You may not be able to hunt lions and tigers and bears in Delaware, but you can hunt opossum, tundra swans, mourning doves and cottontail rabbits.
They are among the many hunting seasons to open, or already have opened, this month.
The season includes the general firearm deer season, also known as the shotgun season, which runs from Friday, Nov. 10, through Sunday, Nov. 19.
Duck, Canada goose and other hunting seasons open later in the month on Nov. 20.
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control also announced Monday, Nov. 6, that it was clarifying season dates for small game, due to incorrect dates listed in print copies of the 2023/’24 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide on the seasons for cottontail rabbits, ring-necked pheasants, and bobwhite quail.
Hunting season for all three will open Monday, Nov. 20 – instead of Nov. 21 as indicated the print version of the hunting and trapping guide.
The online version of the guide has been updated to reflect the correct dates for small game seasons.
All hunting seasons
Dates for all hunting seasons opening in November are:
- Raccoon and opossum (hunt only): Nov. 1 through Feb. 29, 2024*
- Red fox (hunt only): Nov. 1 through Feb. 29, 2024
- Deer general firearm/shotgun: Nov. 10 through 19, including all Sundays
- Tundra swan (by special permit ONLY): Nov. 11 through Jan. 31, 2024
- Woodcock (first season split): Nov. 20 through Nov. 25
- Ducks (including sea ducks), coots and mergansers (second season split): Nov. 20 through Nov. 25
- Brant: Nov. 23 through Jan. 9, 2024 and Jan. 11 – Jan. 27, 2024. Note: Season is closed on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024.
- Bobwhite quail: Nov. 20 through Jan. 6, 2024
- Mourning dove (second season split): Nov. 20 through Jan. 31, 2024
- Ring-necked pheasant (male only): Nov. 20 through Feb. 3, 2024
- Cottontail rabbit: Nov. 20 through Feb. 29, 2024
- Canada goose (first season split): Nov. 20 through Nov. 25
Raccoon and opossum hunting seasons are closed during the November youth/non-ambulatory deer hunt and the November general firearm/shotgun deer season.
Special hunting hours for raccoon and opossum during the December antlerless, January handgun/straight-walled pistol-caliber rifle, January general firearm/shotgun and January muzzleloader deer seasons are 7 p.m. until midnight.
More information on hunting seasons and wildlife areas is available in the 2023/2024 Delaware Hunting and 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.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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