3 BARE HILL ROAD,
GOSHEN, CT 06756
September 12, 2004
79 Elm St.,
Hartford, CT 06106
Re: Proposed Wildlife Regulation Changes 2004.
As President of the Northwest CT Sportsman’s Council I would
like to express the Council’s position, and several observations
to the proposed wildlife regulations for 2004. The proposed wildlife
regulation package for 2004 will receive the general support of
the Northwest Council. We find the proposals to be reasonable and
supportive of sound wildlife management. Several specific comments,
observations and questions follow:
• Sportsmen recognize the benefit of the State Duck
Stamp Program. Knowing that the proceeds of this program
will be used to benefit Connecticut wetlands and waterfowl,
acceptance of the fee increase is assured.
• Sportsmen recognize the need to keep dogs under
control on state wildlife lands and support the provisions
to accomplish this. However, we do not feel it is necessary
or advisable to mandate a specific leash length of seven
feet. It should be sufficient to state that dogs must be
on a leash and under the control of their owner or keeper.
• Sportsmen are supportive of the reduction in acreage
requirement to establish a private shooting preserve. We
wonder however, why there is a need to cap the maximum
allowable acreage at 1,000 acres. An explanation of this
cap would be appreciated.
• Sportsmen support the trapping proposals contained
in the regulation package. We suggest that the Bobcat be
added to the open trapping season, as is being done with
the Fisher in Section 22.
• Regarding Section 24. (a) (4) of Section 26-66-12:
Season and bag limit:
Under paragraph (4), which advances and lengthens the fall firearms
turkey season, we advocate the inclusion of a traditional muzzleloader
rifle component, as a pilot program, to the first week of this
This change would only require a simple re-wording of
the current proposal after the first sentence, which establishes
the new open season dates. We suggest a sentence be added
at this point to state the following:
The first week of which season will serve as a pilot program
to allow the use of traditional muzzle loading rifles and
replicas thereof; of traditional flintlock or percussion
ignition; of 36 caliber or less, utilizing a patched round
ball projectile and traditional sighting equipment typical
of the pre-1900 era.
The above pilot program should be appropriate for both
Private and State land hunting; however, private land only
would be acceptable to sportsmen if the Wildlife Division
determines that option is necessary.
Statement of Purpose:
Recognizing the relatively low hunter participation during
the fall turkey season, a traditional muzzleloader component
has been added as a pilot program to expand hunter opportunity
and participation by including a traditional, historic
component to the fall firearms turkey season. The pilot
program has been scheduled for a period of time prior to
the opening of the regular small game season when hunter
densities will be at their lowest point.
The addition of a traditional muzzleloader season has
received favorable comment from the DEP Conservation Advisory
Council. The CAC has voted to support pursuing this concept
in regard to the spring turkey season. As a result of the
current regulation proposal and changes to the fall season,
I believe the members of the CAC would approve this alternative
as fulfilling the intent of the Council in establishing
a pilot program for traditional hunters.
I believe this pilot program can be instituted in conjunction
with, and concurrent with, the regular fall shotgun season
without disadvantage to either group. I believe this change
will add an estimated 500 or more hunters to the fall turkey
season. Research conducted with the state agencies of Florida,
Georgia and Virginia and the NWTF of Florida, has shown
that there are no additional safety issues involved with
the use of muzzleloaders for turkey hunting. In your consideration
of this proposal, we hope that the agency will recognize
the value and good will in creating new opportunity where
possible, to include the traditional interests of our sporting
community and cultural heritage.
My final comment regarding the wildlife package is to
note that I requested the draft info at least three weeks
ago and received them yesterday, Saturday the 11th. This
did not allow much time to digest the details of the proposals
before the public hearing and did not allow for general
dissemination among the sportsmen who will be affected.
Thankfully, many of the regulation proposals have been
discussed within the CAC over the past few years and are
therefore not unfamiliar. I would hope that notice of future
proposals could be made at an earlier date.
Chris M. Marino