Hey goose

Snow geese prepare to swim away, including one tagged bird.

Numerous Delaware hunting and trapping seasons are open in December of 2020, including the third and final duck hunting season split that opens Friday, Dec. 11, and the special antlerless deer hunting season opening Saturday, Dec. 12. Deer hunting is allowed on all Sundays, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective deer hunting season, with more information available online at de.gov/sundayhunt. Hunters are encouraged to harvest does (female deer) to help manage the size and quality of the deer population.

Hunting and trapping seasons opening in December:

Hunting:

  • Beaver: Dec. 1 to March 20, 2021, private land only
  • Woodcock and common snipe: Dec. 5 to Jan. 19, 2021
  • Ducks, coots and mergansers: Dec. 11 to Jan. 30, 2021
  • Brant: Dec. 11 to Jan. 30, 2021
  • Antlerless deer: Dec. 12 to 20, including Sundays Dec. 13 and 20, 2020*
  • Canada geese (migratory): Dec. 19 to Jan. 18, 2021

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

Trapping:

  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum and nutria • New Castle County: Dec. 1 to March 10, 2021 (March 20 on embanked meadows) • Kent and Sussex counties: Dec. 15 to March 15, 2021
  • Red fox and coyote: Dec. 1 to March 10, 2021
  • Beaver: Dec. 1 to March 20, 2021, private land only

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Bobwhite quail: through Jan. 2, 2021
  • Mourning dove: through Jan. 30, 2021
  • Sea ducks in the Special Sea Duck Area: through Jan. 30, 2021
  • Tundra swan (by special permit ONLY): through Jan. 30, 2021
  • Snow goose: through Jan. 30, 2021, and Feb. 6, 2021
  • Archery and crossbow deer: through Jan. 31, 2021, including all Sundays
  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 6, 2021
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 6, 2021
  • Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 27, 2021
  • Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 27, 2021
  • Raccoon and opossum (hunt): through Feb. 27, 2021**
  • Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 27, 2021
  • Crows: through March 27, 2021, and June 24-26, 2021 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
  • Groundhog: through June 30, 2021

**Special hunting hours for raccoon and opossum during the December antlerless, January handgun, January shotgun and January muzzleloader deer seasons are 7 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. For more information, including wildlife area maps and rules, visit de.gov/hunting. Sunday deer hunting information specific to individual 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 require a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp and a federal migratory bird (duck) stamp. All migratory game bird hunters except crow hunters, including duck, goose and dove hunters, also need a free Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through the DNREC ePermitting system or by calling toll free 1-855-DEL-HUNT or (855) 335-4868. If using the 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 using the DNREC ePermitting system or from hunting license agents statewide. New this year, hunters obtaining a LEN should create a profile using the ePermitting system or at a hunting license agent. Federal migratory bird (duck) stamps are available for purchase at U.S. Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges and online.

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. More information on hunting licenses, the state waterfowl stamp and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/hunting or by calling the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Recreational Licensing office at (302) 739-9918.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) 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.