Jan. Brings More Opportunities For Hunters In Delaware


Additional deer hunting seasons in Delaware are beginning with the arrival of January.

Hunters are encouraged to harvest does in order to help manage the size and quality of the state’s deer population. Deer hunting is allowed on all Sundays this month, in accordance with state restrictions.

Also, hunters who wish to donate venison to people in need are encouraged to take part in the Sportsmen Against Hunger program, which last year collected 21,000 pounds of meat that provided more than 84,000 meals.

DNREC provided additional details:

Deer hunting season dates opening in January:

●      January handgun deer*: Jan. 1, Jan. 3 through 8, excluding Sunday, Jan. 2** south of the C&D Canal

●      January general firearm deer (also known as the January shotgun season)*: Jan. 15 through 23, including Sundays

●      January muzzleloader deer: Jan. 24 through 30, including Sundays

*Straight-walled pistol-caliber rifles are allowed during the January handgun and general firearm deer seasons south of the C&D Canal.

**Hunters may only use archery equipment, including crossbows, to hunt on Sunday, Jan. 2. 

Continuing hunting seasons include:

●      Bobwhite quail: through Jan. 1, 2022

●      Woodcock and common snipe: through Jan. 17, 2022

●      Canada goose (migratory season): through Jan. 22, 2022

●      Ducks, coots and mergansers: through Jan. 31, 2022

●      Sea ducks in the Special Sea Duck Area: through Jan. 31, 2022

●      Brant: through Jan. 31, 2022

●      Tundra swan (by special permit ONLY): through Jan. 31, 2022

●      Snow goose: through Jan. 31, 2022 and Feb. 5, 2022

●      Mourning dove: through Jan. 31, 2022

●      Archery and crossbow deer: through Jan. 31, 2022, including all Sundays

●      Gray squirrel: through Feb. 5, 2022

●      Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 5, 2022

●      Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 28, 2022

●      Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 28, 2022

●      Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 28, 2022

●      Raccoon and opossum (hunt): through Feb. 28, 2022***

●      Beaver (hunt): through March 19, 2022, private land only

●      Crows: through March 26, 2022, June 23 through 25, 2022 and June 30, 2022 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)

●      Groundhog (hunt): through June 30, 2022

***Special raccoon and opossum hunting hours during the January handgun, January general firearm and January muzzleloader deer seasons are 7 p.m. until midnight (reference the 2021/2022 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide for these deer season dates).

Continuing trapping seasons include:

●      Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum and nutria:

β—‹      New Castle County: through March 10, 2022 (March 20 on embanked meadows)

β—‹      Kent and Sussex counties: through March 15, 2022

●      Red fox and coyote: through March 10, 2022

●      Beaver: through March 20, 2022, private land only

●      Groundhog: through June 30, 2022

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife 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 or by calling toll free 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868). If using the DNREC ePermitting system, hunters can either create a profile or use the β€œQuick 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 de.gov/huntinglicense or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters obtaining a LEN are reminded that they should create a profile using the DNREC 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 at 2021/2022 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 DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Recreational Licensing office at 302-739-9918.