Hunting

Opening of several hunting seasons in November

Hunt

Canada goose season (first division of the season) is just one of many to open in November. (Getty Images)

Next month’s general gun deer season, commonly referred to as “November shotgun season,” will be open from November 11-20.

This is just one of many hunting seasons due to open next month, along with special deer hunting open only to youth and non-ambulatory hunters on Saturday November 4th and Sunday November 6th.

Duck, Canada goose and other hunting seasons are due to open later in the month.

Deer hunters are encouraged to harvest does (female deer) during deer hunting seasons to help manage the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population.

Deer hunting is permitted every Sunday until January 31, 2023, using only legal hunting methods for the respective established deer hunting seasons, with additional information available at this link.

All deer harvested must be registered within 24 hours of harvest online at de.gov/digitalnrec or by calling 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868).

Successful deer hunters who wish to donate venison to those in need are encouraged to participate in the Delaware Hunters Against Hunger program.

Field-trained deer can be donated to participating butcher shops or self-service coolers maintained by DNREC’s Fish and Wildlife Division, with additional information and locations of participating butcher shops and coolers available online at this link.

All donated deer will be processed free of charge to the hunter and the meat will be distributed to participating charities.

Last year, hunters donated more than 24,000 pounds of processed venison which has provided more than 97,000 meals to Delawares in need.

RELATED: Delaware Hunters Harvest 15,000 Deer, Donate 100,000 Meals

Sea duck hunters are advised that there is no longer a special sea duck zone with its own separate season dates or daily bag and possession limits. Season dates for sea ducks are now the same as the regular duck season, and daily bag and possession limits for sea ducks are now included in the regular daily bag and possession limits for all ducks.

Refer to page 34 of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide 2022/2023 for more information on sea duck hunting.

Hunting season dates for seasons opening in November:

  • Raccoon and opossum (hunting only): November, 1st through February 28, 2023*
  • Red fox (hunting only): From November 1 to February 28, 2023
  • Young deer/non-ambulatory hunt: November 5 and 6
  • General Deer Firearm/Shotgun: From November 11 to 20, including every Sunday
  • Tundra Swan (on special permit ONLY): From November 11 to January 31, 2023
  • Woodcock (first season split): From November 21 to 26
  • Ducks (including sea ducks), coots and mergansers (second season division): From November 21 to 26
  • Brant (first season split): From November 21 to 26
  • Northern Bobwhite: From November 21 to January 7, 2023
  • Mourning Dove (second season split): From November 21 to January 31, 2023
  • Ring-necked Pheasant (male only): From November 21 to February 4, 2023
  • Cottontail Rabbit: From November 21 to February 28, 2023
  • Canada Goose (first division of the season): From November 23 to 26

Raccoon and opossum seasons are closed during the November non-ambulatory young/deer hunting season and the general November firearm/shotgun deer season.

Special hunting times for raccoon and opossum during the antlerless seasons of December, January for handguns/straight-walled pistols, January for general firearms/shotguns, and January for muzzle-loading deer are from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Delaware’s continuous hunting seasons include:

  • Moorhen, Gallinule, Sora, Virginia Rail, King Rail and Clapper Rail: until November 23
  • Common snipe: until November 26
  • Archery and deer crossbow: until January 31, 2023, including every Sunday
  • Snow Goose: until January 31, 2023; February 4, 2023
  • Gray squirrel: until February 4, 2023 (closed during November general firearms and shotgun season)
  • Coyote (hunting): until February 28, 2023
  • Crows: to March 25, 2023, from June 22 to 24, 2023 and from June 29 to 30, 2023 (only Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays)
  • Marmot : until June 30, 2023

Wildlife area maps and rules are available at this linkwith Sunday Deer Hunting-specific information on state wildlife areas available at this link.

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.

Dove, goose, and duck hunters also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained online at this link or by calling 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868).

When using DNREC’s online permit system, hunters must either create a profile or use the ‘Quick Hunt Registration’ option.

Licensed motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Fish and Wildlife Division must have and display a Conservation Pass (CAP).

Hunters can choose to receive a free annual CAP with the purchase of a Delaware hunting license.

To obtain a CAP, hunters will need the registration card of the vehicle to which the pass will be issued, with the exception of the Senior Resident Lifetime Conservation Access Pass available to residents of the Delaware age 65 or older.

Delaware Hunting Permits, Delaware Waterfowl Stamps, and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at this link, at the DNREC Dover Office Licensing Office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or statewide hunting license agents.

We remind hunters who obtain a LEN that they must create a profile using the DNREC digital portal or obtain a LEN from a hunting license agent if they have not already done so.

Federal duck stamps are available for purchase at U.S. post offices, the Bombay Hook and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuges, and online at this link.