Connecticut is the Northeast’s sleeper for big bucks, offering great trophy opportunities again this year for deer hunters. Parts of southern and central Connecticut have dense human populations, and thus archery hunting is often the only legal and acceptable means of harvesting deer.
This suburban landscape creates a matrix of de facto whitetail sanctuaries, which allows bucks time to reach maturity - and that always means big antlers. Combine these factors with an extended bow season, high deer densities and liberal bag limits, and you have the makings for some great hunting opportunities.
Because of this, Fairfield and New Haven counties are proven to be Connecticut’s hotspots over the last decade, producing more trophy bucks between 1996 and 2005 than anywhere else in the state. Other parts of Connecticut, particularly along the state's western border with New York and the northwestern border with Massachusetts, are remote and rugged, and "hunt" more like a big woods environment. Here you can find quality habitat and relatively low hunting pressure. This region also has some of the state's largest public lands. Look there for trophy opportunities in Tolland and Litchfield Counties.
Deer season dates are staggered according to zones. But generally the state archery season runs Sept. 15-Jan. 31; shotgun season on state areas Nov. 28-Dec. 8; private land hunting with firearms Nov. 2-Dec. 31; muzzleloader season Dec. 9-31.