Bill would get rid of Sunday hunting restrictions

Calls to allow more Sunday hunting in CT
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 10:47 AM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Lawmakers discussed a bill that would get rid of all restrictions for Sunday hunting in the state.

State Sen. Cathy Osten, a Democrat from Sprague, said she supported Senate Bill 1149, “An Act Eliminating All Restrictions for Sunday Hunting on Public and Private Property.

Osten on Friday was joined by members of the legislature’s Sportsman’s Caucus ahead of a 10 a.m. Environment Committee hearing.

The caucus called for the institution of Sunday hunting in Connecticut.

Currently, Connecticut only allows bow and arrow hunting on private land on Sundays.

“This is a huge step forward for a state that has lately fought to move on from its own history of religious Blue Laws, everything from no running or travelling or hunting on a Sunday to closing retail stores and not selling liquor,” Osten, who is one of four co-chairs of the bipartisan Sportsman’s Caucus, said. “Sunday bowhunting on private land has been in effect for years, with no issues. Now licensed, trained citizens who already hunt Monday through Saturday can add another day of the week to their hunting season if they so choose. It’s a Sunday pastime that’s already enjoyed in other New England states, and Connecticut should join them.”

Of the approximately 225 residents who have submitted written testimony on the bill, more than 70 percent testified in favor.

Lawmakers said the number of Sundays on which hunters could seek game varies by the animal and the season. For example, there were only three Sundays during the spring turkey season when hunters could seek wild turkey and only one or two Sundays when hunters could attempt to take a deer with a shotgun or rifle on state land. They said regulations differ for privately held land.

Over the years, Osten said Connecticut legislators have introduced more than a dozen bills to allow for Sunday hunting, but none were successful.

He said in addition to fishing, existing Connecticut hunting laws allow for a number of game animals to be taken, including: Pheasant, ruffed grouse, chukar partridge, quail, crow, gray squirrels, cottontail rabbit, European hare, snowshoe hare, woodchuck, raccoon, opossum, fox, coyotes, turkey, deer, and a variety of migratory birds, including woodcock, snipe, ducks, mergansers, geese and coots.