Delaware … Additional Sundays are open for deer hunting; certain rifles now allowed for some deer hunting seasons

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announces expanded deer hunting opportunities for state’s 2018/2019 season   Additional Sundays are open for deer hunting; certain
rifles now allowed for some deer hunting seasons

DOVER (Sept. 20, 2018) – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today expanded deer hunting opportunities for the 2018/2019 hunting season. Recent changes in state law substantially increase the number of Sundays when deer can be hunted, and also allow the use of certain straight-wall, pistol-caliber rifles for some deer hunting seasons.   

Sunday deer hunting is allowed from Sept. 1, 2018 through Feb. 3, 2019, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective deer hunting seasons established by the Department. Archery and crossbows can be used on all Sundays when deer hunting is allowed. Firearms that are legal for the respective firearm deer hunting seasons can be used on Sundays for those firearm seasons. Sunday deer hunting is allowed during the regular deer hunting hours of one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset on privately-owned lands with landowner permission and on designated public lands. More information on Sunday hunting dates and allowable hunting methods is available on the Sunday Hunting Calendar.     

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All state wildlife areas will be open for archery/crossbow deer hunting every Sunday for all deer hunting seasons, with the majority of state wildlife areas open on Sundays for the respective firearm deer hunting seasons. State wildlife area Sunday hunting maps, information on state wildlife area tracts open for firearm Sunday deer hunting, and other details about Sunday deer hunting opportunities in Delaware are available on the Fish & Wildlife website. To request printed copies of wildlife area maps showing areas open and closed to Sunday firearm deer hunting, please call the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.    

Certain straight-wall, pistol-caliber rifles can be used south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal for deer hunting on private and public lands where deer hunting is allowed. Those rifles can only be used in place of a shotgun for the November and January shotgun deer seasons and in place of a handgun for the January handgun deer season. Information on straight-wall, pistol-caliber rifles that can be used for deer hunting is available at the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Deer Hunting Rifles webpage.    

Straight-Wall, Pistol-Caliber Rifles Allowed for Deer Hunting In Delaware

 

Rifles chambered for straight-wall ammunition may be used to hunt deer beginning with the 2018/19 hunting season as follows:

 

  • Only manually-operated rifles may be used, consisting of lever action, bolt action, pump action, single shot and revolver rifles.

 

  • Only straight-wall cartridges usable in handguns may be used that are of .357 to 38 caliber with a case length no less than 1.25 inches and a maximum case length of 1.82 inches, or .41 caliber to maximum of .50 caliber and a maximum case length of 1.82 inches. Case length excludes the bullet portion of the cartridge.

 

  • Open, metallic/mechanical, optical and telescopic sights may be used.

 

  • These rifles cannot be loaded with more than three cartridges in the chamber and magazine combined when hunting deer.

 

  • These rifles may only be used for deer hunting in place of a shotgun during the November and January shotgun deer seasons or in place of a handgun during the January handgun deer season.

 

  • These rifles cannot be used for deer hunting north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

 

For additional information on deer hunting, please call the Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

For more information on the 2018/2019 hunting seasons and Division of Fish & Wildlife-managed wildlife areas, please consult the 2018-2019 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and Delaware Wildlife Area Maps. Printed copies of the guide and maps are available at DNREC’s licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. The guide is also available from license agents throughout the state.

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