DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces Delaware hunting and trapping seasons opening in December

Multiple opening waterfowl hunting seasons run into January

DOVER – Numerous Delaware hunting and trapping seasons open in December, including multiple waterfowl seasons that extend into or through January, coinciding with the influx of a variety of migratory waterfowl for the winter, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today. Many other hunting and trapping seasons provide opportunities to enjoy the winter outdoors as temperatures drop and provide favorable hunting and trapping conditions.

Hunting seasons opening in December:

  • Beaver: Dec. 2 – March 20, 2020, private land only
  • Woodcock and common snipe: Dec. 7 – Jan. 21, 2020
  • Antlerless deer: Dec. 14 – 22, including all Sundays*
  • Waterfowl (ducks, coots, and mergansers): Dec. 13 – Jan. 31, 2020
  • Brant: Dec. 21 – Jan. 1, 2020
  • Canada geese (migratory): Dec. 21 – Jan. 21, 2020

*Archery and crossbow hunters may NOT take antlered deer during the December antlerless deer season.

Trapping seasons opening in December:

  • Red fox, coyote: Dec. 1 – March 10, 2020
  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum, nutria:
    • New Castle County: Dec. 1 – March 10, 2020 (March 20 on embanked meadows)
    • Kent and Sussex counties: Dec. 15 – March 15, 2020
  • Beaver: Dec. 1 – March 20, 2020

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Bobwhite quail: through Jan. 4, 2020
  • Sea ducks in the special sea duck area: through Jan. 31, 2020 (See page 30 of the hunting guide for more information about the special sea duck area.)
  • Tundra swan: through Jan. 31, 2020, by permit only, issued via pre-season lottery
  • Snow goose: through Jan. 31, 2020, and Feb. 8, 2020
  • Mourning dove: through Jan. 31, 2020
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 1, 2020
  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 1, 2020
  • Archery and crossbow deer: through Feb. 2, 2020, including all Sundays
  • Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 29, 2020
  • Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 29, 2020
  • Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 29, 2020
  • Raccoon & opossum (hunt): through Feb. 29, 2020*
  • Crow: through March 31, 2020 (Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays only)
  • Red fox (chase) through April 30, 2020**
  • Groundhog: through June 30, 2020 (open year-round)

*Raccoon and opossum may be hunted from 7 p.m. until midnight during the December and January firearm deer seasons.
**Red fox chase season closed during December antlerless season.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available at Wildlife Area Hunting Maps.

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt, and most waterfowl hunters require a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp. More information on hunting license and Delaware waterfowl stamp requirements is available at Delaware Licenses. Waterfowl and other migratory game bird (except crow) hunters will need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. To register for a LEN or HIP number, hunters can go to Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration or call toll free 1-855-335-4868. For hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird stamp is also required to hunt waterfowl.

To purchase a hunting license, either in person or online, hunters born after Jan. 1, 1967, must have a basic hunter education safety course card/number. Hunters who took a Delaware hunter safety course starting in 2008 can print their hunter safety card by going to http://de.gov/huntersafety. Hunters who took their Delaware hunter safety course before 2008 should call the Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1 to obtain a hunter safety card.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish & 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 Delaware Licenses, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from hunting license agents statewide. Federal migratory bird stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges, and online at Federal duck stamps.

For more information on hunting, click 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of the guide and hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting licenses, season details, and the Conservation Access Pass is also available by calling the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces Delaware hunting seasons opening in November

Shotgun deer, duck, Canada goose, and cottontail rabbit among numerous hunting seasons opening statewide

Pictuere of the DNREC Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife DivisionDOVER – Numerous Delaware hunting seasons open in November, including the shotgun deer season from Friday, Nov. 15 through Sunday, Nov. 24, Sundays included, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today. Other popular hunting seasons opening in November include the second season split for ducks and the first season split for Canada goose, with many other hunting seasons also opening. Complete information is available online by visiting the 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.

The November shotgun deer season is the most popular deer season. During Delaware’s five-month deer season, nearly 50 percent of the overall annual deer harvest typically occurs during the 10 days of the November shotgun season. Harvest of does by hunters is encouraged to help manage and better balance the state’s deer population.

A doe in the field. USFWS photo

Successful hunters who wish to donate venison to help feed those in need are encouraged to participate in Delaware’s Sportsmen Against Hunger Program. All donated deer will be processed free of charge to the hunter, and the meat will be distributed to participating charitable groups.

Hunting seasons opening in November:
• Red fox (hunt only): Nov. 1 – Feb. 29, 2020
• Raccoon and opossum (hunt only): Nov. 1 – Feb. 29, 2020*
• Youth/Non-ambulatory disabled hunt for deer: Nov. 2 and 3
• Shotgun deer: Nov. 15-24, including Sundays
• Sea ducks in special sea duck area: Nov. 23 – Jan. 31, 2020 (See page 30 of the guide for more information about the special sea duck area.)
• Ducks, coots, and mergansers second season split: Nov. 25 – 30
• Woodcock first season split: Nov. 25 – 30
• Bobwhite quail: Nov. 25 – Jan. 4, 2020
• Mourning dove second season split: Nov. 25 – Jan. 31, 2020
• Ring-necked pheasant (male only): Nov. 25 – Feb. 1, 2020
• Cottontail rabbit: Nov. 25 – Feb. 29, 2020
• Canada goose first season split: Nov. 28 – 30

* Raccoon and opossum hunting season is closed during the November youth/non-ambulatory disabled hunt and November shotgun deer seasons, with the exception of the special zone where raccoon season is open all year, as described on page 36 of the guide. Special raccoon and opossum hunting hours during the December antlerless, and January handgun, shotgun, and muzzleloader seasons are 7 p.m. until midnight.

First Canada goose split Nov. 28-30. DNREC photo

Continuing hunting seasons include:
• Moorhen, gallinule, sora, Virginia rail, king rail, and clapper rail: through Nov. 21
• Common snipe: through Nov. 30
• Snow goose: through Jan. 31, 2020, and Feb. 8, 2020
• Tundra swan: through Jan. 31, 2020, by permit only, issued via pre-season lottery
• Gray squirrel: through Feb. 1, 2020 (closed during November shotgun deer season)
• Archery and crossbow deer: through Feb. 2, 2020, including all Sundays
• Coyote (hunt only): through Feb. 29, 2020
• Crow: through Mar. 31, 2020 (Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only)
• Groundhog: through June 30, 2020

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available at Wildlife Area Hunting Maps.

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt, and most waterfowl hunters require a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp. More information on hunting license and Delaware waterfowl stamp requirements is available at Delaware Licenses. Waterfowl and other migratory game bird (except crow) hunters will need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. To register for a LEN or HIP number, hunters can go to Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration or call toll free 1-855-335-4868. For hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird stamp is also required to hunt waterfowl.

To purchase a hunting license, either in person or online, hunters born after Jan. 1, 1967, must have a basic hunter education safety course card/number. Hunters who took a Delaware hunter safety course starting in 2008 can print their hunter safety card by going to http://de.gov/huntersafety. Hunters who took their Delaware hunter safety course before 2008 should call the Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1 to obtain a hunter safety card.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish & 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 Delaware Licenses, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from hunting license agents statewide. Federal migratory bird stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges, and online at Federal duck stamps.

For more information on hunting, click 22019-2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of the guide and newly-updated hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting licenses, season details, and the Conservation Access Pass is also available by calling the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

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