I saw something unusual at a gas station in Goshen - A Ford F350 filled with hunters, and the dead turkeys they had just harvested. Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, hunting seems popular in Litchfield County, but overall Connecticut is near the bottom of states with the most registered hunters.

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According to thefw.com's States with the Most Registered Hunters, Southern New England is the worst area in all of the United States to find registered hunters. Connecticut came in at #44 overall, with only 1% of our residents officially licensed as hunters. Our neighbors did even worse - Massachusetts came in at #46 with only 0.8% of their residents owning licenses, and Rhode Island almost won it all, they came in at #49, with only 0.7% of their residents being licensed hunters. The state with the least amount of registered hunters? California.

It is unusual to come across hunters in Southern Connecticut, especially in Fairfield County. I saw a post on social media last weekend from concerned residents in New Milford, who reported hearing gunshots coming from the woods near their homes. Turns out, it was opening day in Connecticut for the Fall Turkey hunting season with firearms on state and private land. I'd expect more of Connecticut's remaining hunters out there this coming weekend, as Game Bird season opens up on Saturday, October 21, 2023.

As of this Saturday, 10/21 according to ct.gov, registered hunters can go after Pheasant, Chukar and Hungarian Partridge, Ruffled Grouse, Quail, Crow, European Hare, Opossum, and Gray and Red Foxes.

Good luck registered hunters of Connecticut, I hope you get some of those critters that Massachusetts and Rhode Island are missing out on.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger

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