A white-tailed doe. Photo courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Deer Hunting Season Peaks, Waterfowl and Other Seasons Open;
Youth and Non-ambulatory Hunter Firearms Deer Hunt on Nov. 6 and 7
Numerous Delaware hunting seasons open next month, including the popular November deer shotgun season which runs from Friday, Nov. 12 through Sunday, Nov. 21, as well as the firearms deer hunt available only to youth and non-ambulatory hunters on Saturday, Nov. 6 and Sunday, Nov. 7, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. Duck, Canada goose and other hunting seasons also open in November.
Hunters are encouraged by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife to harvest does (female deer) during the various deer hunting seasons to help manage the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population. Deer hunting is allowed on all Sundays through Jan. 31, 2022, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective established deer hunting seasons, with additional information available at de.gov/sundayhunt.
A convenient Deer Harvest Report Card issued to hunters with their hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is now used to record harvested deer, replacing the paper deer tags vulnerable to damage and loss that were previously attached to deer upon harvest in Delaware. Hunters are reminded that they must complete the appropriate section of their Deer Harvest Report Card before the deer is moved from the harvest location and keep the card in their possession. Hunters may obtain a Deer Harvest Report Card at de.gov/digitaldnrec or by calling 302-739-9918 for assistance. Harvested deer must also be registered within 24 hours of harvest in the ePermitting system or by calling toll free at 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868).
Successful deer hunters who wish to donate venison to those in need are encouraged to participate in Delaware’s Sportsmen Against Hunger Program. Field-dressed deer may be donated at participating butchers or self-serve, walk-in coolers maintained by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, with additional information and participating butcher and cooler locations found online at de.gov/sah. All donated deer will be processed free of charge to the hunter, and the meat will be distributed to participating charitable organizations. Last year, hunters donated over 21,000 pounds of processed venison that provided more than 84,000 meals to Delawareans in need.
In addition to the deer shotgun season, November provides many other popular hunting opportunities, including the opening of the second duck season split, sea duck season in the Special Sea Duck Area and first Canada goose season split.
Hunting season dates opening in November:
- Raccoon and opossum (hunt only): Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, 2022*
- Red fox (hunt only): Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, 2022
- Deer youth/non-ambulatory hunt: Nov. 6 and Nov. 7
- Deer shotgun: Nov. 12 through 21, including all Sundays
- Tundra swan (by special permit ONLY): Nov. 11 through Jan. 31, 2022
- Woodcock (first season split): Nov. 22 through 27
- Ducks, coots and mergansers (second season split): Nov. 22 through 27
- Brant (first season split): Nov. 22 through 27
- Sea ducks in Special Sea Duck Area: Nov. 23 through Jan. 31, 2022
- Bobwhite quail: Nov. 22 through Jan. 1, 2022
- Mourning dove (second season split): Nov. 22 through Jan. 31, 2022
- Ring-necked pheasant (male only): Nov. 22 through Feb. 5, 2022
- Cottontail rabbit: Nov. 22 through Feb. 28, 2022
- Canada goose (first season split): Nov. 24 through 27
*Raccoon and opossum hunting seasons are closed during the November youth/non-ambulatory hunt and November shotgun deer season. Special hunting hours for raccoon and opossum during the December antlerless, January handgun, January shotgun and January muzzleloader deer seasons are 7 p.m. until midnight (reference the hunting and trapping guide for these deer season dates).
Continuing hunting seasons include:
- Moorhen, gallinule, sora, Virginia rail, king rail and clapper rail: through Nov. 24
- Common snipe: through Nov. 27
- Snow goose: through Jan. 31, 2022; Feb. 5, 2022
- Deer archery and crossbow: through Jan. 31, 2022, including all Sundays
- Gray squirrel: through Feb. 5, 2022 (closed during November deer shotgun season)
- Coyote (hunting): through Feb. 28, 2022
- Crows: through March 26, 2022, June 23 to 25, 2022 and June 30, 2022 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
- Groundhog: through June 30, 2022
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas, with details available at de.gov/wamaps. Information specific to Sunday deer hunting on state wildlife areas is available at de.gov/sundayhunt. For more information about Delaware’s white-tailed deer herd, go to de.gov/deer.
A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt, and most waterfowl hunters are required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp and a Federal Duck Stamp. Migratory bird hunters, except crow hunters, also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through the DNREC ePermitting system or by calling toll free 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868). If using the DNREC ePermitting system, hunters should either create a profile or use the “Quick Hunting Registration” option.
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 (CAP). Hunters can opt to receive one free annual CAP with the purchase of any Delaware hunting license. To obtain a CAP, hunters will need the registration card for the vehicle to which the pass will be assigned.
Delaware hunting licenses, Delaware waterfowl stamps and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at de.gov/huntinglicense or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters obtaining a LEN are reminded that they should create a profile using the DNREC ePermitting system or obtain a LEN at a hunting license agent if they have not already done so. Federal Duck Stamps are available for purchase at U.S. Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges and online at 2021/2022 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.
Additional information on hunting seasons and wildlife areas is available in the 2021/2022 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide or by calling the Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. Information on hunting licenses, the state waterfowl stamp and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/huntinglicense or by calling the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Recreational Licensing office at 302-739-9918.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.