Moose in CT: Hunting Laws & Population in Connecticut
Moose sightings have recently become a hot topic as more of them are spotted throughout the state. So, whether you’re looking to hunt moose in Connecticut or just find out more about them, you’ve come to the right place.
This article will cover everything you need to know about moose in CT, including their population, where to find them, and the hunting laws surrounding the species.
We’ll also touch on some of the moose basics, like whether they are dangerous and what to do if you see one if you’re backyard. Let’s get started.
Where to Find Moose in CT
The estimated population of moose in Connecticut is around 100 to 150, which is very small. The species struggles in the state since the living conditions aren’t ideal for them. Moose prefer cold weather and need a large supply of vegetation, as they eat 50-60 pounds of food a day.
You can find the majority of Connecticut’s moose population in the northwestern part of the state. Most moose sightings are reported in Litchfield County, however, plenty of moose have been seen in the Hartford area, near Windsor Locks. There have even been a few sightings of a moose swimming in the Connecticut River.
There aren’t too many CT moose in the southern part of the state, but they’ve occasionally been spotted in Danbury. It’s not uncommon to see these animals in both rural and urban areas.
Can You Hunt Moose in Connecticut?
Due to their low population, it is illegal to hunt moose in Connecticut. The same goes for bears. The only time that you can legally kill a moose in CT, is if it’s threatening your life. Although moose aren’t carnivores, they are large and potentially dangerous animals (we’ll cover moose safety in a minute).
If you want to hunt moose, there are a couple of nearby states where you can legally pursue them. Those states include Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. New England boasts some of the best moose hunting in the country, however, many of these states have a lottery system, so it can be a challenge to get a hunting permit.
If you had to choose one state, I would recommend hunting in Maine. It has the highest density of eastern moose in the United States, so there’s a very high success rate on hunts.
Important Safety Information about Moose
Moose usually try to avoid humans, but you should still keep your distance if you see one. They can be aggressive if they perceive you to be a threat. This is especially true with bull moose during their breeding season. Cow moose are very protective of their calves also well.
Here are some tips that will keep you safe if you encounter a Connecticut moose:
- Don’t be loud or aggressive. You don’t want the moose to view you as a threat.
- Keep your distance.
- If a moose charges you, run or climb a tree.
Unlike bears, moose typically won’t chase you if you run. This is your best option if one charges you. If you hold your ground, you’re more likely to be seen as a threat. Climbing a tree is also a good tactic.
Aside from outdoor encounters, moose often cause issues on the road. You will occasionally see headlines in the news about moose causing damage to vehicles, even causing fatal accidents.
CT usually has at least 2 moose accidents a year. And, since moose can weigh up to 1,500 pounds, a collision at any speed will cause serious damage to both your car and the animal. When hit by cars, moose often break their legs and fall through the windshield. This can injure passengers in the front seats.
Why are There So Few Connecticut Moose
Moose aren’t native to Connecticut. The earliest moose sighting in CT was in the 1970s, and the first report of a mother moose with calves was in the year 2000. This was the first clear sign of a resident population since moose are usually solitary animals.
The moose has had a very late start in Connecticut, and for good reason. Connecticut’s climate doesn’t provide an ideal habitat for them. It’s much too warm, plus they don’t coexist well with humans. It’s likely that a small group of moose traveled south in search of new territory and just ended up staying here.
CT Moose – Final Thoughts
Although moose are rare in CT, they aren’t an animal you want to take lightly. Moose can cause a great deal of damage to both people and property, so it’s best to keep your distance if you see one. You should also report any moose sightings to Connecticut’s DEEP Wildlife Division.