One minute after the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, Connecticut residents will be able to enter a lottery to hunt deer with shotguns on specific state lands.
More specifically, the lottery will open at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.
Implemented in 2013 as a replacement to the paper lottery system, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) says the new "Instant Award" process was designed to streamline the distribution of deer permits and allow hunters to know immediately whether they were selected for the limited access area of choice. Available areas and seasons are listed in the 2014 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide and on the DEEP website.
The DEEP says the likelihood of being selected is different for each area and is based on the number of permits available and the number of applicants. There is less of a chance of obtaining a lottery permit for popular hunting areas.
Successful applicants will be able to purchase their permit immediately or at a later date. However, all permits must be purchased by June 30, 2014, the date the "Instant Award" sales end.
As in the past, hunters may apply as an individual or as a member of a group. Up to four hunters will be allowed on group applications. Applicants will be able to specify up to six areas and also indicate their preference for the “A” or “B” season.
Hunters may apply for permits online or at the following DEEP locations (Mondays through Fridays, during regular office hours):
- DEEP Licensing and Revenue – 79 Elm St., Hartford (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
- DEEP Bookstore – 79 Elm St., Hartford (9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
- Franklin Wildlife Management Area – 391 Route 32, North Franklin (8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
- Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area – 341 Milford St., (Route 69), Burlington (8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
- Eastern District HQ – 209 Hebron Road, (Route 66), Marlborough (8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
- Marine HQ – 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme (8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
- Western District HQ – 230 Plymouth Road, Harwinton (8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
Starting on July 15, 2014, unissued permits will be made available for sale on a first-come, first-serve basis. Individuals who have not already purchased an "Instant Award" limited access permit or other state land deer permit will be able to purchase these permits online or at any of the above-listed DEEP locations.
More detailed information about the new lottery system and instructions for applying are on the DEEP website.