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The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife provides opportunities for migratory bird hunting on state wildlife areas. The following is a summary of those opportunities and the procedures and rules that apply. Hunting Seasons
It’s not just humans who can be affected by ticks. Tick-caused diseases and related problems also affect many wildlife species and domestic animals.
Dr. Ashley Kennedy Tick Biologist 302-601-6408
You can help DNREC research and manage the local population of Atlantic sturgeon, a rare and endangered fish. Simply use our reporting form to let us know of any interactions you have with this fish. Submit a Report
Ticks live in several different habitat types and can be found throughout Delaware in forests, meadows and wetlands. They are also found in yards and residential areas. Ticks are active year-round if temperatures are above freezing.
There are a few simple measures you can take to help keep you safe from ticks around the home.
Dr. Ashley Kennedy Tick Biologist 302-601-6408
There are five species of tick commonly found in Delaware. Identifying which tick has bitten you can help you take steps to protect yourself. There are also a handful of arthropods that are sometimes mistaken for ticks.
DNREC’s tick program conducts year-round, statewide active and passive surveillance for ticks and tick-borne pathogens. Knowing when and where different tick species occur in the state, and whether or not they’re infected with pathogens such as the agent of Lyme disease, helps protect public health.
While Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection in Delaware, there are other tick-associated diseases to be aware of in case you suffer a tick bite.
Dr. Ashley Kennedy Tick Biologist 302-601-6408
The DNREC Mosquito Control Section provides multiple communication channels to share information about planned mosquito control spraying in Delaware. These include the mosquito control spraying calendar (below), the online Spray Zone Map and the Spray Zone Notification System.
The table below shows the numbers of wild turkeys harvested each year during annual Delaware wild turkey hunting seasons, from 1991 to the present.
Year Adult Juvenile Unk. Total 1991
Since 2010, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has used an annual, volunteer-based survey to record observations of wild turkeys across the state during the months of July and August.
Division of Fish and Wildlife 302-735-3600
All turkeys harvested during Delaware’s wild turkey hunting season must be checked at an authorized turkey check station by 2:30 p.m. on the day the bird is harvested. The list of check stations is subject to change without notice. Please check back before the season begins for any changes. Check station hours may vary.
The 2021 spring wild turkey hunting season will run from April 10 through May 8, 2021. A special one-day hunt for youth and non-ambulatory hunters is set for April 3, 2021. Wild Turkeys in Delaware
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The table below shows the distribution of wild turkeys harvested among public lands hunting areas for the 2016 through 2020 wild turkey hunting seasons. State Wildlife Areas are administered by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife. State Forest lands are administered by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. [column
The wild turkey population in Delaware is one of the greatest conservation success stories in the region. The Division of Fish and Wildlife has reintroduced wild turkeys, once lost to Delaware. It now manages an ongoing conservation program and annual turkey hunting season.
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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. Wildlife Area Maps
We are mapping sightings of Delmarva fox squirrels and you can help. Use this form to report sightings and share information about this rare species. The Delmarva fox squirrel is no longer classified as an endangered or threatened species at the federal level. But it is still rare in Delaware. We are mapping the
State law allows Sunday deer hunting during established deer hunting seasons on private lands, with landowner permission, and on designated publicly-owned lands. Delaware’s 2021/2022 deer seasons fall between Sept. 1, 2021 and Jan. 31, 2022. Hunting on Sundays is allowed using those methods legal for the hunting seasons in effect on each Sunday. Deer
The Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center is one of two state shooting ranges managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. It offers trap and skeet shooting, rifle and pistol shooting, archery, and more.
The Ommelanden Training Center
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife is implementing a conservation plan for the Delmarva fox squirrel. This sub-species of the fox squirrel, found only on the Delmarva Peninsula, is rare in Delaware. As part of the conservation plan, DNREC has begun a project to move squirrels from Maryland into southern Delaware. [column md=”6″
White-tailed deer are one of the most important wildlife species managed in Delaware. Wildlife-watchers, photographers, and hunters flock to the state in pursuit of deer. They contribute millions of dollars each year to the state’s economy.
DNREC Wildlife Section
Managed or controlled hunting is a highly organized effort to reduce the local deer population in urban areas. Hunters must apply and are selected for these hunts. Information on participating in managed hunts is available on the Master Hunter Program page. During the hunt, hunters have specified treestand locations and shooting directions and are not
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a disease of the brain and nervous system in members of the family Cervidae (deer, elk, or moose). It has not been found in Delaware, but has in 26 other states and four Canadian provinces. State wildlife officials are taking steps to avoid its spread into Delaware. [column md=”5″
Many farmers report significant damage to their crops caused by deer. By combining non-lethal techniques with targeted harvest, farmers can reduce crop damage.
Jessica Haggerty DNREC Wildlife Section 302-735-3600
Since 1974, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has conducted annual waterfowl surveys to measure long-term trends in duck and goose populations. The survey results help increase biologists’ knowledge about the state’s waterfowl populations and habitat and help the state make informed decisions about habitat management and hunting.
Documented coyote sightings are not new in any of Delaware’s three counties Coyotes (Canis latrans) now makes its habitat in all 50 states but Hawaii, and they have been spotted in Delaware both north and south of the C&D Canal.
During Delaware’s deer season, the Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger program encourages hunters to share their harvest by donating venison to Delawareans in need. All donated deer are processed into ground venison free of charge to the hunter. The meat is distributed to participating charitable groups. Please note, only deer harvested and registered in Delaware
The Division of Fish and Wildlife manages 19 public wildlife areas; approximately 68,000 acres of land. In addition to providing habitat for a variety of wildlife, these lands provide hunting and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Much of this land, and many acres of private land, provide hunting during a number of seasons. More information is found in
Delaware offers a variety of opportunities for hunters with disabilities.
State wildlife areas offer specialized blinds/stands and hunting locations
The Division of Fish and Wildlife manages approximately 68,000 acres of Delaware land at 19 public wildlife areas that provide hunting opportunities as well as habitat for a variety of species. The state features a wide variety of fishing opportunities for every angler, from the Delaware River and Bay, to the ocean, to numerous ponds,
This page includes the Official Rules and an online Entry and Release Form for the annual DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife fishing and hunting photography contests that help celebrate Delaware’s traditions of fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation. Official Rules Deadlines for Entry
Delaware’s freshwater trout program is a self-supporting put-and-take fishery. Rainbow, brown and/or brook trout are stocked in selected streams in New Castle County and in selected ponds in Kent and Sussex counties.
Basic Requirements No minimum size. Four fish per day
The Northern Snakehead (Channa argus), a fish native to China and Russia, has become a problem invasive species in several states, including Delaware. Anyone who catches a snakehead in Delaware is encouraged to kill it and notify the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Delaware has 14 permitted artificial reef sites in Delaware Bay and along the Atlantic Coast. Cleaned and stable construction materials, boats, and subway cars create new habitat. They support expanded recreational fishing and diving. Delaware Reef Guide
Delaware, along with other states in the Mid-Atlantic Region, has been invaded by non-native aquatic species that pose a threat to native species, to ecological processes, and to the economy.
More Information Delaware Native Species Commission Delaware
Biologists from the Division of Fish and Wildlife keep track of the state’s fish populations. They work on Delaware’s rivers, ponds, estuaries, the Delaware Bay, and coastal waters and study how different species are faring. What Fisheries Biologists Do Fisheries Biologist John Clark captured and tagged this
Many small “farm” ponds in Delaware provide important recreational opportunities. Children may catch their first bluegill from such a pond. Ponds provide aesthetic beauty, irrigation, fire safety in rural areas, and wildlife habitat.
Fisheries Office 302-735-8650
Gamefish are found in either tidal or non-tidal freshwater in Delaware. Gamefish taken from Delaware waters cannot legally be sold, traded or bartered unless authorized by permit. The following restrictions apply to fishing for gamefish and in general for fishing in all non-tidal waters. For more information, or to report a violation, call 1-800-523-3336
Largemouth Bass fishing tournaments are popular in Delaware’s public ponds and tidal rivers. Most events are held between April and November. Data collected during the tournaments is useful to biologists that manage bass populations.
Get a Tournament
The Division of Fish and Wildlife gets many questions about about aquatic plant problems in small ponds. White-waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) Aquatic plants provide habitat for fish and small pond creatures. According to biologists, plant cover between 20 and 40 percent is ideal for
The Division of Fish & Wildlife will conduct a public hearing on proposed revisions to the Tidal Finfish regulations to include a new section on Cobia (Rachycentron canadum).
The Division of Fish & Wildlife will conduct a public hearing (Docket #2019-R-F-0026) on on February 26, 2020, on proposed revisions to the regulations governing Striped Bass Spawning Seasons and Area Restrictions.
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) is an educational program offering hands-on workshops to encourage and enhance participation in outdoor activities like hunting and shooting sports, fishing and boating, and non-harvest activities.
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There are hunter education training centers in all three Delaware counties, and shooting ranges in Kent and New Castle Counties.
Office of Hunter Education 6180 Hay Point Landing Road Smyrna, DE 19977 302-735-3600 x 1 HunterEducation@delaware.gov
The Delaware Hunter Education Program needs you to help prepare the next generation and other newcomers to hunting or trapping for a safe and enjoyable hunting future.
Robert Brennan Hunter Education Coordinator 302-735-3600
The Hunter Education Program offers a variety of classes, both basic and advanced. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most hunter education classes are only available online.
Office of Hunter Education 6180 Hay Point Landing Road Smyrna, DE 19977
The Hunter Education Program offers a variety of classes, both basic and advanced. Basic hunter education classes are available in person or online. Live classes run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Use the Digital DNREC Hunter Education system to register for hunter education courses, print hunter education cards, and manage your profile.
The Delaware Master Hunter Program is not for beginners. Your hunting license was only the beginning. And you aren’t a beginner any more. In fact, you’ve been at this outdoors pursuit called hunting for a long time and have a wealth of experience to show for it.
The Delaware Hunter Education Program is committed to putting safe, ethical and educated hunters in the field. Since 1970, it has continued Delaware’s tradition of fair chase hunting by educating and developing responsible, involved, safe and knowledgeable hunters for the future of The First State.
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