· hunting laws · 14 min read

Delaware Hunting Laws Licensing & Regulations

Delaware game hunting

Delaware is the second-smallest state in the United States, yet it still has plenty of hunting chances. It is more popular for deer hunting than for any other game or species, and it holds the record for the number of deer taken in the United States.

Regulations for Delaware Hunting

In Delaware, hunting is strictly regulated. The state has tight restrictions in place to safeguard game and animal harvesting. If you want to go hunting in Delaware, you must first grasp all of the criteria and restrictions imposed by the state Fish and Wildlife Division.

The following are some of Delaware’s hunting regulations:

Hunting Regulations in General

  • Delaware Sunday hunting is not permitted. Exceptions are made during the fox season for commercial red fox hunting. In addition, pending legislation allows deer hunting on Sundays during deer seasons. However, it is best to check with the Wildlife Division first.
  • It is illegal to hunt in Delaware unless you have a valid state license. The state also outlaws taking more games than the specified bag limitations, as well as possessing games obtained illegally.
  • In Delaware, hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of an occupied structure. This requirement is waived if the hunter owns the building or obtains permission from the property owner to hunt on its premises. Also, for bow-and-arrow deer shooting, a hunter must be 50 years away from an occupied building. For individuals hunting with a firearm, counties such as Newcastle mandate a 200-yard radius from occupied structures.
  • It is illegal to discharge a hunting firearm fewer than 15 yards from a public road. It is also illegal to fire a firearm across a public road.
  • Trespassing on private lands and properties with a rifle or trap without authorization from the landowner is illegal. It makes no difference whether or not the land contains a sign prohibiting the use of guns.
  • It is illegal to destroy any wildlife, game animal, bird cave, den, or nest.
  • The use of artificial light on animals for hunting games is prohibited. This restriction also applies to light emitted by cars.
  • During Delaware hunting, you are not permitted to utilize devices that allow night vision or infrared.

Regulations Concerning Firearms and Archery

  • While hunting in Delaware, you may not have a loaded firearm or cocked crossbow in or on your vehicle.
  • It is illegal to transport muzzleloader rifles with a charge in their barrel. If the firearm primer or cap has been removed or the firearm is in an enclosed case, this restriction is waived.
  • It is illegal to hunt at night, and the nighttime is defined as 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise. There are exceptions to this rule for hunting opossums, frigates, and raccoons with the use of a handheld light source.
  • It is illegal to hunt games using a shotgun that is larger than 10 gauge, an automatic firearm that fires more than once when the trigger is pulled, or a centerfire rifle. There are exceptions for hunting predators such as foxes and coyotes with a centerfire rifle.
  • In Delaware, it is illegal to use a shotgun with more than three shells for hunting. There are exceptions for hunting snow geese.
  • It is illegal in Delaware to take or try to take game or wildlife using poisoned arrows or arrows with explosive points.
  • It is illegal to use a swivel rifle or a punt that cannot be fired from the shoulder.

Regulations for Hunting Furbearers

  • It is illegal in Delaware to employ a bait, pen, trap, cage, deadfall, pen, chemical, poison, pitfall, or drug for game-taking. Wildlife and games, such as raccoons, rabbits, foxes, and coyotes, are exempt.
  • In Delaware, it is illegal to hunt or capture muskrats with a dog.
  • It is illegal in the state to shoot or capture muskrats. The trapping of muskrats is exempt from this rule.

Other Delaware hunting regulations are as follows:

  • It is illegal to sell or exchange wildlife, games, or animal parts. Those who obtain approval from the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife may make an exception. If you are a hunter and wish to ship games taken legally in the state, you must first obtain a notarized declaration proving that the game was taken legally. The document must also include the sender’s information and the number of games packaged.
  • It is illegal to shoot wild birds, such as owls and hawks. Delaware only allows legal bird-game hunting for sparrows and starlings.
  • Having live wildlife and game animals in your hands is illegal.
  • It is illegal to bring live rabbits from other states into Delaware without a health certificate.
  • Allowing hunting dogs to run at large is illegal. Private properties are granted exceptions to allow the dog to run from October 1st to February 18th. The dogs may only run on the owner’s property.
  • It is illegal to let hunting dogs run at large between the hours of sunset and morning at any time of year. In addition, hunting dogs in Delaware must be registered.
  • It is illegal to use bait to hunt game. The only exception to this is hunting for deer on privately held state property.
  • It is illegal to release swine animals into the wild, charge a fee for hunting swine, or shoot at swine without a state hunting division license.
  • It is illegal to harvest deer antlers using traps or any other technology that removes antlers from the game. You can openly carry a handgun or a shotgun when hunting in Delaware. However, open carry is not permitted in the state when bow hunting.
  • Delaware also has legislation against hunter harassment. The legislation stipulates that no one shall intentionally interfere with or disrupt a legitimate hunting activity in the state, which includes taking aquatic species such as fish, frogs, crabs, oysters, and so on, as well as hunting game such as birds or other animals.

Delaware Hunting Licenses, Tags, and Permits

Delaware grants hunting licenses depending on state residency. In the state, there are many sorts of resident and non-resident licenses. To apply for any of Delaware’s resident licenses, you must have lived in the state for at least a year. You must also not be a resident of any other state or region of the United States.

Although you may own property in other states, you must declare residency in Delaware exclusively, and it must be the state for which you pay federal income taxes.

Delaware residents licenses, permits, and tags include the following:

Adult hunters with a hunting license

This is a hunting license accessible to Delaware residents between the ages of 16 and 64. It will set you back $39.5.

Junior Resident Hunting License

This license is offered to 13- to 15-year-old inhabitants who desire to hunt in the state. It will set you back $5.

Resident Guide Hunting Permit

This license is accessible to Delaware residents aged 18 and above who want to work as hunting guides. It is $159,50.

Resident Trapping Permit

Residents of Delaware who want to trap games in the state must first purchase a trapping license and then complete a Delaware trapping education course. This license is available to those aged 13 to 64 and costs $10.

Residents’ Fur Dealer Permit

This license is required for Delaware citizens who want to deal with furs and pelts on a commercial scale. Muskrat furs and pets, on the other hand, are an exception. It will set you back $50.

Waterfowl Stamp for Residents

This stamp is accessible to state residents between the ages of 16 and 65. Only individuals who possess this stamp will be permitted to shoot ducks in the state. It is priced at $15.

Permit to Hunt Waterfowl and Deer in Delaware WMA

Residents can purchase a combination of Delaware waterfowl and deer hunting permits in the state’s wildlife zones. The fee for permission is $20.

Quality Buck Tag for Resident Hunters

This tag is accessible to local hunters for $20.

Deer Tags with No Antlers

This tag, which costs $20, allows antlerless deer shooting in Delaware.

The following nonresident licenses, permits, and tags are issued in the state:

Adult Non-Resident Hunting License

This is an out-of-state Delaware hunting license issued to nonresidents aged 16 and up. It is $199.5.

Junior Non-Resident Hunting License

Nonresidents between the ages of 13 and 15 are eligible for this license. It will set you back $50.

Non-resident hunting guide license

Nonresidents who want to work as guides in the state can obtain this license. The license requires that you be at least 18 years old. The price is $475.

Permit for Delaware Wildlife Area Waterfowl Blind and Deer Stand

This permit will allow nonresidents to shoot waterfowl and deer in Delaware wildlife management areas. It is priced at $20.

Non-Resident Trapping Permit

Nonresidents who want to trap in Delaware must first complete a trapping education course and obtain this license. It will set you back $75.

Non-Resident Fur Dealer Permit

This is an annual license that is accessible to nonresidents who want to start commercial fur and pelt businesses in Delaware. Muskrat furs and pelts, on the other hand, are exempt. The price is $475.

Waterfowl Stamp for Non-Residents

Nonresidents who want to hunt ducks in the state can purchase this stamp. This license requires a minimum age of 16 years old. It is priced at $15.

3-Day Hunting License for Non-Residents

This is a nonresident license that is only good for three days. It will allow small game hunting and grant a license to shoot ducks. It will set you back $75.

Deer Dag Antlered by Non-Residents

Nonresidents who want to hunt antlered deer in Delaware must have this license. It was $50.

Additional Antlerless Deer Tags for Non-Residents

This $20 tag allows nonresidents to go antlerless deer hunting in Delaware.

Fishing Licenses, Tags, and Permits in Delaware

The following fishing license tags and permits are available in Delaware:

General Fishing License in Delaware

This is the most common fishing license offered in Delaware to both residents and non-residents. Residents pay $8.5, while non-residents pay $20.

Tourist Fishing License for 7 Days

This fishing license is exclusively accessible to nonresidents of Delaware and visitors to the state. It is accessible for one week for $12.5.

Boat Fishing Permit for

This Delaware fishing license is available to both Delaware residents and non-residents. Residents and non-residents of the state pay $40 for 20 feet and $50 for more than 20 feet.

Head Boat Fishing Permit

The holder of this license will be able to fish from a boat. Residents pay $300, while nonresidents pay $600.

License for Charter Boat Fishing

Holders of this license may fish from a chartered boat. Residents pay $150, while non-residents pay $300.

Guide Fishing Permit

A guide fishing license allows the holder to be in command and serve as a guide during a fishing trip. Residents pay $100, while non-residents pay $300.

Stamp for Young Angler Trout

This stamp allows youth aged 12 to 15 to mount a trout while fishing. Residents pay $2.1, while non-residents pay $6.2.

Stamp for Adult Trout

This stamp permits adults aged 16 to 64 to mount a trout while fishing. Residents pay $4.8, while non-residents pay $6.2.

The following are some things you should know about fishing in Delaware: You can only fish in Delaware if you have a state-issued fishing license. Delaware has no reciprocity with any other state or region in the United States for fishing licenses.

Delaware will not accept Fisher Identification Numbers issued by other states or the federal government. The Delaware Fisher Identification Number is the only one that is accepted.

A New Jersey FIN number is required to fish in New Jersey waters along Delaware Bay.

2020-2021 Delaware Hunting Season

Connecticut’s shooting season for various wildlife in 2020–21 includes the following:

Seasons for hunting deer in Delaware

  • Archery and Crossbow Season (September 1st to January 31st)
  • Muzzleloader Season (September 9th to October 18th and January 25th to January 31st)
  • Shotgun Season (November 13th to November 22nd and January 16th to January 24th)
  • Handgun Season (January 2nd and 4th to January 9th)
  • Antlerless Season (October 2nd to October 4th, October 19th, October 23rd to October 26th, October 31st, and December 12th to December 20th)
  • Youth and Disabled Hunting Season (November 7th to November 8th)

Bow, arrow, and crossbow hunters may take antlerless bucks during deer antlerless hunting in October. It is, however, illegal to do so during the antlerless season in December.

Handguns are authorized to be used during both the shotgun and handgun deer hunting seasons. During the hunting season, however, sportsmen are limited to one firearm and must pick between a Turkey hunting in Delaware making it illegal to use shotguns and handguns at the same time.

Season for hunting turkeys in Delaware

  • A Season Permit for Public Land (10th to 16th of April)
  • Season of Public Land Permit B (17th to 23rd April)
  • Public Land Permit C Season (April 24th to April 30th)
  • Season of Public Land Permit D (1st to 8th of May)

The Delaware turkey hunting season is divided into public and private land hunting permits. Throughout the turkey season, sportsmen on private property can take turkeys. On public lands, however, hunters must adhere to the various turkey hunting dates.

Small Game Hunting Season in Delaware

  • Gray Squirrel Hunting Season (September 15th to February 6th)
  • Cottontail Rabbit Hunting Season (November 23rd to February 27th)
  • Groundhog Hunting Season (July 1st to June 30th)
  • Pheasant Hunting Season (November 23rd to February 6th)
  • Season of Quail Hunting (November 23rd to February 6th)

Game hunting seasons, bag limits, and hunting licenses differ from region to region in Delaware.

Delaware Fishing and Wildlife Games

Delaware’s games and animals include the following:

Hunting for deer in Delaware

Delaware deer hunting is well regarded. Hunters adore the game, and deer are one of the most abundant in the state. In Delaware, 14,681 deer were harvested during the 2015/16 deer hunting season, setting a record for any US state deer hunting season.

Delaware Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting is becoming more popular in Delaware. They are valuable to state hunters and can be found throughout the state. The number of turkeys in Delaware is believed to be around 4000.

Hunting for Delaware crows

Hunters in Delaware employ crow hunting to hone their wing-shooting skills. Crows are one of the most intelligent game birds; they have excellent vision and are extremely tough to catch.

Waterfowl hunting in Delaware

Waterfowl hunting is popular in Delaware due to the state’s abundance of bodies of water. Waterfowl also prefer agricultural grounds, where they may forage for food and live. Delaware duck hunting and Delaware goose hunting are two of the most popular waterfowl hunting activities in the state.

Hunting for foxes in Delaware

The most prevalent fox species in Delaware is the red fox. They are difficult to hunt since they are extremely attentive and will most likely detect a hunter before being spotted themselves. Handguns, muzzleloading firearms, shotguns, centerfire rifles, longbows, and crossbows can all be used to hunt.

Delaware coyote hunting

Coyotes, like foxes, are a prevalent predator in Delaware. Coyotes are very difficult to hunt. Handguns, muzzleloading firearms, shotguns, centerfire rifles, longbows, and crossbows can all be used to hunt.

Hunting for Delaware Doves

Dove hunting is a popular shooting sport in Delaware. Doves are widely distributed throughout the state and are easily accessible to hunters.

Beaver hunting in Delaware

In Delaware, hunters can take beavers using shotguns, recurves, and compound bows.

Cottontail rabbit hunting in Delaware

Cottontail rabbit hunting is permitted in Delaware with shotguns, recurves, and longbows. Hunters must also follow the dress code during firearm hunting seasons.

Groundhog hunting in Delaware

There are no licenses, permits, or tags required in the state to hunt groundhogs. They are unprotected game species that can be hunted with weapons and archery.

Quail hunting in Delaware

The bobwhite quail is the species of quail permitted for hunting in Delaware. Only shotguns and longbows can be used to hunt the wildlife.

Wildlife Management Areas in Delaware

The following are some of Delaware’s WMAs:

  • Augustine, Washington
  • Cedar Swamp, Washington
  • Woodland Beach, Washington
  • Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge includes Kelley Island.
  • Little Creek, Washington
  • CA Ted Harvey
  • WA Assawoman
  • State Park on White Clay Creek
  • Blackbird State Park
  • Woodland Beach, WA (except the Lighthouse Island parcel)
  • Little Creek, Washington (parts of)
  • CA Ted Harvey
  • WA Assawoman
  • Prime Hook WA and the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (lotteries are conducted through the National Wildlife Refuge lottery system).

Hunting Land in Delaware for Sale and Lease

Delaware hunting lands for sale include the following:

  • Kent County, 77.6 acres, Felton, DE 19962.
  • Harrington, Delaware 19952. Kent County has 142 acres.
  • Sussex County, 63.15 acres, Swamp Rd, Frankford, DE 19945.
  • Harrington, Delaware, 2 Mile Road, 19952. Kent County has 215.56 acres.
  • Sussex County, 293 acres, 13989 Century Farm Road, Greenwood, DE 19950.
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