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Delaware Hunting Season Peaks

Deer hunting season; Canada goose season, second season split for ducks, and other seasons open

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DOVER (Oct. 30, 2018) – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is promoting hunting seasons opening in November, including Delaware’s popular November shotgun deer season – which runs from Friday, Nov. 9 thru Sunday, Nov. 18, including Sunday, Nov. 11 – the season during which the highest number of deer are harvested by hunters in the state.

Hunters are also reminded of expanded Sunday deer hunting opportunities on all Sundays through the end of the deer-hunting season on Feb. 3, 2019, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective established deer hunting seasons. Please refer to the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Sunday Hunting webpagefor Sunday deer hunting information, including hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas.

Successful deer hunters who wish to donate venison are encouraged to participate in Delaware’s Sportsmen Against Hunger Program. All donated deer will be processed free of charge to the hunter, with the meat distributed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife to participating charitable groups. Last year, hunters donated 649 deer providing 19,083 pounds of venison to needy families.

In addition to the shotgun deer season, November provides many other hunting season openings, including Canada geese and the second duck season split. The following hunting seasons open in November:

  • Red fox (hunt only): Nov. 1-Feb. 28, 2019*
  • Raccoon and opossum (hunt only): Nov. 1-8 and Nov. 19-Feb. 28, 2019*
  • Youth/Non-ambulatory disabled hunt for deer: Nov. 3-4, including Sunday
  • Shotgun deer: Nov. 9-18, including two Sundays, Nov. 11 and 18
  • Canada geese and brant – first season split: Nov. 19-24
  • Ducks, coots and mergansers – second season split: Nov. 19-24
  • Woodcock – first season split: Nov. 19-24
  • Bobwhite quail: Nov. 19-Jan. 5, 2019
  • Mourning dove – second season split: Nov. 19-Jan. 31, 2019
  • Sea ducks: Nov. 19-Jan. 26, 2019
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): Nov. 19-Feb. 2, 2019
  • Cottontail rabbit: Nov. 19-Feb. 28, 2019

*For more information, please consult the 2018/2019 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide.

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 need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. To register for a HIP number or LEN 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 on or 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 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 free CAP, or to purchase an additional pass, 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, or 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 2018/19 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of 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 Conservation Access Passes is also available by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.