Mansfield Hollow Lake

Flood Control Area Hunting and Wildlife-Based Recreation

The Mansfield Hollow project consists of approximately 2,490 acres of federally-owned property (US Army Corps of Engineers) under a 25-year license agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP manages 225 acres as a State Park and 2,265 acres of for Fish and Wildlife Management (see attached map).

The DEP and the US Army Corps of Engineers have a long history of managing Mansfield Hollow for a variety of outdoor recreation including hiking, biking, paddling, fishing and hunting. Experience has shown that these uses can occur compatibly, especially when those on the property are aware of the activities that are allowed. The following information is presented to increase public awareness of the types of hunting that are permitted on the Mansfield Hollow project. 

Where Hunting Is Allowed

Regulated public hunting is permitted in all areas of the project except for that portion designated as Mansfield Hollow State Park or other areas indicated by the posting of specific “This Area Closed to Hunting” signs. Some areas of the project are restricted to hunting with bow and arrow only and in these areas hunting with firearms is not permitted. These areas are posted with red signs indicating “This Area Open to Bow Hunting Only – Firearms Prohibited.”

A portion of the project under Fish and Wildlife Management has been designated by DEP as a state-controlled Field Dog Trial Area. This area consists of approximately 300 acres located off North Windham Road on the east side of the impoundment. The site is available to organized field trial groups by special permit as a site for the training of hunting dogs and conducting competitive field dog trial events. Shotgun and blank ammunition is used and clubs that use live ammunition are required to post specific signs at primary entry points to the area. Use of this area is subject to special DEP Regulations that prohibit any public use during these scheduled events to prevent interference with these activities. Events are conducted primarily on Saturdays and Sundays from March through October during daylight hours. (See attached link for 2006 scheduled field trial events).

When Hunting Occurs

Hunting is not allowed on Sunday with the exception of the Field Trial area during scheduled events. Most hunting occurs in the fall, with most activity from mid-October to mid-December. Season dates for 2006 are as follows:

  • Spring Turkey hunting: May 3 – May 27. This season receives low participation by hunters. Hunters may use shotguns or archery equipment. Hunters usually wear complete camouflaged clothing and remain concealed while hunting. Spring turkey hunting is allowed from ½ hour before sunset until noon.
  • Small Game and Waterfowl (Ducks, Geese) hunting: September 1 – February 28. Seasons for each game species vary considerably during this period. PEAK HUNTING ACTIVITY OCCURS FROM THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER THROUGH NOVEMBER. The Mansfield Hollow area is regularly stocked with pheasants and is one of the most popular hunting areas in eastern Connecticut. Most small game hunting activity is concentrated near the field dog trial area off North Windham Road and along the Fenton River valley off Chaffeeville Road. Waterfowl hunting is concentrated along the shoreline areas of the impoundment although use by duck hunters is considered light. Hunters are restricted to shotgun ammunition only and must wear 400 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing, except when waterfowl hunting from a boat, blind or stationary position.
  • Fall Turkey hunting: October 7 – October 31. Relatively few hunters participate in this season. Hunters are restricted to shotgun ammunition and are allowed to wear camouflaged clothing.
  • Archery Deer/Turkey hunting: September 15 – December 31. The bow and arrow season receives light to moderate use by hunters. Most activity occurs during the first several hours of daylight and late afternoon. Many deer hunters use portable tree stands and hunt from an elevated position in full camouflaged clothing. 

Safety Information for the Non-Hunter

Hunting is among the safest of all outdoor activities. Hunting accidents among hunters are rare; those involving non-hunters are extremely rare. Here are some prudent precautions that the DEP recommends for those who use the woods during the hunting seasons:

  • Know the area you will be using and the types of hunting activities that occur there.
  • Wear bright clothing such as an item of fluorescent orange/green to increase your visibility.
  • Avoid wearing gray, brown, tan or white when in areas open to hunting.
  • Consider using a bell on your bike or pet. Keep dogs on leash.
  • If you see someone hunting, call out to them to be sure they know of your location.

Connecticut’s hunting rules are among the strictest in the country. They are designed to keep hunting safe for hunters and others that enjoy the outdoors. If you witness a hunting violation or feel that your safety has been threatened by the actions of illegal hunting, please report the violation to the DEP Environmental Conservation Police (ENCON) at 860- 424-3333. This office is open 24hrs a day. If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact the “Turn In Poachers” hotline @ 1-800-842-HELP. A cash reward may be offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of violators.