A doe or female deer in a Delaware field DNREC photo

Multiple hunting seasons to open in October

Staff WriterCulture, Headlines

Hunting Delaware


Additional Delaware hunting seasons are set to open in October, including various deer firearm seasons, duck, snow goose and other migratory game birds – as well as the one-day youth-only waterfowl hunt.

The youth-only waterfowl hunt will occur on Saturday, Oct. 15, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced Tuesday. 

Deer hunting is allowed on all Sundays through Jan. 31, 2023, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective established deer hunting seasons. Additional information is available at this link.

Hunting season dates and hunting hours for seasons opening in October:

  • Snow goose: Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, 2023; Feb. 4, 2023 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Antlerless deer: Oct. 1 through 2, 17, 21 through 24 and 28 through 31, including Sundays (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
  • Muzzleloader deer: Oct. 7 through 16, including Sundays (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
  • Youth Waterfowl Hunt: Oct. 15 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Ducks, coots and mergansers: first season split Oct. 21 through Oct. 29 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Mourning dove: through Oct. 3 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Moorhen, gallinule, sora, Virginia rail, king rail and clapper rail: through Nov. 23 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Common snipe: through Nov. 26 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Archery and crossbow deer: through Jan. 31, 2023, including all Sundays (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 4, 2023 (½-hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset; closed during the November deer general firearm season)
  • Coyote: through Feb. 28, 2023 (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
  • Crows: through March 25, 2023, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Groundhog: through June 30, 2023 (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are 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 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 this link, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901 or from hunting license agents statewide. 

Hunters obtaining a LEN are reminded that they should create a profile using the Digital DNREC Portal or obtain a LEN at 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 and Trapping Guide

More information on hunting licenses, the state waterfowl stamp and the Conservation Access Pass is available at this link.

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