Friends of Animals (FoA) needs your help to stop a bill that would allow deer hunting on Sundays in Connecticut from being passed in the Senate. Current law prohibits Sunday hunting. Please contact Senate President Martin Looney using this form or call his office at 860-240-8614, and also contact your state Senators, and tell them not to support the bill.

FoA is horrified to learn that a bill (HB6034) that would allow Sunday deer hunting with a bow and arrow in Connecticut passed the House by a vote of 113-32 and is on its way to the Senate. The hunting would take place on private land in overpopulated deer management zones determined by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). DEEP has identified 13 deer management zones throughout the state and claims there are 11 that are currently overpopulated, which means they have at least 20 deer per square mile.

FoA has determined that DEEP’s deer density data is in fact outdated. Only three zones were surveyed in 2013 to determine deer density—all other zones were surveyed nine years ago in 2006. 

FoA is opposed to controlling free-living animals through hunting or birth control. The DEEP’s idea of deer overpopulation is not based on science—it is propaganda from an agency that is wedded to every licensed hunter who is their client. 

If the agency was not dependent on licensed hunters for its budget, it might be more considerate of the majority of the state’s population who are non-hunters. Connecticut residents who hunt—there were 46,000 in 2011—comprise just 1.3 percent of the state’s total population. FoA is adamant that bow hunting on Sundays remains illegal so that Connecticut continues to have one day per week for non-hunters to enjoy the outdoors without having to contend with hunters.

Nature ensures that the deer population is limited by available food, territory and winter weather conditions, which restrict both food and range—thus, a natural balance. Hunting can actually cause the numbers to rise, according to biologists. In large populations, deer conceive later in the season, and that results in late-born fawns with a reduced chance of surviving through the winter. So although hunting reduces the population in the immediate sense, it stimulates early reproduction and augments the chances for survival in the next generation. And hunting—whether it’s focused on female or male deer—will mean more food remains for the survivors. 

Bow hunting is a particularly brutal practice. A deer’s nervous system is as complex as our own, and when a deer is superficially shot, they suffer in prolonged agony and distress. It can take a hunter one or more days to locate a wounded deer, and when they discover it’s still alive they will cut its throat.

Connecticut supporters should contact their local state senators and tell them you oppose a bill that would allow Sunday deer hunting and instead would like to see them help disseminate information about how to peacefully coexist with wildlife in the state. Visit this website  to find a directory of your local elected officials.