Hunting In Delaware

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, hunting in Delaware ranks among the states with the fewest registered hunters.

But is that really a con? On the contrary, it is one of the most enticing aspects of hunting in Delaware. A smaller crowd means less competition, more serenity, and a greater chance of bagging that big buck or elusive turkey you’ve been dreaming about.

It’s like having a vast, beautiful hunting ground, almost all to yourself! In this article, we will look at every aspect of Delaware hunting.

Keep reading to unravel the opportunities when hunting in Delaware.

Delaware Hunting Seasons

The hunting seasons in Delaware are as diverse as the state itself, offering an array of opportunities to pursue different game species throughout the year.

Here are the general hunting seasons in Delaware:

Deer Hunting Seasons

Deer-Archery and CrossbowEarly September to late January
Deer-MuzzleloaderEarly to mid-October
Late January for a week
Deer-FirearmMid- to late November
Mid- to late January
Deer-HandgunEarly to mid-January
Special AntlerlessOctober (with several breaks)

Other Hunting Seasons

Wild Turkey HuntingPublic Permit A: Mid-April
Public Permit B: Mid- to late April
Public Permit C: Late April
Public Permit D: Late April to early May
Upland Bird Game HuntingPheasant: Late November to early February
Quail: Late November to early January
Waterfowl HuntingDuck: Early October to late January
Goose: Early November to late February
Small Game HuntingCottontail Rabbit: Late November to late February
Gray Squirrel: Mid-September to early February

As the specific dates can change from year to year, I recommend checking the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife’s website or contacting them directly for the most up-to-date information.

White-tailed Deer Hunting

First off, let’s talk about the king of the forest: the majestic white-tailed deer.

Deer hunting in Delaware is a beloved tradition, as enthralling to seasoned hunters as it is to those just beginning their hunting journey. The state’s fertile landscape provides an ideal habitat for deer, leading to a healthy and abundant population.

The thrill of tracking these graceful creatures through the woods, the anticipation as you wait for the perfect shot, and the sense of achievement when you finally bag a buck – these are the experiences that make deer hunting so popular in Delaware.

Antlerless Season

Let’s not forget about the special antlerless seasons, where hunters can contribute to deer management efforts by focusing on the doe population. This is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy and balanced deer population in the state.

Waterfowl Hunting

Now, let’s sail towards Delaware’s coastal marshes and rivers, where the waterfowl hunting scene thrives.

Delaware’s location along the Atlantic Flyway makes it a critical stopover for a myriad of waterfowl species during their annual migrations. This makes the state home to waterfowl species, including Canada geese with their thunderous honks, teal with their whistling wings, and mallards with their iconic quacks.

This abundance and variety are what make waterfowl hunting in Delaware a cherished tradition and a thrilling challenge for hunters.

Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

In addition to a Delaware hunting license, waterfowl hunters are required to have a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp and a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the Federal Duck Stamp.

These stamps fund conservation efforts and contribute to the protection of waterfowl habitats.

Delaware’s Top Hunting Locations

Are you ready to uncover the most revered hunting destinations in the charming state of Delaware? This small but mighty state boasts an array of locales that offer a rich tapestry of natural beauty.

Here are the top hunting destinations for hunters to enjoy the hunt in the comfort of the area:

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

This vast expanse of marsh, forest, and grasslands near Milton is an absolute paradise for waterfowl hunters. Located on the western shore of Delaware Bay, Prime Hook is a vital stopover for migratory birds along the Atlantic Flyway.

Experience the thrill of observing a flock of ducks soaring through the serene morning sky, their wings resonating with a harmonious hum. Our refuge’s unwavering dedication to preserving natural habitats ensures thriving wildlife populations, making it a prime destination for ethical and gratifying hunting expeditions.

Redden State Forest

Redden State Forest, nestled in Sussex County, is a hotspot for deer and small game hunting. With over 12,000 acres of mixed hardwood and pine forests, this area offers an exceptional deer habitat.

Redden is a popular hunting destination for many hunters who crave the thrill of pursuing a white-tailed deer through dense woods and the excitement that comes with waiting for the ideal shot.

Little Creek Wildlife Area

The Little Creek Wildlife Area, located near Dover, is a top-notch hunting spot in Delaware. Its wide-ranging environments, spanning from tidal marshes to agricultural fields and hardwood forests, lure in a diverse array of game species.

Abundant deer, waterfowl, and small game can be found here. But hear this: the allure of this area lies not just in its abundance of game, but also in its stunning natural beauty, making each hunt a memorable adventure.

Augustine Wildlife Area

Last but not least, the Augustine Wildlife Area near Port Penn offers some of the best waterfowl hunting opportunities in the state.

Augustine is a beloved destination for migratory waterfowl due to its prime location along the Delaware River. The tranquil tidal marshes and expansive skies make for a serene experience, allowing hunters to immerse themselves in the magnificence of nature fully.

Hunting License and Permits

Delaware offers a variety of hunting licenses and permits tailored to different preferences and demographics of hunters.

This diversity helps to accommodate a range of hunting interests, from those just starting their hunting journey to seasoned veterans, and from residents to non-residents.

License TypeResidentNonresident
Adult Hunting$25.003-day Hunting: $50.00
1-year Hunting: $130.00
Youth Hunting$5.00$5.00
Senior Hunting$12.50N/A
Guide Hunting$100.00$250.00
Delaware state law requires all first-time hunting license buyers to complete a certified hunter education course before they can obtain a hunting license.

Hunting Permits

Permit TypeResidentNonresident
Deer Tags$10.00$20.00
Waterfowl Stamp$9.00$9.00
Federal Duck Stamp$25.00$25.00


Hunting in Delaware might not be outstanding compared to other US states, but it still has enticing quirks that attract hunters around the world.

Wanna hunt in Delaware? It’s important to note that hunting in a small state like this intensifies the need to hunt responsibly.