Delaware waterfowl hunters are gearing up for the state’s third duck-hunting season segment, which runs from Friday, Dec. 10, through Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, and the second Canada goose hunting season segment, which runs from Friday, Dec. 24, through Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, the DNREC officials announced recently. Additional hunting seasons, including the special antlerless deer season, open in December, as well as numerous trapping seasons.
Deer hunters are being encouraged to harvest does (female deer) to help manage the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population. Deer hunting is allowed on all Sundays through January 2022, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective established deer-hunting seasons. Additional information is available at de.gov/sundayhunt.
Hunting season dates opening in December:
- Beaver, through Mar. 19, 2022, private land only;
- Woodcock and common snipe, through Jan. 17, 2022;
- Antlerless deer, Dec. 11-19, including Sundays, Dec. 12 and 19 (archery and crossbow hunters may hunt deer during the December antlerless season but may not harvest antlered deer);
- Ducks, coots and mergansers, Dec. 10, 2021, through Jan. 31, 2022;
- Brant, Dec. 11, 2021, through Jan. 31, 2022; and
- Canada goose (migratory season), Dec. 24, 2021, through Jan. 22, 2022.
Trapping season dates opening in December include:
- Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum, nutria (New Castle County, Dec. 1, 2021, through Mar. 10, 2022, with March 20 on embanked meadows; Kent and Sussex counties, Dec. 15, 2021, through Mar. 15, 2022);
- Red fox and coyote, through Mar. 10, 2022; and
- Beaver, through Mar. 20, 2022, private land only.
(Groundhog trapping season continues through June 30, 2022.)
Continuing hunting seasons include:
- Bobwhite quail, through Jan. 1, 2022;
- Mourning dove, through Jan. 31, 2022;
- Archery and crossbow deer, through Jan. 31, 2022, including all Sundays;
- Sea ducks in Special Sea Duck Area, through Jan. 31, 2022;
- Tundra swan (by special permit only), through Jan. 31, 2022;
- Snow goose, through Jan. 31, 2022, and Feb. 5, 2022;
- Ring-necked pheasant (male only), through Feb. 5, 2022;
- Gray squirrel, through Feb. 5, 2022;
- Cottontail rabbit, through Feb. 28, 2022;
- Coyote (hunting), through Feb. 28, 2022;
- Red fox (hunting), through Feb. 28, 2022;
- Raccoon and opossum (hunting), through Feb. 28, 2022 (special raccoon and opossum hunting hours 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);
- Crows, through March 26, 2022, June 23-25, 2022, and June 30, 2022 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only); and
- Groundhog, through June 30, 2022.
DNREC’s fish and wildlife division offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas, with details available at de.gov/wamaps. Information specific to Sunday deer hunting on state 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 are required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp and a Federal Duck Stamp. Migratory bird hunters, except crow hunters, also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through the DNREC ePermitting system website or by calling toll free 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868). If using the DNREC 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 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 at de.gov/huntinglicense or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters obtaining a LEN were reminded that they should create a profile using theDNREC ePermitting system 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 at2021/2022 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.
Additional information on hunting seasons and state wildlife areas is available in the 2021/2022 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide or by calling the Wildlife Section at (302) 739-9912. Information on hunting licenses, the state waterfowl stamp and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/huntinglicense or by calling the Recreational Licensing office at (302) 739-9918.