Do you want to go hunting in Delaware? Look no further! Delaware’s hunting seasons are covered in detail here, including opening and closing dates, allowed game species, and applicable laws. Read on to find out where you can go hunting in Delaware and how to organize your next hunting trip.
Delaware’s hunting seasons allow outdoor enthusiasts of all ages to connect with nature and engage in a time-honored tradition. Below you’ll find information about Delaware Hunting Seasons 2023, including open dates and area limits, for the various game species you may be interested in taking down.
Delaware Hunting Seasons
State wildlife lands controlled by DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife provide several hunting opportunities. Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, ensures public safety, promotes outdoor recreation, and educates the public about environmental concerns.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife makes public property accessible for fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, and boating. Please read on to learn more about the next seasons, hunting areas, and rules and restrictions.
Delaware is a great place to hunt white-tailed deer. From September through February, Delaware allows bow, muzzleloader, and shotgun deer hunting. Deer may be hunted with bows at any time of the year. Deer without antlers may be hunted throughout the months of December and January. You may read our exclusive article on Delaware deer hunting season for more details.
|Delaware Deer Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season End Date||Note|
|Deer (Archery)||Thursday-September 1, 2022||Tuesday-January 31, 2023||Statewide. In this season, the usage of a crossbow is possible.
|Deer (Special Antlerless-1)||Saturday-October 1, 2022||Sunday-October 2, 2022||Across the State|
|Deer (Muzzleloader-1)||Friday-October 7, 2022||Sunday-October 16, 2022||Across the State|
|Deer (Special Antlerless-2)||Monday-October 17, 2022||Monday-October 17, 2022||Across the State|
|Deer (Special Antlerless-3)||Friday-October 21, 2022||Monday-October 24, 2022||Across the State|
|Deer (Special Antlerless-4)||Friday-October 28, 2022||Monday-October 31, 2022||Across the State|
|Deer (Youth & Disabled Hunt)||Saturday-November 5, 2022||Sunday-November 6, 2022||Across the State|
|Deer (Shotgun-1)||Friday-November 11, 2022||Sunday-November 20, 2022||Across the State|
|Deer (Special Antlerless-5)||Saturday-December 10, 2022||Sunday-December 18, 2022||Across the State|
|Deer (Handgun-1)||Saturday-January 7, 2023||Saturday-January 7, 2023||Across the State|
|Deer (Handgun-2)||Monday-January 9, 2023||Saturday-January 14, 2023||Across the State|
|Deer (Shotgun 2)||Saturday-January 14, 2023||Sunday-January 22, 2023||Across the State|
|Deer (Muzzleloader-2)||Monday-January 23, 2023||Sunday-January 29, 2023||Across the State|
Delaware Coyote & Fox Season
|Delaware Coyote & Fox Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season End Date||Note|
|Coyote||Thursday-September 1, 2022||Tuesday-February 28, 2023||There is no limit.|
|Red Fox||Tuesday-November 1, 2022||Tuesday-February 28, 2023||There is no limit. The muzzleloader, antlerless, youth, and non-ambulatory hunts, as well as the general firearm, and antlerless seasons all ended in October.|
|Delaware Other Games||Hunting Season Start Date||Note|
|Raccoon & opossum (hunt only)||Through February 28, 2023||Raccoon and opossum special hunting hours are from 7 p.m. to midnight during the antlerless deer seasons in December, January, and February using a handgun or straight-walled pistol-caliber rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader.|
|Gray squirrel||Through February 4, 2023||30 minutes before dawn to 30 minutes after sunset; closed during the shotgun deer season in November.|
|Groundhog||Through June 30, 2023||30 minutes before dawn to 30 minutes after dusk.|
|Beaver||Through March 20, 2022||on private land only|
Delaware also provides an early season for turkey hunting, which begins in April and extends through May. Hunting for wild turkey is authorized using a shotgun, muzzleloader, or bow and arrow. A spring gobbler season is available from April 1st to May 31st, and a fall season runs from October 1st to January 31st.
|Delaware Turkey Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season End Date||Note|
|Turkey (Segment-A)||Saturday-April 8, 2023||Friday-April 14, 2023||One bearded turkey every season is the maximum. It is necessary to apply for special permissions.|
|Turkey (Segment-B)||Saturday-April 15, 2023||Friday-April 21, 2023||One bearded turkey every season is the maximum. It is necessary to apply for special permissions.|
|Turkey (Segment-C)||Saturday-April 22, 2023||Friday-April 28, 2023||One bearded turkey every season is the maximum. It is necessary to apply for special permissions.|
|Turkey (Segment-D)||Saturday-April 29, 2023||Saturday-May 6, 2023||One bearded turkey every season is the maximum. It is necessary to apply for special permits.|
Delaware is a great place to go hunting for small game and migratory game birds. Cottontail rabbits, squirrels, and pheasants are all examples of small game that may be pursued when the time is right. Ducks, geese, doves, woodcock, and snipe are just some of the migratory game birds that may be pursued by hunters in the fall and winter.
|Delaware Rabbit Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season End Date||Note|
|Cottontail Rabbit||Monday-November 21, 2022||Tuesday-February 28, 2023||A bag limit of 4 per day|
|Delaware Duck Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season End Date||Note|
|Duck (September Teal)||Saturday-September 10, 2022||Wednesday-September 28, 2022||There is a daily bag limit of six.|
|Duck (Regular Part-1)||Friday-October 21, 2022||Saturday-October 29, 2022||A total of six bags each day is the limit.|
|Duck (Regular Part-2)||Monday-November 21, 2022||Saturday-November 26, 2022||Total bag limits of 6 per day.|
|Duck (Regular Part-3)||Friday-December 9, 2022||Tuesday-January 31, 2023||Bag limit each day is a total of 6.|
|Delaware Goose Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season End Date||Note|
|Goose (Early Canada Goose)||Thursday-September 1, 2022||Saturday-September 24, 2022||A bag limit of 15 per dats|
|Goose (Snow Goose Part-1)||Saturday-October 1, 2022||Tuesday-January 31, 2023||A bag limit of 25 per dats|
|Goose (Canada Goose Part-1)||Wednesday-November 23, 2022||Saturday-November 26, 2022||A bag limit of 2 per dats|
|Goose (Canada Goose Part-2)||Saturday-December 24, 2022||Monday-January 23, 2023||A bag limit of 2 per dats|
|Goose (Conservation Order Part-1)||Wednesday-February 1, 2023||Friday-February 3, 2023||Snow goose has no limit.|
|Goose (Snow Goose Part-2)||Saturday-February 4, 2023||Saturday-February 4, 2023||A bag limit of 25 per dats|
|Goose (Conservation Order Part-2)||Monday-February 6, 2023||Friday-April 7, 2023||Snow goose has no limit.|
Pheasant & Quail Season
|Delaware Pheasant & Quail Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season End Date||Note|
|Pheasant||Monday-November 21, 2022||Saturday-February 4, 2023||A bag limit of 2 per day (Males only)|
|Bobwhite Quail||Monday-November 21, 2022||Saturday-January 7, 2023||A bag limit of 6 per day|
|Delaware Other Species Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season Start Date||Bag Limit||Possession Limit||Note|
|Mourning Dove||Thursday-September 1, 2022||Monday-October 3, 2022||15||45||1 All hunters are required to use non-toxic shot throughout the month of September while shooting doves on state wildlife areas.|
|Monday-November 21, 2022||Monday-January 31, 2022|
|King and Clapper Rails||Saturday-September 3, 2022||Wednesday-November 23, 2022||102||30||2 Individually or along with the other two species|
|Sora and Virginia Rails||Saturday-September 3, 2022||Wednesday-November 23, 2022||253||75||3 Individually or along with the other two species|
|Woodcock||Monday-November 21, 2022||Saturday-November 26, 2022||3||9|
|Common Snipe||Friday-September 9, 2022||Saturday-November 26, 2022||8||24|
|Moorhens and Gallinules||Saturday-September 3, 2022||Wednesday-November 23, 2022||15||45|
|Crow (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only)||Friday-July 1, 2022||Saturday-March 25, 2023||There is no Limit||There is no Limit|
|Wednesday-June 22, 2022||Friday-June 24, 2022|
|Wednesday-June 29, 2022|
|Thursday-June 30, 2022|
|Delaware Swan Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season End Date||Bag Limit||Possession Limit|
|Tundra Swan-Only with special permit||Friday-November 11, 2022||Monday-January 31, 2022||Limit of 1 per season||Limit of 1 per season|
|Mute-Swan||Any open waterfowl season is permissible to take||There is no limit||There is no limit|
|Trumpeter-Swan||(Closed Season)||(Closed Season)||NA||NA|
* During the Snow Goose Conservation Order, the area is closed.
Licensing & Permits
It is illegal to go hunting in Delaware without a valid hunting license or junior hunting license if you are above the age of 13. Those younger than 13 may still go hunting as long as they are accompanied by an adult (18+) who has a valid hunting license. In certain places, residents over the age of 65 may get by without a license, but they still need to prove their residence.
In addition, you’ll need to finish a hunter education course before you can get a license and permit. Turkey hunters are obliged to take a specialized education course. Sessions may be held either in-person with a teacher or remotely with a facilitator and in-person field trips (s). There is also the option of enrolling in a “Master Hunter” course in Delaware, which is designed for experienced hunters.
- Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number required (LEN). Most waterfowl hunters require both the Delaware and federal duck stamps.
- Hunters of migratory game birds other than crows need HIP numbers. You may get these numbers through DNREC ePermitting or by contacting 1-(855)-335-4868.
- Create a profile or use “Quick Hunting Registration” to use ePermitting.
- Any Delaware resident born after 1/1/1967 must complete a hunter education course.
- Entrance to any Division of Fish and Wildlife wildlife area requires a Conservation Access Pass.
Delaware hunters must obtain licenses and follow DNREC laws year-round. Delaware requires a Harvest Information Program (HIP) card and a hunting license. All migratory birds must complete an online HIP survey.
Hunters should also know the species-specific norms and restrictions. Delaware’s hunting regulations vary per species. Sundays are off-limits for deer hunting, and each hunter may only bring home the deer specified in the bag limits as mentioned above. Before hunting in a Wildlife Area, contact DNREC since the rules may be different.
When are the Delaware hunting seasons?
Normal hunting seasons in Delaware start in September and last until the beginning of February the following year. Various species and methods of harvest have different opening and closing dates for their respective seasons.
Can I go deer hunting on Sundays in Delaware?
Every Sunday until January 31, 2023, you may go on a hunt for deer, so long as you stick to lawful hunting tactics throughout the appropriate deer hunting seasons.
Depending on the species, hunters in Delaware may choose from a number of different seasons. Delaware requires all hunters to have a valid hunting license, be certified via the Harvest Information Program, and follow all of the rules and guidelines established by the Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control Department (DNREC). In addition, hunters must always be mindful of their surroundings, follow established hunting ethics, and respect the rights of landowners. Observing these rules will increase the likelihood of having a pleasant and productive hunting trip in Delaware.
1 thought on “Delaware Hunting Seasons 2023 🦌[Ultimate Guide!]”
I have been complaining about a neighbor that is connected with my land to the Game Warden for several years. Nothing is being done. The neighbor (and his friends or paying customers) are shooting deer all hours of the night. There is a development connected with his property and my land. Is it legal to bring in hunters on his property that is so close? He also hangs deer in a special designed shed were he bleeds them out and butchers them. The shooting all night long wakes me up all the time. Sometimes I cannot get to sleep again. And NO I will not move. Purchased this land in 1975 when my Husband was alive.