Delaware Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Reopen Nov. 21-26
DOVER, Del.– DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds waterfowl hunters that Delaware’s next seasonal segment for hunting both migratory ducks and Canada geese runs from Monday, Nov. 21 through Saturday, Nov. 26.
The daily limit of six ducks (excluding mergansers and coots) may include, in any combination, up to: four mallards, with no more than two females; one American black duck; two northern pintails; two canvasbacks; three wood ducks; two redheads; two scaup (any combination of either greater or lesser); six teal (any combination of blue- or green-winged); six northern shovelers; six gadwall; six American wigeon; six common goldeneye; six ring-necked ducks; six buffleheads; six ruddy ducks; one mottled duck; one fulvous whistling-duck; four scoters; four eiders; four long-tailed ducks. The possession limit is three times the daily limit. The season on harlequin ducks remains closed.
Season dates for coots and mergansers are the same as for ducks. For coots, the daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 45. For mergansers, the daily bag limit is five with a possession limit of 15 in any combination of common, red-breasted or hooded, of which two may be hooded with six in possession.
Hunters harvesting Canada geese also may take white-fronted geese, which count against the daily bag limit of two for Canada geese, allowing hunters to take up to two Canada geese, or two white-fronted geese, also known as “specklebellies,” or one of each daily.
Other current or upcoming migratory waterfowl seasons are:
- Snow goose: Continues through Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017; daily bag limit 25, no possession limit; includes Ross’ geese. Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with permission of refuge manager.
- Sea duck: Monday, Nov. 21-Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 within the designated Special Sea Duck Hunt Area, located not less than 800 yards from shore between Port Mahon/Elbow Cross Navigation Light and the Delaware-Maryland line. For sea ducks harvested during the special season in the designated area, a daily bag limit of five and possession limit of 18 applies; the daily bag limit is to include no more than four scoters (any combination of black, white-winged or surf), four long-tailed ducks or four eiders (any combination of common or king). Sea ducks may only be harvested outside the designated area during the regular duck season dates and count as part of the regular duck season bag and possession limits; those harvested within the special area during the special sea duck season may be in addition to limits for other ducks during regular duck season.
- Brant: Saturday, Dec. 3-Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017; daily bag limit two and possession limit six.
- Duck: Final seasonal segment runs Friday, Dec. 9-Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017; daily bag limit six and possession limit 18.
- Canada goose: Final seasonal segment runs Friday, Dec. 16-Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017; daily bag limit two and possession limit six.
Mark your calendars: The 2017 Snow Goose Conservation Order dates are Monday, Feb. 6-Friday, Feb. 10, closing Saturday, Feb. 11 for Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day and reopening Monday, Feb. 13 through Friday, April 7, 2017. For more information, click on 2016-2017 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.
How to get your hunting license, HIP/LEN numbers and required stamps:
Delaware residents age 16 through 64 and non-residents age 16 or older must purchase a hunting license to hunt in Delaware. A junior hunting license is required for youths age 13 through 15. Hunters age 16 and older who hunt migratory waterfowl also are required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl stamp. Delaware resident hunters 65 and older are not required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl stamp. Delaware hunting licenses and waterfowl stamps are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp is also required to hunt waterfowl. Federal duck stamps may be purchased at U.S Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges and online at www.fws.gov/duckstamps; no exemptions are made for persons 65 years or older for purchasing federal stamps. For more information on federal stamps, call 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).
Hunters who are exempt from purchasing a license must obtain an annual, free License Exempt Number (LEN). Hunters who plan to pursue migratory game birds such as ducks, geese and doves, also must obtain a HIP number as required under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Harvest Information Program. LEN and HIP numbers can be obtained through the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter and Trapper Registration System (HTR). This free, easy-to-use system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To use the HTR system, please visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt. If you prefer to talk to a live customer service representative, please call 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868).
Hunters wishing to hunt waterfowl on Augustine, Cedar Swamp, Woodland Beach, Little Creek, Ted Harvey or Assawoman wildlife areas must go through a lottery. Lotteries are held two hours before sunrise for all areas except for Little Creek/Ted Harvey, where the lottery is held 2.5 hours before sunrise. Hunters should plan to arrive in time to sign up for the drawing. If hunting waterfowl on a state wildlife area from a blind that was selected through a lottery, all hunters in the blind are required to carry the $20 annual blind permit, available for purchase where hunting licenses are sold. This permit is waived for hunters participating in Division of Fish & Wildlife-designated youth hunting days.
More information about waterfowl blind lotteries and availability at individual wildlife areas as well as specific wildlife area rules can be found online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps. For more information on waterfowl hunting in Delaware, visit 2016-2017 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. Printed copies of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and wildlife area maps are also available at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, or by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912. The printed guide also is available from license agents throughout the state.