Delaware Hunters Reminded Harvest of Delmarva Fox Squirrels is Prohibited

A Delmarva fox squirrel at the Assawoman Wildlife Area wearing a telemetry collar for remote tracking /DNREC photo

 

Gray Squirrel Hunting Season to Open Sept. 15

With the opening of gray squirrel hunting season on Sept. 15, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds Delaware hunters to be vigilant and not to harvest state-endangered Delmarva fox squirrels. Delmarva fox squirrel populations are found in Sussex County at and near the Nanticoke Wildlife Area, Assawoman Wildlife Area, Trap Pond State Park, Redden State Forest and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

Hunting for and harvesting of Delmarva fox squirrels is prohibited. It is important that hunters note the differences between the fox squirrel and the more commonly-seen eastern gray squirrel. Delmarva fox squirrels are much larger than gray squirrels and have lighter silver-gray fur with little to no brown, longer, fuller tails and short, rounded ears compared to gray squirrels.

Delmarva fox squirrels remain rare in Delaware, with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife working to reestablish the species by relocating Delmarva fox squirrels from robust populations in Maryland to suitable habitat in Delaware.

More information about Delmarva fox squirrels, including photographs comparing Delmarva fox squirrels and eastern gray squirrels, and answers to frequently asked questions, can be found at de.gov/foxsquirrel.

About DNREC
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.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Numerous Delaware Hunting Seasons to Open in September, Including Archery Deer, Resident Canada Goose, Teal

 Above: A pair of greenwing teal. The Delaware hunting season for some waterfowl, including resident Canada geese and teal, opens in September. Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service

Many Hunting Opportunities Available to Public at State Wildlife Areas

Delaware hunters can start their 2022/2023 hunting season Thursday, Sept. 1 with the opening of mourning dove, archery and crossbow deer, coyote and resident Canada goose hunting seasons, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. Teal season opens Saturday, Sept. 10 and gray squirrel season opens Thursday, Sept. 15.

Hunting season dates and hunting hours for seasons opening in September:

  • Resident Canada goose: Sept. 1 thru 24 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Dove: Sept.1 thru Oct. 3 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)*
  • Archery and Crossbow Deer: Sept. 1 thru Jan. 31, 2023, including Sundays (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
  • Coyote: Sept. 1 thru Feb. 28, 2023 (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
  • King, Clapper and Virginia Rails, Sora, Moorhens and Gallinules: Sept. 3 thru Nov. 23 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Common Snipe: Sept. 9 thru Nov. 26 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Teal: Sept. 10 thru 28 (½-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 thru Feb. 4, 2023 (½-hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset; closed during the November deer general firearm season)

*Reminder: Non-toxic shot must be used for dove hunting on state wildlife areas during the month of September; lead shot is not permitted. Hunting hours may differ at specific dove fields on certain state wildlife areas.

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many early season hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available at de.gov/wamaps, with information specific to Sunday deer hunting on state wildlife areas posted at de.gov/sundayhunt. Additional information on September migratory bird hunting opportunities and associated rules on state wildlife areas is available online at de.gov/migratorybirdhunting.

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. Dove, goose and teal hunters also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained online at de.gov/digitaldnrec or by calling toll free 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868). When using the online DNREC permitting 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 have and 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/digitaldnrec or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters obtaining a LEN are reminded that they should create a profile at de.gov/digitaldnrec or obtain a LEN from 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 2022/2023 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.

More information on hunting seasons and wildlife areas is available in the 2022/2023 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide at de.gov/hunting. More information on hunting licenses, the state waterfowl stamp and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/huntinglicense.

About DNREC
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.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov, Joanna Wilson, Joanna.wilson@delaware.gov.

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Delaware Deer Harvest Announced for 2021/22 Hunting Season

A doe – female deer – standing in a Delaware field. DNREC announced that does accounted for 55% of the 2021-22 deer season harvest /DNREC photo

 

While Harvest Numbers Decreased, Venison Donations Increased

Delaware hunters reported harvesting 15,383 deer during the 2021/22 hunting season, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. The harvest was 10.9% lower than the 2020/21 record harvest of 17,265 deer, but marked the ninth consecutive year that the Delaware harvest exceeded 14,000 deer. The smaller harvest could be attributable to various factors, including natural food availability, hunter effort or the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s management of the deer population to improve the quality of the herd and reduce agricultural crop damage.
Deer harvest highlights during the 2021/22 hunting season include:

  • 6,350 deer were taken by hunters during the state’s popular 10-day November Shotgun Season, representing 41.3% of the total harvest
  • 8,492 females (does) and 6,891 males (bucks) were harvested, respectively – representing 55.2% and 44.8% of the total harvest, with doe harvest crucial in helping manage the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population
  • 70.9% of the total harvest consisted of antlerless deer – does, juvenile male deer without antlers commonly called button bucks, bucks with antlers measuring less than three inches, and bucks that had shed their antlers
  • Harvest was highest in Sussex County with 8,622 deer, followed by Kent County where 4,334 were taken, and New Castle County with 2,427 deer harvested
  • Zone 16 in southernmost Sussex County was the only wildlife management zone where the harvest increased, up slightly (1.6%) over 2020/21
  • 86% of Delaware’s deer harvest occurred on private property and 14% on public lands
  • 2,227 deer, representing 14.5% of the total harvest, were harvested on the 22 Sundays open to deer hunting on private lands and Division of Fish and Wildlife public wildlife areas.

Through the generosity of Delaware’s hunters and their donations of harvested deer to the Delaware Hunters Against Hunger program (formerly the Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger program), the number of pounds of donated venison increased by 15% compared to the 2020/21 season, resulting in the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife providing 22 Delaware charities with 24,333 pounds of venison, equivalent to nearly 100,000 meals to distribute to individuals in need. The venison was processed by local butcher shops and the butcher shop at the Delaware Department of Corrections’ Sussex Community Corrections Center located in Georgetown.

More information on deer hunting and public wildlife areas can be found in the 2021/2022 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide or by calling the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife section at 302-739-9912. Information about the DNREC-sponsored Delaware Hunters Against Hunger program for donating venison can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

About DNREC
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.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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DNREC Reminds Hunters to Remove Portable Deer Stands from State Wildlife Areas

A portable deer stand on a state wildlife area. Such stands must be removed by hunters who own them by Feb. 15 or they will confiscated by DNREC.

 

With Delaware’s 2021/2022 deer hunting season having come to a close, hunters are reminded to remove their portable deer stands from state wildlife areas by Tuesday, Feb. 15, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. Any deer stands found on state wildlife areas after that date will become the property of DNREC.

Hunters are allowed to set up portable deer stands on some state wildlife areas each year starting Aug. 1, but must remove these temporary stands soon after the last of Delaware’s deer seasons close. Placement of a temporary deer stand on a state wildlife area does not provide exclusive rights for a hunter to hunt from that stand. Under state wildlife area rules, portable deer stands cannot be nailed or bolted to a tree and hunters are prohibited from cutting any vegetation or branches to attach to a stand or clear shooting paths.

For more information, please contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

About DNREC
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.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


Delaware Turkey Hunting Season to Open in April

Self-serve Required Turkey Harvest Registration
Provided at Check Stations

Delaware’s statewide one-day turkey hunt for youth ages 10 to 15 and for non-ambulatory disabled hunters requiring a wheelchair will be held Saturday, April 3, followed by the four-week spring turkey hunting season from Saturday, April 10 through Saturday, May 8. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds turkey hunters that hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with no Sunday hunting.

Youth hunters on the one-day turkey hunt must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older who has completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety course and has a Delaware hunting license or a License Exempt Number (LEN). The accompanying adult may not hunt on the special one-day turkey youth hunt.

Only bearded turkeys may be harvested, and the bag limit is one bearded turkey per hunter each year, regardless of where and when a bird is harvested.

All harvested turkeys must be registered at an authorized turkey check station by 2:30 p.m. on the day the bird was harvested. A list of available check stations is available at 2021 Turkey Check Stations and on page 31 of the 2020/2021 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide. Turkey harvest data collected by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife are used to manage Delaware’s wild turkey population.Turkey check station box

Due to the ongoing coronavirus period, hunters will be required to use a self-registration process to register harvested turkeys. Easily identifiable, residential-style mailboxes with self-registration forms are located at each check station. To complete registration of a harvested turkey, hunters are required to fill out the form as completely as possible and sign and date the form. After completing the form, hunters should remove and retain the small bottom portion as a receipt, before folding and placing the top portion in the slot in the back of the mailbox. If multiple hunters are using or waiting to use a self-check station, hunters should remain the required six feet (or further) apart from one another, or fill out the registration form in their vehicle. Check stations will not be weighing wild turkeys harvested by hunters this season.

Hunters who want their bird scored and entered into National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) records are reminded to have their turkey’s weight recorded on a certified scale. For more information, visit NWTF Wild Turkey Records or contact your local NWTF representative.

Hunters on state wildlife areas and state forests during the spring turkey hunting season are required to carry their public land permit that was issued through a preseason lottery. The permit specifies the public land and season segment/dates that can be hunted. Hunters participating in the April 3 special turkey hunt for youth and non-ambulatory disabled hunters may hunt without a public land permit on state wildlife areas and state forests open to turkey hunting during the regular turkey hunting season.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the DNREC 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.

All turkey hunters 13 years of age and older must have completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety course. Turkey hunters under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older who has completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety course and who has a Delaware hunting license or a License Exempt Number (LEN).

Due to cancelation of in-person turkey hunter safety courses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program is offering a free online turkey course to until May 14, 2021.

To complete the online course, participants may go to Delaware turkey hunting course on the DNREC website to view the video, take the 20-question test, and either create an account or sign into an existing account in the DNREC ePermitting system to review and/or print their hunting license.

Participants must earn a score of 80% or higher on the test to successfully pass the turkey hunting course. Tests will be reviewed within 24 hours of completion. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a confirmation email and the course will be added to their profile in the DNREC hunter education database.

Hunters who completed a Delaware-accepted turkey course online must send a copy of the certificate of completion to the hunter education office at HunterEducation@delaware.gov or by calling 302-735-3600 x1.

Hunters completing the turkey hunting course for the first time who have a current hunting license are reminded to reprint their license to indicate successful completion of the course. Hunters who previously completed the turkey hunting course also should check to ensure that their hunting license displays their turkey hunting course number. Additionally, hunters who have successfully completed the course no longer need to carry a course card as proof of completion when their hunting license indicates they have passed the course.

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt. Delaware hunting licenses and Conservation Access Passes can be obtained online at Delaware Licenses or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters can obtain a free LEN through the DNREC ePermitting system or from a licensing agent where hunting licenses are sold, where hunters must create a profile to obtain their LEN.

For more information on turkey hunting, visit the 2020/2021 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps or call DNREC’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. More information on hunting licenses and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/hunting or by calling DNREC’s Recreational Licensing office at 302-739-9918.

About DNREC
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 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 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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