CONNECTICUT

Deer Forecast 2004 -- EAST

Outdoor Life Online Editor

In 2003, Connecticut sportsmen killed almost 12,000 deer, including a record 2,889 during archery season, from a herd estimated at about 76,000.

According to DEP Wildlife Division deer project leader Howard Kilpatrick, the archery take wasn't surprising, considering private-land hunters in the southern part of the state (specifically Deer Management Zones 11 and 12) could use bait and were given an extra month of hunting in January. This year, hunters can look forward to another good whitetail season. "In terms of new hunting opportunities, there are a lot," Kilpatrick notes.

The special baiting regulations remain in effect in the south, where whitetail numbers are higher than desired, while the DEP tries to build the population in DMZ 4a. In the rest of the state, herds appear to be fairly stable. DMZ 12's deer take increased significantly from 2002 to 2003, making it the state's hot spot.