Youth and Non-ambulatory Deer Hunt Set for Nov. 5 and 6; All Deer Hunters Encouraged to Harvest Does to Help Manage Deer Herd
Additional Delaware hunting seasons are set to open in November, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today – including the popular November general firearm deer season, also known as “November shotgun season,” which opens Nov. 11 and extends through Nov. 20, as well as the special deer hunt open to only youth and non-ambulatory hunters on Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6. Duck, Canada goose and other hunting seasons are to open later in the month.
Deer hunters are encouraged to harvest does (female deer) during 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, 2023, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective established deer hunting seasons, with additional information available at de.gov/sundayhunt. All harvested deer must be registered within 24 hours of harvest online at de.gov/digitaldnrec or by calling toll-free 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868).
Successful deer hunters who wish to donate venison to those in need are encouraged to participate in the Delaware Hunters 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/DHAH. 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 24,000 pounds of processed venison that provided more than 97,000 meals to Delawareans in need.
Sea duck hunters are advised that there is no longer a special sea duck zone with its own separate season dates or daily bag and possession limits. Season dates for sea ducks are now the same as the regular duck season, and the daily bag and possession limits for sea ducks are now included as part of the regular daily bag and possession limits for all ducks. Refer to page 34 of the 2022/2023 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide found at de.gov/hunting for additional information about hunting sea ducks.
Hunting season dates for seasons opening in November:
- Raccoon and opossum (hunt only): Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, 2023*
- Red fox (hunt only): Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, 2023
- Deer youth/non-ambulatory hunt: Nov. 5 and 6
- Deer general firearm/shotgun: Nov. 11 through 20, including all Sundays
- Tundra swan (by special permit ONLY): Nov. 11 through Jan. 31, 2023
- Woodcock (first season split): Nov. 21 through 26
- Ducks (including sea ducks), coots and mergansers (second season split): Nov. 21 through 26
- Brant (first season split): Nov. 21 through 26
- Bobwhite quail: Nov. 21 through Jan. 7, 2023
- Mourning dove (second season split): Nov. 21 through Jan. 31, 2023
- Ring-necked pheasant (male only): Nov. 21 through Feb. 4, 2023
- Cottontail rabbit: Nov. 21 through Feb. 28, 2023
- Canada goose (first season split): Nov. 23 through 26
*Raccoon and opossum hunting seasons are closed during the November youth/non-ambulatory deer hunt and the November general firearm/shotgun deer season. Special hunting hours for raccoon and opossum during the December antlerless, January handgun/straight-walled pistol-caliber rifle, January general firearm/shotgun and January muzzleloader deer seasons are 7 p.m. until midnight (reference the 2022/2023 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide at de.gov/hunting for deer season dates).
Continuing Delaware hunting seasons include:
- Moorhen, gallinule, sora, Virginia rail, king rail and clapper rail: through Nov. 23
- Common snipe: through Nov. 26
- Deer archery and crossbow: through Jan. 31, 2023, including all Sundays
- Snow goose: through Jan. 31, 2023; Feb. 4, 2023
- Gray squirrel: through Feb. 4, 2023 (closed during November general firearm/shotgun deer season)
- Coyote (hunting): through Feb. 28, 2023
- Crows: through March 25, 2023, June 22 through 24, 2023 and June 29 through 30, 2023 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
- Groundhog: through June 30, 2023
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many 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 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. Dove, goose and duck hunters also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained online at de.gov/digitaldnrec or by calling toll free 855-DEL-HUNT (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, except for the Resident Senior Lifetime Conservation Access Pass available to Delaware residents aged 65 or older.
Delaware hunting licenses, Delaware waterfowl stamps and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at de.gov/digitaldnrec, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901 or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters obtaining a LEN are reminded that they should create a profile using the de.gov/digitaldnrec 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 2022/2023 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.
More information on hunting seasons and wildlife areas is available in the 2022/2023 Delaware Hunting and 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.
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 more than 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Media Contact: Michael Globetti, [email protected]