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Connecticut Hunting Outfitters & Guides
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HUNTING

 

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Connecticut Hunting Outfitters and Guides Deer Facts

The white-tailed deer is a stately, graceful animal distinguished by conspicuous ears, long legs, and narrow, pointed hooves. Adult males have spreading, branching antlers. The most noticeable feature is the tail, which is brown above and white underneath. When the animal is alarmed, the tail is raised high, revealing a white "flag" as the deer bounds off through the woods. White-tailed deer vary seasonally in coloration. Their summer coat is reddish-brown to tan and is composed of short, thin hairs. The winter coat is grayish-brown to gray, with long, thick hairs. Fawns are reddish-brown with white spots, which they lose when they are three to four months old, usually by the end of August in Connecticut. Farmers who are experiencing deer damage problems would be wise to encourage hunting on their property during the regulated deer seasons. The only practical way to control free-ranging deer herds in the state is by harvesting animals each year to help curb population expansion and maintain the deer herd at a level compatible with the habitat and farming interests. Because deer have a high reproductive potential and few natural predators, deer populations have the potential to increase rapidly. In the absence of significant mortality, deer populations can double in size in two years. High deer populations can significantly alter forested habitats reducing plant diversity and habitat suitability for other wildlife species. In addition, deer can impact flower and vegetable gardens, landscape plantings, and pose a threat to motorists on Connecticut roadways. The Wildlife Division recommends the use of regulated and controlled hunts to effectively and efficiently reduce and maintain deer populations in balance with cultural and habitat carrying capacities.


Connecticut Hunting Outfitters and Guides Moose Facts

With a growing moose population in neighboring Massachusetts and the propensity for moose to disperse over long distances, it was only a matter of time before a resident moose population became established in Connecticut. Moose are very large animals with long, slender, grayish-white legs. They may stand over 6 feet tall at the shoulders and can weigh up to 1,400 pounds. Females (cows) are smaller than males (bulls). On average, cows weigh 750 pounds while bulls weigh 1,000 pounds. Moose live in forests. They eat buds, twigs, and leaves from a variety of shrubs and trees, including birch, maple, and cherry. In spring and summer, moose may be found foraging for aquatic plants in wetlands. The moose’s breeding or “rutting” season begins in September. At this time, a bull’s neck swells and the bull feeds very little, often losing a considerable amount of weight. Both bulls and cows travel in search of a mate. Bulls can breed as yearlings but older bulls usually dominate breeding activities; cows breed at 1.5 years old. During the rut, sparring matches may occur between bulls as they defend their right to mate with a cow. These matches can be aggressive encounters, often resulting in injury and, sometimes, death. Bull moose make rut pits for use during courtship. The pits are dug with the front hoofs and then urinated into. Receptive cows often step into the pit and vocalize to the bull moose. Moose vocalizations include grunts, moans, and whines.


Connecticut Hunting Outfitters and Guides Bear Facts

Black bears are impressive animals. Even a long-distance glimpse of one foraging in a woodland is an unforgettable experience for most outdoor enthusiasts. However, glimpsing a bear in Connecticut was once unlikely because bears were extirpated from the state by the mid-1800s. Since then, bears have made a comeback. Their return is due, in part, to the regrowth of forestland throughout the region following the abandonment of farms during the late 1800s. The black bear is a stocky animal with short, thick legs. It is the smallest North American bear. In Connecticut, adult males, or boars, normally weigh from 150 to 450 pounds, while females, or sows, weigh from 110 to 250 pounds. Yearlings weigh 45 to 100 pounds. Adults are 5 to 6 feet long. The black bear's coat is typically glossy black or brownish black, except for the muzzle, which is tan. There is sometimes a small, white patch on the chest. In western North America some black bears are brown or cinnamon. Black bears have 5 toes with large claws on all feet. Bear tracks somewhat resemble human tracks, but the front feet are shorter than the rear. A bear’s tail is short, from 3 to 5 inches long. The sexes are similar in appearance, although males are usually larger. The black bear is an intelligent animal with keen senses of smell and hearing. It can detect the slightest aroma of food, which may lead the bear to campsites and near homes. Odor from carelessly stored food and garbage can lure bears long distances. Black bears travel and feed primarily at night, but can be active any time of the day. Climatic factors, such as drought, may result in a food shortage, causing bears to travel many miles in search of food. Black bears are generally shy and secretive and usually fearful of humans. However, if they regularly find food near houses and areas of human activity, they can lose their fear of humans. Unlike grizzly bears, black bears are seldom aggressive toward humans.


Connecticut Hunting Outfitters and Guides Turkey Facts

Wild turkey were abundant in Connecticut when the first settlers arrived. However, a combination of forest clearing and a series of severe winters eliminated the turkey from Connecticut by the early 1800s. From the 1950s through the early 1970s, attempts at wild turkey restoration through artificial propagation were largely unsuccessful. The major breakthrough in restoration efforts occurred when free-roaming wild turkey were live-captured and translocated using a rocket net. This large, lightweight net is fired by rockets from a remote blind and carried over turkey that have been attracted to the area by bait. The eastern wild turkey is a large, majestic bird. Adult males weigh anywhere between 15 and 25 pounds, and measure 48 inches. Adult females are smaller, weighing between 8 and 12 pounds and measuring 36 inches. Wild turkey inhabit a mixture of mature hardwood forests and open fields. They frequently forage in fields that border forestland. Wild turkey inhabit a mixture of mature hardwood forests and open fields. They frequently forage in fields that border forestland.
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