About Hunting in Delaware

Delaware is a coastal state so what it might lack in big game hunting it more than makes up for in bird seasons. From ducks to geese to swans, Delaware has a variety of birds seasons.

Delaware hunting seasons generally begin in September and run through early February of the following year. It is a snowy place so there are chances to hunt snow goose conservation order. There are over 62,000 acres that Delaware offers and 19 public wildlife areas that provide hunting and wildlife opportunities. They face a tremendous challenge to conserve species and restore the beauty of the state.

It is a peninsula so there are coastal plains to be enjoyed as well snow in the winter. Enjoy Delaware’s great outdoors and get a start with the general hunting dates that are listed below!

2021 Active Hunting Seasons in Delaware

Delaware offers the following seasons in 2021:

Deer, Turkey, Small Game (gray squirrel, cottontail rabbit, groundhogs), bull frog, snapping turtle, diamond back terrapin.

Migratory bird seasons: sea ducks, coot, mergansers, canada goose, brant, snow goose, swans, dove, clapper rails, woodcock, snipe, moorhens, gallinules and crow.

delaware hunting season zones

Key Hunting Season Dates

In general bird season starts October 23.

Archery Deer season starts Sept 1 in Delaware.

Delaware Archery Deer Hunting Seasons 2021

ArcherySept 1 – Jan 31Must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material displayed on the head chest, and back.
CrossbowSept 1 – Jan 31Must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material displayed on the head chest, and back.

DE Firearm Deer Hunting Seasons 2021

MuzzleloaderOct. 9 – 18
Jan. 25 – 31
Muzzleloaders can have scopes.
ShotgunNov. 13 – 22
Jan. 16 – 24
May be equipped with scopes
HandgunJan. 2, 4 – 9Authorized straight-walled pistol-caliber rifles

It is now legal to hunt deer with a handgun or authorized straight walled pistol caliber rifle during any shotgun deer season. Archery and crossbow hunters may take antlered deer during the October antlerless deer season but NOT during the December antlerless season.

Delaware separates its turkey hunting seasons by private and public land permits.

Public Land Permit AApr 10-16
Public Land Permit BApr 17-23
Public Land Permit CApr 14-30
Public Land Permit DMay 1-8

Understanding Delaware’s hunting season

Before hunting in DE, you will need the following:

  1. A Delaware hunting license (resident vs non-resident)
  2. Applicable permits (turkey, deer, etc)

Delaware Hunting License Costs

Sportsman can purchase their license 7 days a week from : https://de.gov/DigitalDNREC

Resident Adult Hunting License$39.50
Non-resident Adult Hunting License$199.50

Permit & Tag Costs

Resident PermitCost
Resident Trapping$10
Resident Waterfowl (Duck)$15
Wildlife Area Blind and Deer Stand Permit$20
Resident Hunter’s Choice and Quality Buck Tag combination$20
Each additional Antlerless Deer Tag$20
Non – Resident PermitCost
Non-Resident Trapping$75
Non-Resident Waterfowl (Duck)$15
Wildlife Area Blind and Deer Stand Permit$20
Non-Resident Quality Buck Tag $50
Non-Resident Antlered Deer Tag$50
Each additional Antlerless Deer Tag$20

Tips for Hunting in DE

  • Archery and crossbow hunters may bag antlered bucks through the October antlerless seasons. They may not do so during the December antlerless season.
  • Delaware has legalized hunting with a handgun during shotgun seasons as well as handgun season, though hunters can only use one during their dates allotted.
  • All registered motor vehicles used to access State Wildlife Areas must have a Conservation Access Pass. A Pass will be issued free to hunters, if requested with the purchase of a hunting license.

Delaware Hunting News

Delaware is a great coastal state offering a wide range of game in its beautiful forest. If you would like Turkey begins on April 10th and Small Game starts on Sept 15. Although it’s a small state there is exceptional deer hunting. Sunday hunting is illegal. Delaware has legalized deer hunting with a handgun. Official deer season starts Sept 1 and lasts until Jan 31st!

Links to Official Sites

Buy License in Delaware: https://de.gov/DigitalDNREC
Delaware State Regulation Site: www.eregulations.com/delaware/hunting/deer-seasons/
Delaware State Regulation PDF:

Hunting Seasons: https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fish-wildlife/hunting/seasons/