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Hunting in Connecticut: 3 Invasive Species and the State's Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 01:29 PM

Over the years, several types of animals have found a new home in Connecticut due to changing habitats or human interaction. Hunters can help control these invasive species, but there are still rules to follow.

Here are three invasive species to Connecticut and the regulations for hunting them.

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1. Coyote
Coyotes originated in the Western and Midwestern U.S. but have spread throughout the country over the last century. Unlike many other species, coyotes are able to adapt to many different environments and can live happily in close proximity to humans. This fact accounts in part for their spread throughout the country and Connecticut. Coyotes have become problematic in that, as opportunistic hunters, they are known to hunt family pets left unattended outside, and fears about their potential to harm small children are growing.

In 2015, the hunting season for coyotes in Connecticut ran from Jan. 1 to April 28 and continues from June 1 to Dec. 31. The gap in the season aligns with coyotes' mating season. According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, there is no daily or seasonal limit to the number of coyotes one can hunt. However, any coyotes hunted must be reported online or by telephone or must be pelt-tagged. Beyond this, no special conditions or permits are required except those for the weapons used.

2. Eastern Cottontail
Introduced into New England in the late 1800s, the Eastern cottontail has been vying with Connecticut’s only native rabbit species, the New England cottontail, for more than a century. The New England cottontails have not been the more abundant species since the 1930s. As agricultural areas in Connecticut have changed back to forests, Eastern cottontails became the more prevalent species. This is due in part to the fact that, according to National Geographic, cottontails reach sexual maturity in just two to three months of being born, so populations are able to grow very rapidly.

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The hunting season for Eastern cottontails ran the first two months of 2015 and will be oepn again from Oct. 17 to Dec. 31. Hunters are limited to three kills per day and 25 for the entire season. There are no special conditions or permits for hunting cottontails beyond having the proper documentation for any weapons used while hunting.

3. Virginia Opossum

According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found in Connecticut. Though it is one of the oldest mammal species in the world — it originated during the time of the dinosaurs — the opossum has only been in Connecticut since the early 1900s, having crossed into the state after expanding from the southeastern part of the country.

There is no limit on the number of opossums one can hunt on a daily or seasonal level. The  2015 season in Connecticut spans from Oct. 17 to Jan. 17. Certain weapons cannot be used to hunt them at night, and car lights cannot be the light source.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Over the years, several types of animals have found a new home in Connecticut due to changing habitats or human interaction. Hunters can help control these invasive species, but there are still rules to follow.
hunting, connecticut, invasive species, rules
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2015-29-20
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 01:29 PM
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