Hunting in Barn Island, CT

by Becky Lower

Barn Island is in Connecticut, near the town of Stonington, a typical small New England town situated between Boston and New York City. In the extreme southeast corner of Connecticut, Barn Island is the state's largest coastal property for wildlife conservation and was established in 1944. It is open to the public for hunting at certain times of the year. The terrain includes open fields, a forest of mixed hardwoods, hilly uplands, and salt and freshwater wetlands.

Pheasant Hunting

Pheasants are stocked in Barn Island in limited numbers during mid-November. The Department of Environmental Protection purchases pheasants based on the number of pheasant stamps and tags that hunters purchased; for example, 445 pheasants were stocked in Barn Island in 2010. A hunter must have both a hunter's license and pheasant tags, which come by mail. Allow two weeks from purchase for delivery of these tags. Pheasant tags are sold in a series of 10. The 2011 price for pheasant tags was $28. The daily bag limit is two per day, with a limit of 10 for the entire season. The 300 acres of Barn Island are open for pheasant hunting from the third Saturday in October until Thanksgiving.

Deer Hunting

In addition to a valid hunting license, hunters need a special permit to hunt deer. Connecticut's online Sportsmen Licensing System, as well as local sporting goods stores or town clerks' offices, provide these permits for purchase online. A hunter needs a special license for bow-hunting deer. Deer season in Barn Island begins for bow hunters in mid-September and runs until November 15, then again during the last 10 days of the year. Muzzleloader season runs from December 7 to 20, and open season is from mid-November until early December. Permits are marked into two groups, A and B, and the days of the hunt vary depending on which group your permit falls into.

Wild Turkey Hunts

Hunters must purchase special permits and tags for both fall and spring turkey hunting seasons. Spring turkey season runs from late April to late May and limits hunters to two bearded birds per season. Fall turkey hunting begins in mid-September and runs through the end of the year. The bag limit is two of either sex of bird.

Other Licensing Requirements

Hunters must purchase special permits and tags to hunt with hounds, trap small game and hunt other migratory birds. The Connecticut Guide to Hunting and Trapping is available at town halls and on their website. Hunters must wear fluroescent orange during the season. Permits range in price from $19 to $84 for residents (2011 prices), more for out-of-state hunters, and less for juniors and senior hunters.

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