Connecticut Deer:  A state estimate of about 107,000 deer in 2022, down from about 114,000 in 2021 and 124,000 in 2020.  A rough estimate from the state put the deer population at about 100,000 in early 2016 and mid-2017, but an analysis by a private group puts the number at 50,000 in 2016.  Another state expert notes that the population has plunged.  Mild winters and abundant acorn crops in 2016-17 and 2015-16 have benefited the deer herd with the population increasing into 2017.  A peak populaton of about 152,000 the early 2000s.

Connecticut Deer News

Granby officer helps reunite abandoned fawn with mother, police say -June 2, 3035 Connecticut, New Haven Register

... the fawn was struggling with labored breathing and was cold to the touch, prompting her to wrap the animal with blankets and stimulate it to help it breathe...  the mother deer came back ...

Windsor Locks residents upset with CT officials for euthanizing moose March 6, 2024 Connecticut, CT Insider

... there was "clearly enough time for DEEP to get an action plan to relocate this moose. ... I'm pretty (ticked) off. That moose didn't do anything...

     Moose euthanized in Windsor Locks after it wanders too close to highway February 26, 2024 Connecticut, Fox 61

...  a report of a moose within 20 feet of Interstate 91 southbound and the Route 20 exit ramp in Windsor Locks. DEEP consulted with other law enforcement agencies and euthanized the animal ...

Devil's Den In Weston To Close Weekdays During Limited Deer Hunt October 26, 2023 Connecticut, Patch

... The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has announced that it will hold its annual controlled deer hunt at Devil’s Den Preserve ...  has been held each fall since 2001 ...

Deer may be forced to wander CT in search of food, after spring freeze causes fall acorn shortage September 29, 2023 Connecticut Public Radio

... The majority of the state is experiencing an acorn crop failure, said J.P. Barsky, a forest researcher for the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station ...

State Farm report shows how often CT drivers hit deer, other animals with their cars September 18, 2023 Connecticut, SFGate

... In the 2022-23 fiscal year that ended on June 30, about 10,000 car versus animal collisions were reported in the state ... a relatively low chance of colliding with a deer or other animal compared with other states in New England and across the nation ...

Connecticut saw a significant increase in deer hunting last year August 4, 2023 Houston Chronicle

... Connecticut's whitetail deer population peaked at about 152,000 in the early 2000s and steadily declined to about 110,000 [in 2022], DEEP reported ... Hunters legally killed 10,433 deer in Connecticut last year, a 16.4 percent increase over 2021, and they spent about $1 million more on hunting gear ..,  read the full report

Acceptability of 4-poster deer treatment devices for community-wide tick control among residents of high Lyme disease incidence counties in Connecticut and New York, USA - Ticks and Tick-born Diseases, 2023

...  to understand perceptions and experiences related to tickborne diseases, support or concerns for placement of 4-poster devices in their community, and opinions on which entities should be responsible for tick control on private properties. Overall, 37% of 1652 respondents (5.5% response rate) would support placement of a 4-poster device on their own property, 71% would support placement on other private land in their community, and 90% would support placement on public land...

Ivermectin May Be Good for Humans After All—Indirectly July 27, 2023 Connecticut, Mother Jones

... In a small study, they found that feeding deer corn dosed with an ivermectin derivative builds up enough drug in their blood that ticks biting them will (probably) die... “This was a proof-of-concept study,” says lead author Scott Williams, a wildlife ecologist and chief scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven...

Environmental officials kill moose after it wanders onto Connecticut airport, didn't reach runway June 11, 2023, SCNOW

... The moose was spotted Friday morning wandering along a road at Bradley International Airport. Officials decided to put the animal down, citing safety concerns ...

Explaining the CT moose population and why this has become a dangerous time of year for them May 20, 2023 Connecticut, StamfordAdvocate

... Between 100-150 moose reside in the state, the vast majority of them concentrated in the northwest corner.  Of the 50-or-so moose-vehicle crashes since 1995, 12 have occurred in or around Hartland ..."That's because we have the most moose in the state in that town," said Andrew Labonte, DEEP wildlife biologist...

Second Moose Killed In Crash On CT Highway May 19, 2023 Connecticut, Daily Voice Fairfield County 

... A second moose has been hit and killed in Connecticut by a vehicle on the same day...  Connecticut’s moose population is small (about 100 individuals) ..,

Moose fatally struck by vehicle on Rt. 15 in North Haven May 17, 2023 Connecticut, WTNH

...  A moose was hit and killed by a car on Route 15 Northbound in North Haven Wednesday morning ...

After mild winter, Connecticut seeing more wildlife — including moose April 15, 2023 Yahoo!News

... “Though Connecticut’s moose population is small (about 100 individuals), moose can pose a serious threat to public safety if they wander onto roadways,” the DEEP news release states..,

Moose spotted: DEEP urges caution among drivers in East Granby 

April 13, 2023 Connecticut,

...  a moose was spotted in the area of Route 20 ... While the moose population is small across Connecticut, they can pose a serious threat to public safety if they wander onto roads ...

Resilience of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to human hunting in precolonial New England: The faunal remains from the Morgan Site (6HT120), Rocky Hill Connecticut, EM Weitzel - Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 2023

... I analyze a zooarchaeological assemblage from the Morgan Site in central Connecticut, dating to the 11th-14th centuries AD, to evaluate whether deer populations at this time experienced any perceptible hunting pressure. These data suggest that deer at the Morgan Site were not being overhunted. Fragmentation of deer skeletal elements for grease and marrow is consistent with intensive exploitation, but the strong dietary dependence on a highly preferred species like deer, evidence for hunting deer in proximity to the site, and minimal juvenile mortality all indicate that deer were not overexploited. Additionally, most of these deer were especially large-bodied. Given the evidence for a lack of hunting pressure, the large body size of deer observed here may have resulted from anthropogenic ecosystem engineering facilitating deer population growth and contributing to the apparent resilience of the species to predation..,

Connecticut's depleted acorn crop will have wide reaching impact November 13, 2022 NHPR

... Connecticut is suffering from a widespread acorn crop failure... A low acorn crop means deer may wander more in search of something to eat... Those seeking a deer harvest are more likely to have a successful season when acorn supplies are low because deer can’t hunker down and hide..,

Devil's Den Closures Set for Deer Hunt November 1, 2022 Connecticut, Weston Today

... The Conservancy said controlled hunts have been held each fall since 2001, meant to “improve and maintain forest health by reducing the deer population...

Moose freed from fence in Connecticut October 3, 2022 Fox 5 NY

... the male animal wasn't impaled on the fence but he wasn't able to get his back legs over the fence and his belly kept him from backing up ...  firefighters cut and removed one end of the fence panel ...

EHD, Deer in danger: DEEP confirms positive disease in Conn white-tails September 28, 2022 Connecticut, WTNH

... For the third year in a row, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) confirmed hemorrhagic disease in white-tailed deer...

 the first positive case of 2022 was found in a deer in Goshen ...  the first documented case in the state since 2017..,

Deer could be hungrier than usual this fall September 23, 2022 Connecticut, The Day

...  the 2022 Connecticut Oak Mast Surveillance Program survey, which found an abysmal acorn crop is on tap this fall ... The trees’ mast years occur every five to seven years, Barsky said, with wildlife populations fluctuating accordingly..,

Rules on importing reindeer to CT loosened for movie industry June 16, 2022 CT Insider

... The rationale for the change, they said, was to remove additional hurdles for the significant number of Christmas-themed movies that are filmed in Connecticut ... As a result of that law, John Dzen Jr. purchased the first two reindeer for his Christmas tree farm in South Windsor...

Fawn Left Motherless After Doe Struck, Killed By Truck In Branford May 31, 2022 Connecticut, Patch

... it'll be loved and cared for, as it was rescued by the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter. ... [Facebook page below]

Enter The Moose: Sightings In Connecticut Ramp Up May 30, 2022 Patch

... The first sighting of a moose cow with calves in Connecticut was reported in 2000 in Hartland, according to the DEEP website. Over the next seven years, at least 40 calves were born in the state...

Black bear population on the rise in Connecticut April 25, 2022

... Just five years ago, Connecticut’s bear population topped out at 800, but now officials say it’s grown to nearly 1,200..,

Planet Connecticut: The State of Our Environment March 30, 2022 Connecticut Magazine

... Before Europeans arrived in what is today Connecticut, Native Americans cut and burned forestland to grow crops and nurture populations of game... By 1850 Atlantic salmon had vanished from Connecticut waters and white-tailed deer and many other common species were scarce, if not extirpated altogether..,

Connecticut begins testing white-tailed deer for COVID January 28, 2022, Houston Chronicle

... “We know that animals can get infected with this virus. Dogs, cats, tigers, gorillas, and there's wild animals getting sick with it that we're just unaware of right now,” ...

What makes coyotes so prevalent January 22, 2022 Connecticut, StamfordAdvocate

...  migrated eastward into the state about 70 years ago  ... Federal programs today now kill about 500,000 coyotes annually. Colburn said hunters and trappers in Connecticut kill 400 to 600 a year — about a 10th of the 4,000 to 6,000 coyotes in the state...

Deer rescued from ice of frozen pond in Connecticut January 6, 2022

... The Wolcott Police Department said in a Facebook post ...the deer was spotted stranded on the ice of the frozen pond ..

The Ecology of the First Thanksgiving -November 22, 2021 Scientific America 

... After millennia of ostensibly sustainable hunting by Native peoples, evidence suggests that New England’s deer population crashed within a few years of European colonization... In the mid-17th century, the colonies of southern New England began restricting deer hunting to only certain months ... the Dutch colonist Adriaen Van Der Donck was told by Native interlocutors in the New York area that “before the arrival of the Christians, many more deer were killed than there are now ..,

Devil's Den In Weston To Close For Controlled Deer Hunt November 15, 2021 Connecticut, Patch

... The hunt, held annually since the fall of 2001, is meant to improve the health of the woodlands by culling the deer population...

Archers are culling hundreds fewer deer in CT. Here's why.  November 2, 2021 Connecticut, StamfordAdvocate

... there have been no major changes to the deer population in the last three years, adding that the three-year average population estimate is 101,000... A 43 percent drop in deer harvest during the first month of Connecticut’s archery season is being attributed to wet weather and an abundant acorn crop...

Connecticut's fall archery seasons for deer and turkey open September 15 September 14, 2021 Tasucu

... another mild winter and an increase in deer sightings occurred in most areas last year,” said Andy LaBonte, biologist in the DEEP Wildlife division. “Connecticut Deer 2020 Program Summary contains information that will be useful to hunters in the coming season ...

Cougar sighting reported in New Canaan Thursday August 20, 2021 Connecticut, CT Post

... A fourth cougar sighting in recent days was reported near the New Canaan border ...  In 2011, a young, male cougar was killed in Connecticut after traveling roughly 1,500 from South Dakota...

Connecticut Christmas tree farm introduces baby reindeer Rudy, the first reindeer born in Connecticut in decades July 8, 2021 Hartford Courant

... Dzen is the only reindeer farmer in Connecticut and the eastern regional director of the Reindeer Owners and Breeders Association.  “There are only 2,000 reindeer in the lower 48 states. You can’t find a reindeer vet. So the association mainly exchanges health information,” ...

Does are giving birth to baby fawns. If you see a fawn, leave it alone June 1, 2021 Connecticut, The Monroe Sun

... For the first month of their lives, fawns remain hidden among vegetation and rarely move more than 30 feet from their birthplace. Their greatest protection is the ability to lie still and remain unseen by predators.  The mother normally feeds nearby and returns at intervals ...

DEEP warns Connecticut drivers about moose, deer on roads May 11, 2021,


... "May and June mark the birthing period for deer and moose,” ... The warning comes after three people were injured when a car struck and killed a moose earlier this month...

Moose spotted on UCONN campus in Storrs May 10, 2021 Connecticut Post

...the moose was “walking along Route 195, which is the main state highway that goes through campus,” so it was likely seen by many onlookers...

It's Deer Birthing Season, Don't Touch the Fawns, They're OK June 11, 2018 Connecticut,New Canaanite

...  their mothers will leave an odorless, motionless baby up to seven hours when it’s too young to follow her ...  “We ask residents to not touch the fawn for 24 hours ... Ninety-nine percent are gone within that timeframe.”...

Ridgefield, Will Ridgefield Re-Open Deer Hunting Debate? April 17, 2018 Connecticut, USA Patch

... In 2006, the controlled hunting of deer on selected town properties was approved by a vote of 531 to 194. At the April 4 meeting, the selectmen raised the possibility of another town debate and vote about deer hunting on town land...

Shoreline residents see an increase in deer April 5, 2018 Connecticut, WTNH

... East Haven residents are seeing an increase in deer along the shoreline... with more residential properties popping up the deer have no place to go... "The last of the forested area or wooded area is going to disappear so I don't know where they are going to go." ...

New Canaan Reaches Crossroads With Deer Committee April 4, 2018 Connecticut,

... Rose says that the committee is unnecessary because it doesn't really do anything. New Canaan has a deer hotline and a person who responds to phone inquiries...

Bear hunting bill shot down March 15, 2018 Connecticut, The Advocate

... Two other separate hunting bills would establish a first-ever night hunt for coyote and statewide Sunday bow hunting on private land for deer. The committee did approve the bow hunting bill in a 19-10 vote, while no vote was taken on the coyote bill...

Discussion about the Tick Management Program to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease January, 2018 Connecticut

    The recently released report examines the role of white-tailed deer, concluding they do not transmit Lyme but can be a host for ticks ... a group of hunters familiar with the research and having paid for research of their own discuss the data and information on a forum ... concluding, "In a nutshell, 5 years, 87 deer and 1$Md have failed to provide a definitive correlation between deer populations and Lyme disease." ... a comment from one of the study authors is "the theory goes that intact forestland harbors a greater diversity of wildlife and if ticks are feeding on those hosts, there should be a lower percentage of ticks infected with pathogens ... Given the mature nature of Connecticut’s forests, we were seeing more wildlife and more diversity in residential areas where there is far more habitat diversity than in large blocks of forest."

Deer hunters trend toward bows January 19, 2018 Connecticut, CT Post

...  the 2017 deer hunting season marked the fifth straight year in which more deer were harvested by bow than by gun in Connecticut ...  bow hunters had set a new state record in 2017 for deer harvests — 5,648... “The greatest change from 2016 to 2017 can be explained by the lack of acorns in many areas of the state, the deer’s primary fall/winter food source,” ...

Stamford, Deer cull upsets North Stamford residents who question its necessity December 8, 2017 Connecticut, The Advocate

... The first ever deer cull at a North Stamford land preserve has neighbors abutting it up in arms over late notice of the hunt and scant evidence of deer overpopulation ...

Homeowner Finds Fourth Shot Deer on Property November 22, 2017 Connecticut, Westport Now

...  the fourth carcass he has seen on his Taylor Lane property since he and family moved to Westport in 2011... appeared to have been hit by a high-powered arrow, the kind shot from a crossbow ...

A creepy deer disease is spreading north November 14, 2017 Connecticut, Yale Climate Connections

... While EHD is found in many parts of the country, it’s most common in the southeast. But as the climate warms, more midges are moving into the northeast ...

Weston, Devil's Den to close weekdays for limited deer hunt November 14, 2017 Connecticut, The Weston Forum

... The Nature Conservancy will hold its annual controlled deer hunt at Devil’s Den Preserve in Weston ... has been held each fall since 2001, ...

Connecticut deer hunt has big upside in small package November 10, 2017 Meriden Record-Journal

... In 1990, a change was made giving shotgun hunters first crack at the firearms hunting season for deer. One of the reasons was that they would be less “buck selective,” and this proved to be true. In 1991, Connecticut was second only to Maine in deer harvest. Connecticut’s total of 11,305 was 14 percent over the 1990 take...

Ridgefield, Town should slow down pace of the deer hunt November 4, 2017 Connecticut, The Ridgefield Press4h

...  Connecticut DEEP (which generates money from the hunt) estimates 43 based upon a fly-over and then doubling the number (and the last fly-over was 2010) — doesn’t sound too scientific. The state biologist not only comes up with the “official figure” — he joins the Ridgefield hunt. His numbers are disputed by the Yale School of Forestry. Hunt Master Zandri estimates 20...

EHD, Aggressive Ebola-Like Virus Killing Deer In Connecticut October 28, 2017 LunaticOutPost

...   “This is the first time we’ve had a large-scale die-off and confirmation of this hemorrhagic disease in Connecticut,” Andy Labonte, a wildlife biologist ... the EHDV-6 subtype was first identified in 2006 in Indiana and Illinois... Prior to 2006, the disease was only found in Australia ..,

Death of Deer in Connecticut Linked to Hemorrhagic Disease October 25, 2017 NBC Connecticut

... Before 2004, only two subtypes of Hemorrhagic Disease were documented in North America -- EHDV-1 and 2. EHDV-6 was first detected in 2006 in Indiana and Illinois, and has since been reported throughout the Midwest, and from Florida, North Carolina and Maryland..,

Middletown, DEEP reports small die-off in Middletown-area white-tailed deer herd October 24, 2017 Connecticut, The Middletown Press

... more than 50 white-tailed deer exhibiting symptoms associated with Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease primarily in the towns of Middletown and Portland, with a few in Chester, Haddam and Lyme ..,

Ridgefield hosts deer hunt hearing Monday October 20, 2017 Connecticut, The Ridgefield Press

... Selectman Barbara Manners cast the only dissenting vote, claiming she wanted to see scientific evidence that the deer hunt had tangible effect on the town deer population...

     Public Hearing October 19, 2017 Connecticut, Town of Ridgefield

...  the Town of Ridgefield Deer Management Implementation Committee will hold a Public Hearing at 7:00 p.m. on October 23, 2017 at the Ridgefield Town Hall, 400 Main Street, Ridgefield, Connecticut, in the large conference room, to receive comments on the 2017-18 controlled hunt...

Watch for deer, moose on Connecticut roads October 10, 2017 Shoreline Times

... During 2016, approximately 3,700 deer were killed in the state due to collisions with vehicles ...Over 40 moose-vehicle accidents have been reported in Connecticut between 1995 and 2016 ..,

Deer Hunter: Strong Fall Archery Season Expected In Southwest CT September 16, 2017 Connecticut, Newtown Daily Voice

... outlook for the 2017 hunting season is good because mild winters and abundant acorn crops over the past two years have made it easy on deer and challenging for hunters as harvest numbers have been low ..,

DEEP Reports Small Die-off in Local White-tailed Deer Herd September 8, 2017 Connecticut, DEEP News

... a recently-discovered die-off of several deer in the Portland area may be due to hemorrhagic disease ...  The cause of death could not definitively be determined due to the condition of the dead animals, but the manner in which the deer were found led DEEP biologists to suspect that hemorrhagic disease may be the cause..,

Disease may be killing white-tailed deer in Connecticut September 8, 2017 Connecticut, Milford Mirror

... The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) says a recently-discovered die-off of several deer in the Portland area may be due to hemorrhagic disease ..,

It's Only Natural: Deer Hunting in Full Swing in Norfolk August 5, 2017 Connecticut, Norfolk Now

...  an aerial study ...  completed in February of 2007, and determined that the state’s deer population is stable or slightly decreasing, having fully recovered from a sharp decline in the 1990s...  last winter also determined  ... Zone Two ... has the lowest deer density in the state, with just 3.6 deer per square mile. Zone 11, which covers most of Fairfield County, has the highest density in the state at 29.4 deer per square mile...

An 820-lb. Wild Hog Is Rooting Around Your Front Porch: What's the Protocol? July 20, 2017 Connecticut, American Spectator

... Here in Connecticut we don’t have wild hogs. Yet. Although there was a news report of hogs in North Grossvenordale, a town in the northeastern corner ... The current guesstimate is a statewide deer population of 100,000..,

Redding site for tick study July 11, 2017 Connecticut, The Redding Pilot

... “Where we used the combination of rodent bait boxes and fungal spray only is where we had the most success in reducing encounters with blacklegged (“deer”) ticks in people’s backyards,” ... deer reductions caused ticks to feed on alternative other available hosts, such as small- and medium-sized mammals... not able to remove enough deer to reach targeted goals [controversy regarding the deer count]

In Easton, deer head found on road ... June 23, 2017 Connecticut, CT Post

...  a “baby deer head” in the middle of the intersection of Routes 59 and 136, shortly... It unclear why the deer head was there ...

Newtown Man Illegally Harvested a 24-Point Buck June 12, 2017 Connecticut,

... hunted and harvested the buck from Pennsylvania ... and illegally brought the whole buck back to Connecticut ...

  Deer stuck on ice, able to rescue itself March 16, 2017 Connecticut, Eye Witness News 3

... The animal got stuck on Mount Higby Reservoir which is frozen ...

Deer roam streets Norwalk, Connecticut, as snowstorm leaves streets empty March 14, 2017 New Tang Dynasty Television

...  homes and streets in the suburb of Norwalk, Connecticut, were also covered in snow.  In one neighborhood, deer frolicked in the empty street...

Too Much Hunting Pressure in Zones 11 and 12?  February 22, 2017 Connecticut,, Glen Ekstrom

   Connecticut hunters discuss this issue on the web site reached with the link above:  CT DEEP Zones 11 & 12 are no longer the place to go for hunter success. Current harvest results for zones 11 & 12  point to over harvest for the past 14 years. It may be time for the CT DEEP to re-evaluate unlimited doe tags, baiting and the extended January season.  See graph below.

Is It Time to End Baiting in CT?  January, 2017 Connecticut,, Glen Ekstrom

    [Hunters discuss baiting in Connecticut] ...  the reasons baiting was instituted in 2003:

1. High populations of deer in Zones 11 & 12.    2. Lack of access for hunters to private property.

     ... neither of those reasons may be applicable today. Deer populations have been decreasing over the past 10 years and when you examine the difference in deer harvested per square mile in Zones 11 & 12 as compared to the other 10 zones the increased take is negligible. Zones 11&12 makeup 24.1% of Connecticut, the other hunting zones (1-10) makeup the remaining 75.9%. Only zones 11&12 allow baiting of deer and have done so for the past 14 years. In 2016 zones 1-10 harvested 7,659 deer or (2.08) deer per square mile, zones 11&12 harvested 2,801 deer or (2.39) deer per square mile. If we only look at zone 12 the numbers are (2.14) deer per square mile. 

     Lack of access is not a problem; between landowners opening up property and large blocks of private land being opened up by Aquarion and other entities hunters have the access to get to the deer. It can be argued that the increase in access has become detrimental to the health of the herd as former "reserve" areas have been drastically thinned out over the past few years...

Fairfield County ranks high in 2016 deer hunt January 18, 2017 Conntecticut, CT Post

...  in the 2016 hunting season, a more than 1,400 increase from the previous year ... Bow hunting accounted for nearly half of the 10,570 of deer harvested ...

Deer rescued from ice in Canton January 17, 2017 Connecticut, FOX 61

... The deer did not seem injured. Last week, a deer rescued from a frozen river in Simsbury had to be euthanized ...

Deer Rescued from Ice in Simsbury Euthanized January 9, 2017 Connecticut, NBC Connecticut

... The vet determined the deer had a broken shoulder and jaw, amongst several other injuries ...

     Deer Rescue Transfixes Hundreds Of Thousands Of People January 10, 2017 Conneticut, NPR hours-long rescue operation of a deer hopelessly stuck on ice in Simsbury ... The scared deer splayed on the frozen river was streamed live by several television channels ...

     Deer Trapped on Ice in Simsbury January 9, 2017 Connecticut, NBC New York

... coyotes chased the deer and it wound up on the ice ... they succeeded in pulling the deer off the ice ...

Connecticut Data:  A state estimate reported in 2022 of about 107,000 in 2022 based a graph published in the 2022 deer program report [see Data and Calculations for the graph below] with the recent population in the 110,000 range.

 with a 16.4 percent increase in the deer hunt from 2021 to 2022.  The state estimated the deer population at about 101,000 for 2019 through 2021, but that estimate has been raised somewhat to about 114,000 for 2022 and 124,000 for 2020 based on their most recent deer report.  The big drop in the 2021 archery hunt was attributed to weather and a good acorn crop.  The deer kill has been trending slightly lower over the period.   In 2022 an abysmal acorn crop will reduce the population, but will increase the number of deer killed by hunters.  The 2018 population benefited from recent mild winters, but faced a lower acorn crop.  

Population Estimates Below Based on the Connecticut DEP 2021 Deer Program Report

Data and Calculations

The graph above uses a population reconstruction model to estimate the deer population from 2011 to 2022.  The graph is in the 2022 deer program report and provides slightly higher estimates than statements to the press linked on this page.  For 1975 to 2010 the graphic in the report gives selected year population estimates.  Other population estimates were added using hunting data and linear trends for 1975 to 1990.  This estimate puts the maximum deer population at 152,000 in the early 2000s.

Mild winters and abundant acorn crops in 2016-17 and 2015-16 benefited the deer herd.   2020 Deer Summary  A a rough estimate from the state in early 2016 and mid 2017 of about 100,000.  A state estimate of 126,000 deer in 2006


A hunting group observes that Connecticut had 62,189 deer (per statewide aerial deer survey) in 2007; since then Connecticut has seen a decline in the deer population and harvest of approximately 20%; leaving Connecticut with an estimated 50,000 deer or 10 dpsm in 2016.   The lower estimate is more consistent with the decline in reported deer vehicle collisions from about a decade ago.   DVC s (deer vehicle collisions) in Connecticut in 2000 were 3,089 and in 2015 there were 749; a decrease of 76% over 15 years.  The 2015 harvest was 66.2% percent of the peak in 2004.   The increase in the 2016 harvest is attributed to a poor acorn crop that forced deer to more around more as well as several mild winters increasing fawn survival.  

The record acorn crop in 2015 reduced deer movement and contributed to the lower harvest, but the legalization of Sunday hunting increased the number of hunting days which would increase the harvest.   Hunters reported reduced deer in 2015.  A 2015 study put the 90-day fawn survival rate at 0.22, down from 0.66 and 0.40 in the previous three years, related to the increase in predators.  The last official State estimate was 126,000 in 2006; yet the last State aerial survey showed only 62,189 deer statewide. Connecticut has made a habit of using the 2X factor on their deer population over the last 15 years to estimate from survey.   In 2014, a state expert (Scott Williams) concluded that the deer population has plunged.  A population of about 120,000 around 2001.  Most deer hunting is on private land.

Because of lower deer populations no antlerless deer tags were issued in 2016 in central parts of Connecticut.  Deer populations are highest in the southwest.  

Although the state no longer makes a population estimate, given the difficulty of getting to a reliable number, the agency does track deer density in some particular areas.  Increased predation by  coyote and bobcat populations are thought to be the primary factor for the recent deer population decline, the first measured since the early 1900's when deer were very scarce from over hunting and conservation measures were implemented.  Fawn recruitment in a 2015 study was 0.22 per doe; the population will decline significantly as a result.  Peak of the rut around the last two weeks in November, begins in late October and runs through early January.  

An important deer count in the Redding and Newton area related to a Center for Disease Control study became a controversy in 2015 when a local hunting group challenged the DEEP's count and hired an aviation firm that found substantially fewer deer. 

The deer harvest declined by 9.2 percent in 2014 to 11,394.  Overall hunter success was 23 percent.  Most deer are killed on private land.  See the 2014 Deer Program report.  The number of deer killed in vehicle collisions, which approximately follows in proportion to the deer population, fell by more than half from the early 2000's to 2014.  An estimated 3,700 deer killed by vehicles in 2016.  In 2014 there were 1,081 deer vehicle collisions reported [page 20].

Historic deer harvest and permits from the DEEP 2021 Deer Program Report

History  "Before Europeans arrived in what is today Connecticut, Native Americans cut and burned forestland to grow crops and nurture populations of game. By 1850 ... white-tailed deer and many other common species were scarce, if not extirpated altogether."   The first statewide deer hunt in recent history was opened in the 1970's. Now, deer densities of 30 per square mile are not uncommon in the state.  Hunting data approximately tracks the deer population.  In 2014, hunters could take two deer, but only one can be a buck.  In Fairfiled County, including suburban areas where deer are considered to be over populated, hunters can take four deer but only one buck.   Unregulated hunting from about 1700 into the early 1900s reduced the herd to just a few deer.

     Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) first reported in the state in 2017, usually found to the south, but a likely result of climate change.  Cases identified in 2022.

     Moose  Estimates of about 100 to 150 moose in 2023An estimated 210 moose in 2016, about 100 to 150 moose in the state in 2015, mostly in the northeastern and northwestern wooded areas.  Estimated at 63 in 2004.  The first recent sighting was in 2000.

     Coyotes migrated eastward into the state about 70 years ago.  In early 2022 an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 coyotes in the state.  The eastern coyotes are larger, having some dog and wolf DNA.

     Bears  An estimated to be nearly 1200 in 2022, up from about 800 in 2017.

Other useful links:

- Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife News

- Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (also the Connecticut Division of Wildlife and the Connecticut Fisheries Division)