Before you head out into the great outdoors of Delaware to hunt, make sure you are familiar with the hunting seasons and licensing requirements.
In this blog post, we will provide an overview of what you need to know in order to enjoy a safe and successful hunting trip in Delaware. Be sure to check with the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife for more information on hunting seasons, regulations, and licensing.
Hunting In Delaware
Don't be fooled by Delaware's tiny size. Deer hunters in the "Small Wonder" state had an all-time high of 14,681 deer harvested in the 2015-2016 season.
While Delaware has numerous hunting seasons, it is rigorous about hunting times. Sunday hunting is prohibited, with the exception of commercial shooting preserves and red fox chases. As of mid-2016, pending legislation would enable some deer season hunts on Sundays, although it's best to check with the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife for further details.
Delaware Deer Seasons
|Archery and Crossbow||Sept. 1-Jan. 31|
|Muzzleloader||Oct. 8-17 and Jan. 24-30|
|General Firearm/Shotgun||Nov. 12-21 and Jan. 15-23|
|Handgun||Jan. 1 and Jan. 3-8|
|Special Antlerless||Oct. 1-3, Oct. 18, Oct. 22-25, Oct. 29-31 and Dec. 11-19|
|Youth and Non-ambulatory Hunt||Nov. 6-7|
*Archery and crossbow hunters may bag antlered bucks through the October antlerless seasons. They may not do so during the December antlerless season.
Delaware has legalized deer hunting with a handgun during shotgun seasons as well as handgun season, though hunters can only use one take method during the hunt. It is illegal to hunt with both shotgun and handgun at the same time.
Delaware Spring 2022 Turkey Seasons
|Public Land Permit A||Apr. 9-15|
|Public Land Permit B||Apr. 16-22|
|Public Land Permit C||Apr. 23-29|
|Public Land Permit D||Apr. 30-May 7|
Delaware separates its turkey hunting season by private and public land permits. Hunters on private lands are able to hunt throughout the entire season, while hunters with public land hunting permits must obey additional season dates based by permit.
Delaware Small Game Seasons
|Gray Squirrel||Sept. 15-Feb. 5|
|Cottontail Rabbit||Nov. 22-Feb. 28|
|Groundhogs||July 1-June 30|
|Ring-necked Pheasant (Male Only)||Nov. 22-Feb. 5|
|Bobwhite Quail||Nov. 22-Jan. 1|
How To Get A Hunting License In Delaware?
Depending on your age, you may be required to have the Hunter Education Certificate in order to legally buy a license or permit to hunt.
- Complete the Delaware hunter education certification requirements.
- Choose the correct license type.
- Buy the license through the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife website or a Delaware–approved retailer.
Delaware License Expiration
Hunting licenses are good from July 1 through June 30 of the next year.
Where to Buy a Delaware Hunting License
- Visit the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife website.
- Visit a Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife office or an approved license retailer.
- Mail in a paper application. (Call 302-739-9918 for more information.)
Delaware hunting seasons, bagging totals and available licenses vary by region. For information on how to obtain season licenses for harvest, visit the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife website.
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