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Thread: A few private land questions...

  1. #1

    A few private land questions...

    Hi, I just found this forum. Thought it was awesome that DEP is interacting with CT outdoorsman, thanks for doing that.

    I live in Plainfield, and have 4+ acres.

    My first question is on target shooting. The state regulations state you must be 500' from a building to discharge a firearm, but I assume that means for hunting purposes? Where I would like to build my shooting range is less than 500' from a barn on my neighbors property that has horses, but the range would be aimed away from that towards empty woods/swamp. I plan on plowing up a large thick berm for a backstop to ensure nothing leaves my property. Is this still legal? I tried calling the local police, but she stated she thought the rule was 500' but didn't seem to sure. Many other non officials have told me the 500' rule does not apply to target shooting. I called the town hall, and they stated they have no ordinances regarding target shooting.

    My second question is about problem squirrel. It seems my backyard is infested with squirrels, and they have attempted to nest in a shed that I've had to attempt to squirrel proof.

    Can I pick them off with a .22/pellet gun whenever I want? Is it considered hunting if I'm removing nuisance wildlife from my property? How about rabbits in a garden? Does the 500' rule apply when removing nuisance wildlife?

    Last edited by pachaug; 10-10-2010 at 08:22 PM.

  2. #2
    10 Point 220combat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    You will have to wait for DEP to chime in on the target shooting. My assumption would be that as long as you are 500" from occupies structures, you would be OK.

    As far as the squirrels go, it is ILLEGAL to shoot them outside of regulated hunting seasons/methods. All state hunting laws apply.

    This is not to say that many folks haven't taken care of a rogue squirrel before, but it is not legal.

  3. #3
    The 500 foot rule also applies to target shooting. It says "It is prohibited to hunt with, shoot, or carry a loaded firearm within 500 feet of building.....". The way around this is if you get written permission to shoot from a closer distance from the owner of the building. They might be reseptive if you explain just what you want to do. As for getting rid of the damage causing squirrels you can't shoot them outside of hunting season but... I use to work at a youth camp and the squirrels did major damage to the buildings. They even chewed a hole in brand new siding that wasn't even finished yet. We use to deal with the squirrels on an on sight basis. If we waited til the season started the damage was already done. Try to get 15 - 20 squirrels out of a wall when they have nested in there.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Cal45 View Post
    The 500 foot rule also applies to target shooting. It says "It is prohibited to hunt with, shoot, or carry a loaded firearm within 500 feet of building....."
    Thanks for the response.
    There are a few issues with that line then because out would also apply to a loaded gun in the home (which you don't need a permit for) and pistol permit holders in populated areas... I would love some official clarification on this line in the regulations.

  5. #5
    CTHS Supporter passinthru63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Northeast, CT

    This was posted by EnCon on another forum about target shooting on private land.

    We (DEP) have nothing to do with target shooting other than the ranges on our property. You would need to contact the local PD, or if the CSP covers your town, contact the local state police barracks for their take on it.
    Some towns have and ordinance and obviously yours doesn't so you should be fine. IF there is no ordinance then the local PD has nothing to enforce. Ofcourse your neighbors may feel different and can cause some issues so it sure doesn't hurt to do some work up front with them to keep that from happening.

    Tolland just passed a gun ordinance to regulate where guns can be legally fired in town. You can see that here
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  6. #6
    14 pointer shadow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    pachaug.. I also believe it may be an issue that the town would need to be in on IF the town had some type of ordinance or IF you already built it and there were complaints.
    In the town of Southington, if you drive down Mt. Vernon road you will see the firing line of Bell City rifle club not more than 75 feet from the well traveled road. It is also probably less than 75 feet from its next door neighbor which is a residence to the south and also about 125 feet from a home across the street, and many others less than 500 feet away.

    So I feel that if your town doesn't have any ordinaces against it, I would talk to your neighbors see if they have issues with gunfire, and if not.. BUILD IT!

  7. #7
    We don't control target shooting in towns. That falls under the general statutes related to reckless endangerment, breach of peace, etc. You will need to check with your town for any specific regulations.

    The intent on the 500 foot rule is for hunting.

    If you are going to shoot squirrels and/or rabbits you must be 500 feet away from anyone else's buildings. You can be within 500 feet of your own building. You will need a hunting license and it must be the proper season.

  8. #8
    Thanks for clearing that up.



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