43 of the 2019 CT Hunting and Trapping Guide will give you all of the information you need to find places to hunt, including permit-required land and public land.
Hunters should also be aware that certain areas require AM/PM Saturday pheasant hunting permits and are required from Oct. 19 to Nov. 16. Areas include Cromwell Meadows WMA, Durham Meadows WMA and Simsbury WMA.
Obtain permits online at www.ct.gov/deep/Sportsmenlicensing.
When hunting, regardless if you are on public, private or permit-required lands, ignorance of the law is not an excuse for you to do something unlawful. Regardless if you are on state land or private land, boundaries are just that — boundaries — and should be respected or you are breaking the law.
Every year I urge those that are going out into our great outdoors to hunt, trap or fish to check the appropriate guides to make sure that they are legal. Saying “I didn’t know” is not going to get you anywhere if you break the law.
Some areas are posted “Permit Required.” These are generally lands under the guidance of an area Rod & Gun Club.
This means that the club is purchasing some of the pheasants going on that property as well as some of the pheasants being stocked by the state. If the clubs did not purchase and release the pheasants, there would be none to hunt.
Page 37 of the 2019 CT Hunting and Trapping Guide will give you a list of permit-required areas, the clubs that regulate them and where to get your daily permit.
All upland game hunters are required by law to wear fluorescent orange (400 square inches) above the waist from Sept. 1 to the last day in February. This also includes deer hunters hunting with crop damage permits.
While there are still some who think wearing fluorescent orange is not for them, it is the safe thing to do even if you are not a hunter. In fact, I am surprised more folks don’t wear it in the evening when they are walking the roads in our city.
There are exceptions to the fluorescent orange requirement, such as archery hunters from Sept. 15 to Nov. 19 and Jan. 1-31.
Between Nov. 20 and Dec. 31, archery deer hunters may remove fluorescent orange when hunting from an elevated stand at least 10 feet off the ground. Landowners hunting deer only on their own property are exempt, but their family members are still required to wear fluorescent orange.
There are also a few more exemptions listed on page 14 of your 2019 CT Hunting and Trapping Guide. Please take the time to read the guide. It is that important.
Salmon and trout are now being stocked in Connecticut waters.
Atlantic salmon have been stocked into the broodstock area of the Shetucket River (113 fish) and both the upper and lower broodstock areas of the Naugatuck River (56 in each).
A second stocking of salmon was held on both rivers Oct. 11-12, with 113 salmon going into the upper and lower Naugatuck River areas and 112 going into the Shetucket.
These fish are 2-to-5 pounds. Anglers are reminded that Atlantic salmon in the Shetucket, Naugatuck and Housatonic rivers are catch-and-release only until Dec. 15.
Locally, Marty Loos tells me that Black Pond has been stocked with some really nice rainbow trout. This is part of the DEEP Inland Fisheries fall stocking program.
Other waters stocked in the western district besides Black Pond were Congamond Lake, Stillwater Pond, West Hill Pond, West Side Pond, Squantz Pond, Tyler Pond and Mount Tom Pond.
Lakes and ponds stocked with trout on the Eastern side of Connecticut include Wauregan Reservoir, Bigelow Pond, Crystal Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Gardner Lake, Rogers Lake, Roseland Lake, Cedar Lake and Lake Quonnipaug.
Also, some trout parks have been stocked, including Mohegan Park Pond, Day Pond, Chatfield Hollow (Schreeder Pond only), Black Rock Pond, Stratton Brook, Wharton Brook and Wolfe Park’s Great Hollow Pond.
A note to paddlers: It is mandatory that ALL paddlers wear a PFD from October to May.
The public is invited to the Meriden Rod & Gun Club’s annual Cast & Blast this Saturday, Oct. 20, to usher in the arrival of fall and the departure of summer.
The event features all kinds of food. The trout pond will be open as well as the archery range and the firing range (proper pistol permits required). The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Meriden Rod & Gun Club grounds at 12 Ravens Lane, South Meriden. The trout pond opens at 10 a.m., the firing range at 11 a.m. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 for children ages 8 to 14.
See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be serving this great country of ours.