Firearms and Archery Equipment
Squirrel, Rabbit, Pheasant, Quail: Longbow or shotgun using no larger than No. 2 shot. Shotguns must be plugged to hold only 3 shells (in chamber and magazine combined). .17 through .22 caliber rimfire or pellet firearm with a rifled barrel or a muzzleloader rifle of not larger than .36 caliber firing a round projectile are permitted for squirrel hunting during the entire season.
Snapping Turtles: May be taken with gig, trap, net or spear.
Frogs: May be taken with spear, gig, or hook.
Deer: Longbow (in season) using sharpened broadhead arrows (min. width 7/8”).
Shotgun no smaller than 20 gauge for deer hunting using rifle slug, pumpkin ball or buckshot and must be plugged to hold only 3 shells (in chamber and magazine combined). It is unlawful to carry buckshot, rifle slug or pumpkin ball except while hunting for deer, and conversely, it is also unlawful to carry shot smaller than buckshot while deer hunting.
Muzzleloader no smaller than .42 caliber.
Bullfrogs may be sold.
Deer killed by motor vehicle may be retained by the motorist killing the deer upon official tagging by the State Police or Division Personnel.
In New Castle Co. south of I-295 and I-95 it is unlawful to discharge a firearm within 100 yards of a dwelling without advanced permission. North of I-295 and I-95 the distance is 200 yards.
The Division offers special permits for certain persons with disabilities to hunt from motor vehicles. Special facilities are also available upon request for waterfowl and deer hunting.
Hunt: “Hunt” shall mean to chase, pursue, kill, trap, take, or attempt to chase, pursue, kill, trap, or take any form of wildlife.
Possession: “Possession” in addition to its ordinary meaning includes the location in or about the defendant’s person, premises, belongings, vehicle or otherwise within his reasonable control.
Seasons: “Seasons” shall be that period of time during which designated species of wildlife may be lawfully hunted pursuant to the regulations of the Department. It shall be unlawful to hunt those species of wildlife for which a “season” is designated at any time other than during that “season.”
Wildlife: “Wildlife” shall be any animal species not commonly under the domestication of man and including but not limited to those animals defined by statute as “game” or “protected wildlife.”
“Antlered Deer” shall mean any deer with one or more antlers three inches long or longer, measured from the base of the antler where it joins the skull to the tip of the antler following any curve of the antler.
“Anterless Deer” shall mean any deer that has no antlers or antlers less than three inches in length.
Longbow: “Longbow” shall mean a straight limb, reflex, recurve or compound bow. All crossbows or variations thereof and mechanical holding and releasing devices are expressly excluded from the definition.
FUTURE GAME SEASONS
The dates for non-migratory game seasons have been stabilized through 2015. Each year season dates will only be changed to adjust for calendar changes (except for biological emergencies). Public input on seasons will be welcomed at monthly meetings of the Advisory Council on Game and Fish. The Council normally meets on the last Tuesday of each month in the Richardson and Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, at 7:30 P.M.
Contact the Division of Fish and Wildlife Operation Game Theft Hotline Toll-Free at 1-800-292-3030 anytime, 24 hours per day. You will be given an OGT Case Number. You do not need to give your name at this time. From this phone call, a Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agent can be dispatched or can return your call. Wildlife offenses need to be investigated immediately by enforcement agents if there is to be a chance of making an arrest. The longer the delay in getting information to the agent, the smaller the chances of obtaining an arrest and conviction.
It is the desire of the Division of Fish and Wildlife to continue to provide the highest level of service to the public using our wildlife areas, boating access areas, ponds, and marine resources. To this end, the management of the Division of Fish and Wildlife invites comments or suggestions on the operation of our wildlife areas, wildlife management programs, wildlife laws and regulations, or any problems encountered with Division employees. To voice a comment or offer a suggestion, you may contact the office of the Director of Fish and Wildlife at (302) 739-9910 or write to the Director of Fish and Wildlife at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, Delaware 19901. Your comments or suggestions will be forwarded to the proper individual for consideration.
Delaware landowners hold over 80% of the land in Delaware, making them powerful decision-makers when it comes to land development and conservation. As land development increases, so does the pressure on wildlife habitat, species, and natural resources. Conservation efforts made by landowners are necessary to ensure healthy ecosystems and wildlife populations that future generations are entitled to enjoy. To support landowners in this effort, many state and federal agencies offer incentive programs with technical and financial assistance available to restore or enhance wildlife habitat. There are several programs available within DNREC that aim to engage landowners in conservation efforts. DNREC also partners with federal and private organizations to achieve the same goal of conserving natural resources for a more livable Delaware.
Contact: Bill Jones, (302) 284-4795
DELAWARE’S WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN
Wildlife biologists across the continent are facing challenges concerning the conservation of wildlife species and their habitat. In response, each state has developed a plan to address both the common and unique issues affecting wildlife in each respective state. The Delaware Wildlife Action Plan (DEWAP) addresses and prioritizes the issues facing wildlife and the actions required to conserve these species as vital components of the state’s natural resources. Residents of Delaware play an important role in the execution of the DEWAP and its future success. Engaging in the conservation of Delaware’s natural resources is a necessary step in creating an environment that can be enjoyed by present and future residents of Delaware; including the ones that live outdoors. Please visit www.fw.delaware.gov/nhesp to learn more about Delaware’s Wildlife Action Plan and the steps that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is taking to provide a more livable Delaware for all.
Division of Fish and Wildlife
89 Kings Highway Dover, DE 19901
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.