Many Hunting Opportunities Available as 2021/22 Hunting Season Nears End

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day and Snow Goose Conservation Order to Open; Other Seasons Continue

(Dover January 27, 2022) … A wide variety of hunting opportunities are available in February, including the opening of the Snow Goose Conservation Order that begins Tuesday, Feb. 1 and the second special youth waterfowl hunting day on Saturday, Feb. 5, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day The one-day, special youth waterfowl hunting day is open for hunters ages 10 through 15. Normal daily waterfowl bag limits and hunting regulations apply during the special youth waterfowl hunting day, including a limit of 25 snow geese and one Canada goose. For more information on the youth waterfowl hunt, visit the DNREC website.

Snow Geese flying out to roost for the night

Youth waterfowl hunting is available on many state wildlife areas, some of which are accessed through a waterfowl blind lottery drawing. The following wildlife areas issue waterfowl blinds through a lottery drawing: Augustine, Cedar Swamp, Woodland Beach and Assawoman wildlife areas, where a morning lottery is held one and a half hours before legal shooting time; and the Little Creek and Ted Harvey wildlife areas, where a morning lottery is held two hours before legal shooting time. A State Wildlife Area Waterfowl Blind Permit is not required during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day.

Snow Goose Conservation Order: The Snow Goose Conservation Order is open Tuesday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 4, closing on Saturday, Feb. 5 for the youth waterfowl hunting day and the one-day reopening of the regular snow goose season.  The Snow Goose Conservation Order reopens Monday, Feb. 7 and runs through Friday, April 8.

The Snow Goose Conservation Order is a separate season open only for snow geese that occurs when Delaware’s regular waterfowl hunting seasons are closed. During the Snow Goose Conservation Order, liberal harvest methods are permitted to help reduce the large snow goose population that is damaging the species’ Arctic nesting grounds, as well as agricultural lands on their migration routes and overwintering areas. For more information, visit the DNREC website.

Skies are filled with formations of snow geese in Sussex County

Continuing hunting seasons in February include:

  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 5, 2022
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 5, 2022
  • Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 28, 2022
  • Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 28, 2022
  • Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 28, 2022
  • Raccoon and opossum (hunt): through Feb. 28, 2022
  • Beaver: through March 19, 2022, private land only
  • Crows: through March 26, 2022, June 23 through 25, 2022 and June 30, 2022 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
  • Groundhog: through June 30, 2022
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Continuing trapping seasons include:

  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum, and nutria:
  • New Castle County: through March 10, 2022 (March 20 on embanked meadows)
  • Kent and Sussex counties: through March 15, 2022
  • Red fox and coyote: through March 10, 2022
  • Beaver: through March 20, 2022, private land only

More information about hunting regulations as apply to state wildlife areas and public hunting areas can be found at de.gov/wamaps.

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. Migratory bird hunters, except crow hunters, also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through DNREC’s ePermitting system, or by calling toll free 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868). If using the DNREC ePermitting 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 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/huntinglicense or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters obtaining a LEN are reminded that they should create a profile using the DNREC ePermitting system 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 2021/2022 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp webpage.

Additional information on hunting seasons and state wildlife areas is available in the 2021/2022 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide or by calling the Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. Information on hunting licenses, the state waterfowl stamp and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/huntinglicense or by calling the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Recreational Licensing office at 302-739-9918.

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