Delaware hunters can start their 2022/2023 hunting season Thursday, Sept. 1 with the opening of mourning dove, archery and crossbow deer, coyote and resident Canada goose hunting seasons, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. Teal season opens Saturday, Sept. 10 and gray squirrel season opens Thursday, Sept. 15.
Hunting season dates and hunting hours for seasons opening in September:
- Resident Canada goose: Sept. 1 thru 24 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
- Dove: Sept.1 thru Oct. 3 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)*
- Archery and Crossbow Deer: Sept. 1 thru Jan. 31, 2023, including Sundays (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
- Coyote: Sept. 1 thru Feb. 28, 2023 (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
- King, Clapper and Virginia Rails, Sora, Moorhens and Gallinules: Sept. 3 thru Nov. 23 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
- Common Snipe: Sept. 9 thru Nov. 26 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
- Teal: Sept. 10 thru 28 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset, limited to the designated teal zone south of the C&D Canal to Lewes and east of Routes 13, 113/113A and 1)
- Gray Squirrel: Sept. 15 thru Feb. 4, 2023 (½-hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset; closed during the November deer general firearm season)
*Reminder: Non-toxic shot must be used for dove hunting on state wildlife areas during the month of September; lead shot is not permitted. Hunting hours may differ at specific dove fields on certain state wildlife areas.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many early season hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available at de.gov/wamaps, with information specific to Sunday deer hunting on state wildlife areas posted at de.gov/sundayhunt. Additional information on September migratory bird hunting opportunities and associated rules on state wildlife areas is available online at de.gov/migratorybirdhunting.
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 teal hunters also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained online at de.gov/digitaldnrec or by calling toll free 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868). When using the online DNREC permitting system, hunters should either create a profile or use the “Quick Hunting Registration” option.
Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife are required to have and display a Conservation Access Pass (CAP). Hunters can opt to receive one free annual CAP with the purchase of any Delaware hunting license. To obtain a CAP, hunters will need the registration card for the vehicle to which the pass will be assigned.
Delaware hunting licenses, Delaware waterfowl stamps and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at de.gov/digitaldnrec or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters obtaining a LEN are reminded that they should create a profile at de.gov/digitaldnrec 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, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges and online at 2022/2023 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.
More information on hunting seasons and wildlife areas is available in the 2022/2023 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide at de.gov/hunting. More information on hunting licenses, the state waterfowl stamp and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/huntinglicense.