Numerous Delaware hunting seasons open in November, including the popular November deer shotgun season, opening Nov. 13, state wildlife officials noted this week.
Deer hunting is allowed on all Sundays through Jan. 31, 2021, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective deer hunting seasons, with more information available from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control online at de.gov/sundayhunt. Hunters are being encouraged to harvest does (female deer) to help manage the size and quality of the deer population.
A Deer Harvest Report Card issued to hunters with their hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is now used to record harvested deer, instead of the paper deer tags vulnerable to damage and loss that were previously attached to deer upon harvest. Hunters need to complete the appropriate section of their Deer Harvest Report Card before the deer is moved from the harvest location and keep the card in their possession.
Hunters may obtain a Deer Harvest Report Card by accessing the ePermitting system at https://de.gov/epermitting, or by calling (302) 739-9918 for assistance. Harvested deer must also be registered within 24 hours of harvest in the ePermitting system or by calling toll free at 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868).
Successful deer hunters who wish to donate venison to those in need are being encouraged to participate in Delaware’s Sportsmen Against Hunger Program (https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fish-wildlife/hunting/sportsmen-against-hunger/). 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/sah.
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 25,406 pounds of venison that provided more than 100,000 meals to Delawareans in need.
In addition to the deer shotgun season, November provides many other hunting opportunities, including the second duck season split, opener for sea duck season in the Special Sea Duck Area and the first Canada geese season split.
Hunting season dates opening in November include:
• Raccoon and opossum (hunt only): Nov. 2 to Feb. 27, 2021*
• Red fox (hunt only): Nov. 2 to Feb. 27, 2021
• Deer youth/non-ambulatory persons with disabilities: Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 8
• Tundra swan (by special permit only): Nov. 11 to Jan. 30, 2021
• Deer shotgun: Nov. 13 to 22, including Sundays
• Woodcock (first season split): Nov. 23 to 28
• Ducks, coots and mergansers (second season split): Nov. 23 to 28
• Brant (first season split): Nov. 23 to 28
• Sea ducks in Special Sea Duck Area: Nov. 23 to Jan. 30, 2021
• Bobwhite quail: Nov. 23 to Jan. 2, 2021
• Mourning dove (second season split): Nov. 23 to Jan. 30, 2021
• Ring-necked pheasant (male only): Nov. 23 to Feb. 6, 2021
• Cottontail rabbit: Nov. 23 to Feb. 27, 2021
• Canada geese (first season split): Nov. 25 to 28
(Raccoon and opossum hunting seasons are closed during the November youth/non-ambulatory persons with disabilities and November shotgun deer seasons. 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.
Continuing hunting seasons include:
• Moorhen, gallinule, sora, Virginia rail, king rail and clapper rail: through Nov. 25
• Common snipe: through Nov. 28
• Snow goose: through Jan. 30, 2021, and on Feb. 6, 2021
• Deer archery and crossbow: through Jan. 31, 2021, including all Sundays
• Gray squirrel: through Feb. 6, 2021 (closed during November deer shotgun season)
• Coyote (hunting): through Feb. 27, 2021
• Crows: through March 27, 2021, and June 24 to 26, 2021 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
• Groundhog: through June 30, 2021.
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.
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 and goose hunters, also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, available through the DNREC ePermitting system or by calling toll free at 1-855-335-4868. Hunters using the ePermitting system 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 DNREC 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.