Additional Delaware Hunting, Trapping Seasons To Open in December

Waterfowl hunters await as ducks are called into their decoy spread. US Fish and Wildlife Service photo

 

Waterfowl and Antlerless Deer Hunting Seasons, Numerous Trapping Seasons Included

Delaware waterfowl hunters are gearing up for the state’s third duck hunting season segment, which runs from Friday, Dec. 10 through Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, and the second Canada goose hunting season segment, which runs from Friday, Dec. 24 through Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. Additional hunting seasons to include the special antlerless deer season open in December, as well as the opening of numerous trapping seasons.

Deer hunters are encouraged to harvest does (female deer) to help manage the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population. Deer hunting is allowed on all Sundays through January 2022, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective established deer hunting seasons. Additional information is available at de.gov/sundayhunt.

Hunting season dates opening in December:

  • Beaver: Dec. 1 through Mar. 19, 2022, Private Land Only
  • Woodcock and common snipe: Dec. 3 through Jan. 17, 2022
  • Antlerless deer: Dec. 11 through 19, including Sundays Dec. 12 and 19*
  • Ducks, coots and mergansers: Dec. 10 through Jan. 31, 2022
  • Brant: Dec. 11 through Jan. 31, 2022
  • Canada goose (Migratory season): Dec. 24 through Jan. 22, 2022

*Archery and crossbow hunters may hunt deer during the December antlerless season but may NOT harvest antlered deer.

Trapping season dates opening** in December:

  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum, nutria:
    ○ New Castle County: Dec. 1 through Mar. 10, 2022 (March 20 on embanked meadows)
    ○ Kent and Sussex counties: Dec. 15 through Mar. 15, 2022
  • Red fox and coyote: Dec. 1 through Mar. 10, 2022
  • Beaver: Dec. 1 through Mar. 20, 2022, Private Land Only

**Groundhog trapping season continues through June 30, 2022

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Bobwhite quail: through Jan. 1, 2022
  • Mourning dove: through Jan. 31, 2022
  • Archery and crossbow deer: through Jan. 31, 2022, including all Sundays
  • Sea ducks in Special Sea Duck Area: through Jan. 31, 2022
  • Tundra swan (by special permit ONLY): through Jan. 31, 2022
  • Snow goose: through Jan. 31, 2022 and Feb. 5, 2022
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 5, 2022
  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 5, 2022
  • Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 28, 2022
  • Coyote (hunting): through Feb. 28, 2022
  • Red fox (hunting): through Feb. 28, 2022
  • Raccoon and opossum (hunting): through Feb. 28, 2022***
  • Crows: through March 26, 2022, June 23 through 25, 2022 and June 30, 2022 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
  • Groundhog: through June 30, 2022

***Special raccoon and opossum hunting hours during the December antlerless, January handgun, January shotgun and January muzzleloader deer seasons are 7:00 p.m. until midnight (reference the hunting and trapping guide for these deer season dates).

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.

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 website 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 portal 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 state 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.

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, or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Delaware Natural Resources Police Arrest Two Individuals for Hunting and Firearms Related Charges

Delaware Natural Resources Police arrested two individuals during the opening weekend of shotgun deer season who were both hunting after being convicted of felony charges in the state of Delaware.

On November 12, Brian L. Dill, 47, of Lincoln who was previous convicted of felony theft was charged with three counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited, two counts of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited, one count of no hunter orange, and one count of possession or transportation of an unlawfully taken antlerless deer.

On November 13, John W. Hitch, 81, of Seaford who was previously convicted of felony possession of child pornography was charged with ten counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited and one count of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited.

Separate consent searches of the residence for both Brian Dill and John Hitch resulted in the seizure of a total of ten firearms, three crossbows, and numerous rounds of ammunition.

As a result of the arrests, Brian Dill was released on $19,002 unsecured bond and John Hitch was released on $26,000 unsecured bond. Both have preliminary hearings scheduled in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

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

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Brooke Mitchell, brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov


Hunters Reminded of Basic Hunter Education Course Requirements

Online and In-Person Courses Available

With fall hunting seasons approaching, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds hunters born after Jan. 1, 1967, that they must successfully complete an approved Basic Hunter Education Course to obtain a Delaware Hunting License. Early pre-registration is advised due to limited class seating, with classes filling quickly as the hunting season approaches.

Course dates, times and locations are available online on the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Hunter Education Program’s Hunter Education Course Calendar. Additional classes will be scheduled based on class demand. Classes are generally offered from July through February. Students must be 10 years of age or older to be able to take any Hunter Education Program Course.

The Basic Hunter Education Course teaches students safety, ethics, firearm types, safe gun handling, marksmanship techniques, specialty hunting techniques, wildlife management, wildlife identification, survival, Delaware hunting laws and regulations and many other hunter safety-related topics. All Basic Hunter Education Course participants must participate in a live firearm firing session with a trained instructor.

Two options are available for the Basic Hunter Education Course:

  • Traditional, in-person course offered at one of the classroom locations throughout the state, which includes the required live firearm firing session. The in-person course is free of charge to all students.
  • Online hunter education course with one of three private vendors listed on the Hunter Education web page at de.gov/huntersafety, combined with a one-day, in-person field day course to complete the live firearm firing requirement. A fee is charged for taking the course online; the field day course is free.

Registration for Basic Hunter Education Courses is available online through the ePermitting system at de.gov/digitaldnrec.

The Delaware Hunter Education Program was established in the early 1970s to help educate the public in safe hunting practices and to reduce hunting-related accidents. More than 37,000 Delaware hunters have completed hunter safety courses and received their hunter safety cards, which has substantially reduced hunting-related accidents.

For more information, contact the Division of Fish and Wildlife Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1.

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

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

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Additional Delaware Hunting Opportunities to Open in February

Snow Goose Conservation Order and Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day Open; Multiple Hunting and Trapping Seasons Continue

Additional waterfowl hunting opportunities are available in February with the opening of the Snow Goose Conservation Order Monday, Feb. 1 and a second special youth waterfowl hunting day Saturday, Feb. 6. Information for hunters is available from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control at de.gov/hunting.

Snow Goose Conservation Order

The Snow Goose Conservation Order is open Monday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 5, closing for the youth waterfowl hunting day on Saturday, Feb. 6, and reopening on Monday, Feb. 8 through Friday, April 9, excluding Sundays. Note the printed 2020/2021 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide incorrectly indicates the Snow Goose Conservation Order is open Saturday, Feb 6. The Conservation Order is closed Saturday, Feb. 6, with the regular snow goose hunting season reopening for one day when regular snow goose season bag limits and hunting regulations apply.

The Snow Goose Conservation Order is a separate season only for snow geese that occurs when Delaware’s regular waterfowl hunting seasons are closed. Liberal harvest methods are allowed during the Conservation Order to help reduce the large snow goose population that is damaging its Arctic nesting grounds, as well as wetlands and agricultural lands on migration routes and overwintering areas.

Legal shooting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. There are no daily bag and possession limits, and unplugged shotguns and electronic calls are allowed. All other federal and state hunting regulations apply. Hunters on state wildlife areas where the Conservation Order is open should refer to Wildlife Area Maps for specific rules and regulations.

Hunters participating in the Conservation Order must obtain a free Snow Goose Conservation Order permit number that must be in their possession while hunting. Permit numbers can be obtained at the DNREC ePermitting system or by calling toll-free 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868) 24/7 or 302-735-3600 during business hours Monday through Friday. Hunters also are required to report their Conservation Order hunting activity and harvest success online or by calling 302-735-3600 to the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife by Friday, April 30, 2021.

Other requirements for hunters participating in the Snow Goose Conservation Order include:

  • All participants need a Delaware Harvest Information Program (HIP) number.
  • Delaware residents must have a hunting license or a valid Delaware License Exempt Number (LEN).
  • All resident hunters at least 16 years of age except those who possess an LEN must purchase a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp.
  • Maryland residents who can legally hunt in Maryland do not need a Delaware hunting license, provided they obtain an LEN specific to hunting snow geese and purchase a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp.
  • Maryland residents who have an annual Delaware LEN for other hunting do not need a LEN specific to hunting snow geese or a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp.
  • All other non-resident hunters must have a Delaware non-resident hunting license or a valid Delaware LEN.
  • All non-resident hunters at least 16 years of age must purchase a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp except those who possess a valid Delaware LEN.
  • A federal migratory bird (duck) stamp is not required to participate in the Conservation Order.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day

The one-day, special youth waterfowl hunting day on Saturday, Feb. 6 is open for hunters ages 10 through 15. Normal daily waterfowl bag limits and hunting regulations apply, to include a limit of 25 snow geese and one Canada goose.

Youth hunters must be of sufficient physical size and strength to safely handle a firearm and must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter age 21 or older who cannot possess a firearm or hunt during the youth hunt. Youth hunters ages 13 through 15 must have completed a hunter education course, obtained a hunter education certification card and purchased a Delaware junior hunting license. Youth hunters age 10 through 12 must possess a license exempt number (LEN) and may have taken a hunter education course. All youth waterfowl hunters need a Delaware Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. No state or federal waterfowl stamps are required for youth hunters.

Youth waterfowl hunting is available on many state wildlife areas, some of which are accessed through a waterfowl blind lottery drawing. The following wildlife areas issue waterfowl blinds through a lottery drawing, with a morning lottery held one and a half hours before legal shooting time at Augustine, Cedar Swamp, Woodland Beach and Assawoman wildlife areas and two hours before legal shooting time at the Little Creek and Ted Harvey wildlife areas. A State Wildlife Area Waterfowl Blind Permit is not needed during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day. More information on which state wildlife areas allow waterfowl hunting and associated wildlife area rules and regulations is available at Wildlife Area Maps.

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 6
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 6
  • Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 27
  • Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 27
  • Raccoon and opossum (hunt): through Feb. 27
  • Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 27
  • Beaver: through March 20, private land only
  • Crows: through March 27, and June 24 to 26 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
  • Groundhog: through June 30

Continuing trapping seasons include:

  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum and nutria:
  • New Castle County: through March 10 (March 20 on embanked meadows)
  • Kent and Sussex counties: through March 15
  • Red fox and coyote: through March 10
  • Beaver: through March 20, private land only

For more information about hunting on state wildlife areas, including wildlife area maps and rules, licensing and other requirements, visit de.gov/hunting. More information on hunting seasons and wildlife areas is available in the 2020/2021 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide or by calling the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

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.

A Delaware hunting license or a license exempt number (LEN) is required to hunt. All migratory game bird hunters except crow hunters, including duck, goose and dove hunters, need a free Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through the DNREC ePermitting system or by calling 24/7 toll free 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868).

Delaware hunting licenses, Delaware waterfowl stamps and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at de.gov/hunting or from hunting license agents statewide, with more information available online or by calling the DNREC Licensing office at 302-739-9918. Hunters obtaining a LEN should create a profile using the DNREC ePermitting system or at a hunting license agent. Federal migratory bird (duck) stamps are available for purchase online and at U.S. Post Offices and Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges.

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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Registration Open for Delaware Mandatory Wild Turkey Hunting Course

A wild turkey gobbler strutting in Sussex County – this year’s Delaware wild turkey hunting season starts April 10 and runs through May 8. /DNREC photo: Wayne Lehman

Free Course is Offered Online-Only for 2021 Season

Delaware’s annual spring wild turkey hunting season is starting in April 2021. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds both resident and non-resident hunters age 13 and older that they must pass a turkey hunting course approved by the Delaware Hunter Education Program before they can legally hunt turkeys in the First State.

All hunters to include turkey hunters born after Jan. 1, 1967, also must have completed an approved basic hunter education safety course and have a course card/hunter safety number. These hunter education requirements have collectively helped Delaware turkey hunters achieve an excellent hunting safety record since the state began offering a wild turkey hunting season in 1991.

The turkey hunting course is only being offered online and free of charge rather than the traditional in-person course due to continued COVID-19 precautions. The online course will be available through the Hunter Education Program 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 completing the turkey hunting course for the first time who have a current hunting license are reminded that they will need to reprint their license so that it will indicate successful completion of the course.
Likewise, 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.

For more information, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1.

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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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