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.

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

Hunting Seasons Opening in September

The 2022/2023 hunting season opens on Thursday, Sept. 1 with the opening of mourning dove, archery and crossbow deer, and resident Canada goose hunting seasons.

Dove: Sept. 1 to Oct. 3 for first season split (half an hour before sunrise to sunset) (Important Reminder)

Archery and Crossbow Deer: Sept. 1 to Jan. 31, 2023, including Sundays (half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset)

Resident Canada goose: Sept. 1 to 24 (half an hour before sunrise to sunset)

Coyote: Sept. 1 to Feb. 28, 2023 (half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset)

King, Clapper, and Virginia Rails, Sora, Moorhens, and Gallinules: Sept. 3 to Nov. 23 (half an hour before sunrise to sunset)

Common Snipe: Sept. 9 to Nov. 26 (half an hour before sunrise to sunset)

Teal: Sept. 10 to 28 (half an hour before sunrise to sunset, limited to 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 to Feb. 4, 2023 (half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset; closed during November shotgun deer season)

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.

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

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.