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Delaware Hunting Seasons



Delaware hunting seasons generally begin in September and run through early February of the following year. Specific seasons, based on species and method of take, begin and end on different dates throughout the year.

Deer hunters are encouraged to harvest does (female deer) during deer hunting seasons to help manage the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population.

Successful deer hunters who wish to donate venison to those in need can participate in the Delaware Hunters Against Hunger program.

State law allows for Sunday deer hunting during established deer hunting seasons on private lands, with landowner permission, and on designated publicly owned lands.

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife provides opportunities for migratory bird hunting on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available online and for download.

Detailed information on hunting seasons is found in the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.

Hunting Seasons in February

Small game and furbearer hunting and trapping opportunities continue into February in addition to the opening of the Snow Goose Conservation Order on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and the second special youth waterfowl hunting day on Saturday, Feb. 4.

The 2023 Snow Goose Conservation Order: Feb. 1 through Feb. 3, closing for the youth waterfowl hunting day (Feb. 4) and reopening Feb. 6 through April 7.

Continuing Hunting and Trapping Seasons:

Hunting Seasons

Beaver (private lands only): Through Mar. 20

Raccoon and opossum (hunt only): Through Feb. 28 (Note)

Red fox (hunt only): Through Feb. 28

Ring-necked pheasant (male only): Through Feb. 4

Cottontail rabbit: Through Feb. 28

Snow goose: Feb. 4 (half an hour before sunrise to sunset)

Gray squirrel: Through Feb. 4 (half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset; closed during November shotgun deer season)

Coyote: Through Feb. 28 (half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset)

Crows: Through March 25, June 22 through 24 and June 29 through 30 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only, half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset)

Groundhog: Through June 30 (half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset)

Trapping Seasons

Red fox and coyote: Through March 10

Beaver: Through Mar. 20 (on private land only)

Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum and nutria (New Castle County Only): Through March 10 (through March 20 on embanked meadows)

Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum and nutria (Kent and Sussex counties): Through March 15

Licensing and Other Requirements

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt. Most waterfowl hunters require a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp and a federal migratory bird (duck) stamp.

All migratory game bird hunters except crow hunters, including duck and goose hunters, also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through the DNREC ePermitting system or by calling toll free 1-855-335-4868.

Hunters using the ePermitting system should either create a profile or use the “Quick Hunting Registration” option.

Anyone born after January 1, 1967, must satisfactorily complete a basic hunter education course before obtaining a Delaware Hunting license.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife are required to display a Conservation Access Pass.

 




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