Hunters in Delaware can start their 2020-2021 hunting season Tuesday, Sept. 1, with the opening of mourning dove, archery and crossbow deer, and resident Canada goose hunting seasons. Hunters can hunt teal starting Saturday, Sept. 12, and gray squirrel starting Tuesday, Sept. 15.
Hunting season dates and hunting hours for seasons opening in September are:
• Dove: Sept. 1 to Oct. 5 for first season split (a half-hour before sunrise to sunset)
• Archery and crossbow deer: Sept. 1 to Jan. 31, 2021, including Sundays (a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset)
• Resident Canada geese: Sept. 1 to 25 (a half-hour before sunrise to sunset)
• Teal: Sept. 12 to 30 (a half-hour before sunrise to sunset, limited to the designated teal zone south of the C&D Canal to Lewes and east of Routes 13, 113/113A and 1)
• Gray squirrel: Sept. 15 to Feb. 6, 2021 (a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset; closed during November shotgun deer season).
Hunters are being reminded that non-toxic shot (no lead) must be used for dove hunting on state wildlife areas during the month of September, and hunting hours may differ at specific dove fields on certain state wildlife areas.
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife offers many early-season hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Additional information on September hunting opportunities and associated rules is available at dnrec.delaware.gov.
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 migratory bird (duck) stamp. Dove, goose and teal hunters also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through the Digital DNREC website or by calling toll free at 1-855-335-4868. If using the Digital DNREC website, 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 at Delaware recreational licensing or from hunting license agents statewide. New this year, hunters obtaining a LEN should create a profile using the Digital DNREC portal 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 Wildlife Section at (302) 739-9912. More information on hunting licenses, the state waterfowl stamp and the Conservation Access Pass is available online under Delaware recreational licensing or by calling (302) 739-9918.