2014: Non recreational deer control: Special permits

Special Permits are available from Connecticut DEP under Public Act 03-192 for implementing Deer Herd Reduction Programs in problem areas and for nuisance deer, or where recreational hunting has failed to reduce numbers sufficiently.

General Guidelines for Implementing Deer Herd Reduction Programs Pursuant to Public Act 03-192

Under Public Act 03 – 192, any Municipalities, Homeowner Associations or Nonprofit Land Holding Organization (Applicant) approved by the commissioner, may submit a plan for reducing overabundant deer populations on property they own.  The applicant must be experiencing and must document high incidences of deer-vehicle accidents or severe property, agricultural or ecosystem damage from deer.  The plan must be submitted to the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at 79, Elm Street, Hartford, CT, 06106.  The plan must be reviewed and approved by DEP.  Prior to approval of a plan, the DEP may inspect the site.  If approved, the Commissioner will issue an approval letter authorizing implementation of the plan.  If the plan is not approved, the applicant may modify and resubmit the plan.  Plans must include a completion date.  The applicant must file a status report with the Department within 60 days of completion


Components of a Deer Management Plan

a)     Quantitative description of extent and degree of nuisance damage (i.e., roadkills, property or agricultural crops) or ecological damage.

b)    History and duration of deer problem including identification of any control options implemented and their effect on resolving the problem.

c)     Alternative options considered and reasons why other options were not selected

d)    Other actions to discourage future deer problems (e.g., discouraging recreational feeding of deer or modifying local ordinances that restrict hunting or shooting for deer management purposes).

e)     Deer population objective and expected number of deer to be removed.

f)     A signed and dated letter from the governing body endorsing the application.

g)    Map and description of the area showing property boundaries and owners.

h)    A list of all abutting landowners that will be notified prior to implementing the plan.

i)      Proposed method and procedures for deer removals.

1.     Who:  Identify the specific Employees or designated agent that will be conducting the removal efforts.

2.     When:  Deer removals may occur between 1 September and 31 March.  Include range of days that deer may be removed (DEP Wildlife and Law Enforcement Divisions and local Police Departments should be notified with specific times the day before deer removals are initiated). 

3.     Where:  If deer are being removed from private land, written permission of the landowner will need to be obtained by the shooter. 

4.     Specific equipment to be used:  Type of rifle and ammunition, crossbows, spotlights, suppressors, bait, night vision, nets, traps, etc.

5.     Specific procedures to be used (For Example: shooting over bait, use of spotlights or night vision equipment, shooting from tree stands or vehicles, etc.

6.     Disposition of deer removed (meat, unused carcass parts and entrails).

7.     Precautions exercised to maximize safety of removal program (i.e. law enforcement, selection of shooting locations, etc).

8.     Description of how deer population will be managed after it has been reduced.

9.     Qualifications, special skills, certifications, license, and work experience of those implementing the plan.

10.  Description of comprehensive liability insurance coverage.

11.  Proposed budget for implementing plan


Contents of  status report

a)     Status of deer removal program.

b)    Number of deer removed and name of food charities receiving donated venison.

c)     Evaluation of deer management objectives and program effectiveness.

d)    Expenses and manpower associated with deer removals.

e)     Summary of biological data collected from harvested deer (age, sex, antler beam measurements, fetal counts) and corresponding leg seal numbers.

f)     Quantity of processed venison donated.

g)    Timetable of future efforts.


Several methods are available to remove deer including sharpshooting (Attachment A) and trapping and killing (Attachment B).  The criteria for each option are detailed on separate attachments.


Attachment A.  Qualifications for sharpshooters

Any person identified as a sharpshooter to implement a deer management plan pursuant to sections 26-86ashall meet all the requirements of subsections 1-6 of this section.

a)     Pass a shooting proficiency test administered by DEP (Deer Program and/or Conservation Education Firearms Safety Staff) in accordance with subsections (1) through (6).

1.     Must use same firearms and ammunition specified in the deer management plan.

2.     Criteria for scoped rifles: Place 4 of 5 shots within 2-inch diameter target at 50 yards and 1.5-inch diameter targets at 25 yards from sitting or kneeling position with artificial support.  Unless authorized, agents must not shoot deer at distances greater than 50 yards. If the Department authorizes shooting deer up to 100 yards, shooter must shoot 4 of 5 shots within 2-inch diameter target at 100 yards.

3.     Criteria for scoped shotguns: Place 4 of 5 shots within 4-inch diameter target at 50 yards.  Unless authorized, agents must not shoot deer at distances greater than 50 yards.

4.     Criteria for archery equipment (includes compound bows, crossbows, and arrow guns):  Place 4 of 5 shots within 4-inch diameter target at 20 yards. Unless authorized, agents must not shoot deer at distances greater than 25 yards.

5.     Only 1 attempt to qualify for shooting proficiency per deer removal season (1 September – 31 March).  If qualified, must re-qualify within 24 months.

6.     Demonstrate considerable knowledge of and ability to safely handle firearms during shooting proficiency qualification.

b)    Provide DEP with documentation of past experiences relating to firearms use or training, hunter safety, shooting clinics or competitions, deer hunting experience, and deer removal activities.

c)     Provide documentation of successfully completing a Connecticut Conservation Education/Firearms Safety course (firearms or archery) or an equivalent course from another state.

d)    Provide proof of appropriate Federal permits, if required.

e)     Provide documentation that Hunting privileges have not been revoked by any state agency for violations of regulations related to hunting safety within 5 years from date of application.

f)     Pass an oral and/or written exam with DEP regarding deer ecology, deer-human conflicts, lethal management options, deer data collection methods.

g)    Qualifications as a sharpshooter may be immediately revoked by DEP if the Department receives and verifies:

1.     Documented reports of unsafe activity

2.     Incidences of high wounding rates

3.     Uncooperativeness

4.     False statements regarding any information provided in subsections (b) through (e) of ATTACHMENT A.

5.     Convicted of a state or federal violation relating to hunting safety after issuance.

6.     Failure to follow the protocol specified in the deer management plan.

7.     Failure to submit a status report within 60 days of project completion.


Final revision 10/15/04