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WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Bowhunter season fast approaching

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Bowhunter season fast approaching


Less than a month to go. Whew, where does the time go? I’m talking of course about the coming archery season Sept. 15 for whitetail deer and a chance to Harvest a wild turkey with a bow or crossbow.

From where I sit it looks like the crossbow has brought a lot more hunters into the archery season.

Being allowed to use a crossbow for hunting deer in Connecticut has made it easier for handicapped hunters and I for one can vouch for this although I no longer archery hunt.

I had a hard time pulling back the string of my bow and thought that I would have to give up the sport, but the CT DEEP came through, allowing the use of crossbows and I was able to continue my archery hunting for deer for a couple of more years.

However, age has taken its toll on this old body and my hunting and fishing outings have become limited, but not the memories and joy I experienced over the years in my many outdoor forays.

On Sept. 15 will see the beginning of another archery season for deer here in Connecticut.

So much has changed since I first started to hunt deer in the archery season. Climbing deer stands were just coming into the hunting picture and many hunters made their own permanent deer stands by building them in trees.

This did cause some hard feelings on land where the owners did not want anyone banging nails in the trees on their property and there were other owners who had no problem with this practice.

After a bad incident with a climbing deer stand, I began using a ladder stand and over the years they worked very well for me. However, when using a ladder stand you wanted to have it in place well before the season opener so any deer in the area would get used to it. When archery hunting, you also had to make sure that you had “shooting lanes” (lanes cleared of any brush, tree limbs or other obstacles that would deflect your arrow).

Today, trail cameras have become the vogue and have in many cases made deer hunting a heck of a lot easier. Me, I’m from the old school and chose to spend my time in my chosen deer stand and hope and wait for my chance to harvest a whitetail deer. Over the year I did quite well.

If you are an archery deer hunter and are new to the sport, now is a good time to spend some time in the woods or other land that you intend to hunt. It’s called “scouting” and if done properly will result in you seeing deer more often.

Another method for hunting deer is the use of ground blinds. These are usually I the form of a pop-up tent that is camouflaged and keeps the hunter on the ground. Many crossbow users I know prefer this type of hunting for their deer and some of the tales I hear of deer coming so close to these blinds they must be pretty good.

There is one dark spot on the use of a crossbow and that is that many newcomers think that because they are using a crossbow they do not have to practice with it. Nothing could be further from the truth. While a crossbow does help an archer, they should also be shot in practice sessions so that the user knows what they are doing.

Connecticut does offer a generous archery season for bowhunters. For those hunting on private land the season runs from Sept. 15, to Dec. 31 with a bag limit of 4 deer. Two of them can be either sex, and two of them must be antlerless.

Those hunting state lands dates are Sept. 15, to Nov. 15, and Dec. 21-31. These dates on state lands are split because of the firearms season for deer.

Hunting hours are from 1⁄2 hour before sunrise until sunset and this does mean sunset.

To hunt bowhunt deer in Connecticut you must have a Small Game and Deer Archery Permit. To get this you MUST show proof of completion of a bowhunting safety course or a previous bowhunting permit purchased in 2002 or later.

One of the special things about private land archery is the fact that you may hunt on private land on a Sunday, but you must have written permission from the landowner when you are hunting. Sunday archery hunting for deer is for private land only! Also know that this does not allow Sunday hunting for turkey or any other game animal!

All deer taken by archery should be immediately tagged with a signed harvest tag and that tag stays with the harvested deer until it is cut up for consumption.

Regarding the Sunday archery hunting on private land, this is open on all Deer Management Zones and hunters are reminded that their hunts must take place at least 40 yards away from a blazed hiking trail. It is also interesting to note that that there is no minimum acreage requirement for bowhunting.

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving our great country.