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The 2020/21 Delaware hunting seasons begin Sept. 1, 2020. The season opens Sept. 1, 2020 with mourning dove, archery and crossbow deer and resident Canada goose seasons. The teal season starts on Sept. 12 and the gray squirrel season on Sept. 15.
Dove: Sept. 1 through Oct. 5, for first season split (½ hour before sunrise to sunset) (Reminder)
Archery and crossbow deer: Sept. 1, through Jan. 31, 2021, including Sundays (½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset)
Resident Canada geese: Sept. 1 through 25 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset)
Teal: Sept. 12 through 30 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset in the designated teal zone south of the C&D Canal to Lewes and east of Routes 13, 113/113A, and 1)
Gray squirrel: Sept. 15 through Feb. 6, 2021 (½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset; closed during November shotgun deer season)
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. Dove, goose and teal hunters also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through the Digital DNREC website or by calling toll free 1-855-335-4868.
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.
Wildlife area maps and rules are available online and for download.
Following is a summary of hunting opportunities, procedures, and rules for migratory bird hunting on state wildlife areas.
Sunflower fields have been planted at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area on the Daniels and Rocks tracts and Eagles Nest Burrows Tract. Hunting at the Daniels, Burrows, and Rocks Tracts will be run through a lottery held at noon at the Cedar Swamp lottery station located on Collins Beach Road. Hunting days will be Opening Day, Labor Day and all Saturdays in September. Hunting hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dove hunting is restricted to lottery fields only on the Burrows and Rocks Tracts. All other areas of Cedar Swamp outside of zones 2 and 3 are open daily to dove hunting in accordance with all state and federal regulations from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
Augustine Wildlife Area does not have any sunflower fields this year; however the area is open throughout dove season with no special permits required
Dove hunting is also permitted on the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Eagles Nest Wildlife Area throughout the September season with no special permits required. Hunting at the Augustine and Eagles Nest Wildlife Areas and the C&D Conservation Area is permitted from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
Resident Canada goose hunting will be available on the C&D Canal Conservation Area, on and around Reedy Island in the Delaware River and on the Eagles Nest Wildlife Area, no special permits are required. Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. Resident Canada geese may be harvested on the Port Penn and Ashton Tracts of the Augustine Wildlife Area while hunting teal by obtaining a permit as described below for September Teal.
Blinds will be available on the Port Penn and Ashton Tracts of the Augustine Wildlife Area for the early teal season. These blinds are available by permit only through lottery drawings held at the Augustine lottery station at the end of North Congress Street in Port Penn. Lotteries are held on opening day, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, with drawings taking place 1½ hours before legal shooting time throughout the season.
Sunflowers have been planted in fields on the Main tract of the Little Creek Wildlife Area, the Logan Lane and Buckaloo/Morris Tracts of the Ted Harvey Conservation Area and the Penuel Tract of the Milford Neck Wildlife Area. Permits to hunt these fields are issued through a noon lottery at the Little Creek check station on Route 9/Bayside Drive just south of the town of Little Creek. These areas will be open to hunting on Opening Day, Labor Day, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in September only. Hunting hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. Dove hunting is restricted to these fields only on these four tracts. Sunflower fields that are open without a lottery have been planted on the the Blackiston Wildlife Area off of Underwoods Corner Road and Sewell Branch Road. There are also sunflowers planted off of Ironmine Road on the Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area and no special permit is required.
Resident goose hunting will be available on the Blackiston, Tappahanna, Norman G. Wilder, Little Creek-Davey Crockett Tract, Ted Harvey-Morris and Buckaloo Tracts and Milford Neck-Penuel, Coverdale, Main and Rawley’s Island Tracts with no special permits required. Hours are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
Select blinds will be open at the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area and will be available through a lottery at the Woodland Beach check station on Route 9 which is held 1½ hours before legal shooting time on a daily basis. Ted Harvey Conservation Area river blinds and Roberts and Island Farm Tract blinds will be issued through the Little Creek lottery station beginning 2 hours before legal shooting time daily. Blind status regarding grassing will be posted at the lottery stations. The Little Creek-Davey Crockett Tract and Milford Neck-Penuel, Main, Rawley’s Island and Cedar Creek Tracts are open without special permits.
Two fields of sunflower and one field of corn are planted at the Nanticoke Wildlife Area for dove hunting this year. All 3 fields were protected with an electric fence. They are located on either side of the Main Road running between Old Sharptown and Phillips Landing Roads (called the George Adams and Dirt Pit Fields). No permits or check out are required. Nanticoke is open daily to dove hunting in accordance with all state and federal regulations from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
At the Assawoman Wildlife Area on the Muddy Neck Tract on both sides of Double Bridges Road fields 2 fields have been planted in sunflowers for dove hunting. The newest location is located across the road from the deer hunting tagboard. Both fields were surrounded with electric fences. Hunting days will be Opening Day, Labor Day and all Saturdays in September. Hunting hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Permits are available at the Assawoman Check Station beginning at noon each hunting day.
All other wildlife areas in Sussex County are open for dove hunting with no permits required in accordance with all state and federal regulations from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
A resident goose hunt is possible at Assawoman in Sussex County, but it will depend on whether any resident goose flocks are present on areas accessible for hunting. Check the Assawoman Checking Station for information or call 302-539-3160 in advance.
Prime Hook State Wildlife Area is open to teal hunting this year. Hunting days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. State blinds 1 through 7 will be open. Permits are free and will be issued on a first come-first served basis from the check station located on the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. All federal blinds are closed, and no drawings or check out will occur. Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. Hunters should plan to use the Foord’s Landing boat ramp within the federal refuge to access the state waterfowl blinds as the new water levels have made the state boat ramp inaccessible at most times.
No other Sussex County state wildlife areas fall within the September teal season zones.