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WOODS ‘N’ WATER: This, too, shall pass; this, too, has changed

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: This, too, shall pass; this, too, has changed

What else can the year 2020 have in store for us?

So far, it has been a winter that wasn’t and now we are faced with the coronavirus that has everyone on edge.

Regarding the coronavirus, I must have missed something. What does it have to do with the empty toilet paper shelves?

Sad to say, this disease has had an effect on so many things in the sports world, but we will get through it.

Hopefully, it will not have an effect on the fishing season and the coming turkey season.

Speaking of which, there are some dramatic changes for 2020. I just got notice from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regarding some changes now in effect.

Any new regulations related to hunting are NOT in the printed version of the 2020 Connecticut Hunting & Trapping Guide. However, they ARE in the hunting guide information on the DEEP website.

The marine fishing regulations will be included in the 2020 Fishing Guide that should be available in late March.

Here are some of the changes for the 2020 hunting and trapping seasons:

■Turkey hunting: The bag limit for the spring wild turkey season has been changed to five bearded birds. The bag limit for the fall firearms turkey season has been changed to three turkeys of either sex.

It should also be noted that during the spring and fall firearms seasons, bag limits specific to private and state land no longer exist! Hunters may harvest a total of five bearded birds during the spring season and three of either sex birds during the fall season on private or state land, or both.

The bag limit for the fall archery season remains unchanged.

Another change that many turkey hunters will welcome is hunting hours for the spring wild turkey season are now half an hour before sunrise to sunset. Yes, you read that right!

Also, Opening Day hours for the small game and upland game bird hunting season are now half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset. Previously, hunting had to cease at sunset.

■Deer A & B Seasons: Lottery A and B deer seasons have been combined. Regardless of the permit (A or B Season) printed on a hunter’s license, he or she can hunt deer from November 18 through December 8.

This does not currently apply to the 2020 Deer Lottery areas because the lottery has already been conducted. The 2021 Connecticut Hunting & Trapping Guide will contain details regarding the 2021 Deer Lottery.

Also, regarding deer hunting “attractants,” the use of natural deer urine products is prohibited, particularly for the purpose of taking or attempting to take or attract deer or for the surveillance of scouting deer.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) can spread through exposure to infected deer urine. These new regulations safeguard Connecticut’s native deer population against the unnecessary risk of contracting CWD.

■Fisher trapping: The bag limit for the fisher trapping season has been reduced from 4 to 2. Trappers are required to submit fisher carcasses to the DEEP Wildlife Division for research purposes.

The carcasses can be frozen and submitted during one of the listed tagging dates or, if needed, by calling the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011 to arrange for a pick-up or drop-off date.

■Waterfowl & Migratory birds: One area of the Quinnipiac River and two areas of the West River in New Haven and Guilford are closed to hunting.

This information will be included in the 2020-2021 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide.

The Quinnipiac River will be closed to waterfowl hunting in New Haven from the Middletown Avenue Bridge south to the Amtrak Route 1 Bridge. There is no waterfowl hunting on the West River in West Haven between Route 1 and Route 322 (Kimberly Avenue).

■Stiped bass: No one can possess a striped bass less than 28 inches or greater than or equal to 35 inches measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail.

Any striped bass less than 28 inches or greater/ equal to 35 inches shall, without avoidable injury, be returned to the water.

■Bluefish: There once was a time when plundering schools of bluefish would invade the coastal waters of Connecticut and fishermen would plunder the schools, including the bluefish young (snapper blues).

Now we are paying for those over-harvests. The daily limit for all Bluefish has been reduced from 10 to 3!

Also, a new regulation prohibits the taking of red-spotted newts because they have been documented to be extremely susceptible to an emerging disease.

Another new regulation prohibits the release of butterflies in any life stage. The commercial market for butterflies has resulted in many species being raised by unregulated commercial interests, resulting in disease and parasite transmission to Connecticut’s native population.

The release of butterflies far from their native point of origin results in unsuitable genetic mixing, a possible invasive species and altered distribution and migration.

It creates a market for collection from the wild for breeding stock, which is a particular concern with Monarch butterflies. This also alters the normal behavior of butterflies regarding migratory physiology, wintering ability and other natural behaviors that may affect the survival of the species.

St. Jude Day

The annual St. Jude Day event held at the Meriden Rod & Gun Club has been put on hold. The target date is now June 13.

See ya ’and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be.

serving this great country of ours.