Deer Forecast-East

Fairfield County

Hunters on a quest for a heavy-racked whitetail should head for the southwestern corner of the Constitution State. "In southwestern Connecticut the land access is very limited, which means the deer there have the potential to get into the older age-classes," says Howard Kilpatrick, a biologist with Connecticut's Wildlife Division. Fairfield County is the prime destination, but New Haven County, next door, is also a hot spot. Kilpatrick notes, however, that big bucks can be taken all over Connecticut. "Throughout the state there are large chunks of land that are closed to hunting and those always provide the opportunity to produce older bucks that can be hunted if they move onto bordering lands," he says. Deer populations are increasing across Connecticut; with an average birthing season, the herd could number more than 100,000 animals this fall. On a regulatory note, Connecticut archers should be aware that this season will be the last one in which they can obtain a license without taking a bowhunting safety course.