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Licensing & Permits

Hunting Regulations Icon Delaware Hunting

License and Permit Requirements

Resident

License Exempt Number

Junior Hunting License

Adult Hunting License

Federal Waterfowl Stamp

State
Waterfowl Stamp

HIP #

Deer Stand
and Waterfowl Blind Permit

12 and Under

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes (except Youth day)

13 thru 15

No

Yes

No (unless turning 16 during season)

No

No

Yes

Yes (except Youth day)

16 thru 64

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes (except Youth day)

65 and over

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes (except Youth day)

Non-Resident

License Exempt Number

Junior Hunting License

Adult Hunting License

Federal Waterfowl Stamp

State
Waterfowl Stamp

HIP #

Deer Stand
and Waterfowl Blind Permit

12 and Under

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes (except Youth day)

13 thru 15

No

Yes

No (unless turning 16 during the season)

No

No

Yes

Yes (except Youth day)

16 thru 64

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes (except Youth day)

65 and over

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes (except Youth day)

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND HUNTING LICENSES

The Delaware Division of Child Support Services has the authority, under Federal Welfare Reform Legislation (Title 42 of the US Code, Section 666 (a) (13) ), to collect Social Security Numbers for individuals who purchase
recreational hunting and fishing licenses. For more information go to www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Services/Pages/Lic-Perm-Reg.aspx

OBTAINING A DUPLICATE HUNTING LICENSE

Duplicate licenses may be printed free of charge by going to www.de.gov/fw. Select Licenses, Registrations, Permits & CAP, then Recreational Licenses, Permits, Stamps & Passes and then Lost Your Recreational License? If you need more information please call the Recreational Licensing Office at (302) 739-9918 or email dfwreclic@delaware.gov.

ONLINE LICENSING

Delaware maintains a fully automated recreational licensing system. Sportsmen can purchase and print licenses from our website 24 hours a day 7 days a week by visiting
www.de.gov/fw with a compatible computer and printer. We also partner with over 85 Licensing Agents where licenses can be purchased including our Dover Fish & Wildlife office at 89 Kings Highway. A complete listing of Licensing Agents can be found on our website or by calling (302) 739-9918.

Special License and Permits Required to:

(These permits are only issued at DNREC’s Dover office located at 89 Kings Highway)

  • Deal in raw furs commercially
  • Hold a field trial for dogs
  • Ship game out of state
  • Breed game commercially
  • Operate a shooting preserve
  • Possess or collect wildlife for
    scientific purposes
  • Possess live wild animals or any
    protected animals
  • Train dogs out of season
    (available only for retrievers)

SPECIAL PERMITS FOR HUNTERS WITH A DISABILITY

A variety of hunting opportunities exist for hunters with a disability in Delaware. For a list of deer stand and waterfowl blind facilities for hunters with a disability, see Public Lands Hunting & Trapping

STATE OF DELAWARE CERTIFIED HUNTER WITH DISABILITIES CARD

Hunters with a disability must obtain a certification card to use all facilities and opportunities made available to hunters with a disability on State Wildlife Areas and State Parks. For information on obtaining this card, call the Division of Fish and Wildlife at (302) 739-9912.

Hunt from a Vehicle Permit

Approved non-ambulatory hunters may be permitted to hunt specified game animals from their vehicle with a permit issued by the Division.

HIP NUMBERS

Hearing impaired hunters can obtain their Harvest Information Program (HIP) numbers online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt.

License Exempt Hunters/Trappers

Hunters and trappers that are license exempt are required to obtain an annual License Exempt Number (LEN) at no cost. Hunters shall obtain no more than one LEN annually. While not legally required to purchase a license, those hunters and trappers that are eligible to be license exempt may purchase a license so that their purchase can help direct conservation and management efforts for wildlife and the habitats they support. For those hunters that are exempt from purchasing a license but choose to do, we thank you very much for your support to conservation. If a license exempt hunter chooses to purchase a license they shall not obtain an exempt number. The LEN system was created so that opinions and game harvests of license exempt hunters and trappers could be evaluated and considered when establishing new statutes, regulations and policies. If you obtain this LEN, use it whenever you are asked for your license number such as for registering a deer, obtaining a HIP number or purchasing additional deer tags or permits. License exempt hunters receive five deer tags at no cost. For more information about deer tags, please see Deer Hunting. License exempt hunters not purchasing a hunting license who use a motor vehicle to access State Wildlife Areas must purchase a Conservation Access Pass. You can obtain your annual LEN at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt or by calling the toll free number 1-855-335-4868 (1-855-DELHUNT). If you have problems with these systems, call (302) 735-3600 during normal business hours (8:00am – 4:30pm) Monday – Friday. For questions on LEN eligibility requirements please contact the recreational licensing office at (302) 739-9918 or www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Services/Pages/Rec-Lic.aspx.

The following are the criteria for which a person is exempt from purchasing a hunting or trapping license but they must obtain a free License Exempt Number:

Delaware Residents:

  • Residents under 13 years of age may hunt without a license when accompanied by a person who is the lawful holder of a hunting license or has a lawful right to hunt.
  • Residents, 65 years of age or older may hunt or trap without a license, but must have proof of age and residency.
  • Residents who own or live upon farms in this State containing 20 or more acres, and the members of their immediate families who reside on the farm, may hunt and trap on said farm only without purchasing a license.
  • Any unarmed residents participating in an organized fox hunt may participate without a license.

Military Exemptions:

  • A member of the armed forces of the United States who is a patient in a military hospital may hunt or trap without a license, upon receipt by the Department of a written statement signed by the applicant’s commanding officer certifying the nature of the applicant’s disability and place of station.
  • Residents living in this State for at least 1 year immediately prior to the date of application for a license who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States and certified by the Veterans Administration as having at least a 60% service-connected disability may hunt or trap without a license.
  • Any resident who has served honorably for 90 or more consecutive days on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, including service as member of the Delaware National Guard, in military actions in Southwest Asia associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom may, for the first 12 months following the date the resident was honorably discharged or removed from active status may hunt without purchasing a license.

If a hunter or military trapper meets the exemption criteria, applicants are asked to complete an application at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Services/Pages/Rec-Lic.aspx or by calling (302) 739-9918. Military licenses are not available through State Licensing Agents with the exception of the DAFB for active duty military stationed in Delaware purchasing a license. License exempt Military exceptions are only processed through the Dover office. Please call (302) 739-9918 for assistance.

Non-residents:

  • A nonresident may hunt without a license while hunting snow geese, provided:
    1. The nonresident resides in another state or Canadian province which extends the same exemption to Delaware residents (Currently, Maryland is the only state to honor this exemption);
    2. The nonresident is properly licensed, or exempt from the licensing requirement, to hunt snow geese in the state or Canadian province in which he or she resides;
    3. The nonresident purchases a migratory waterfowl stamp
  • Nonresidents other than aliens who are under 13 years of age may hunt without a license when accompanied by a person who is the lawful holder of a hunting license or has a lawful right to hunt.
  • Nonresidents or aliens who are occupants of farms in this State containing 20 acres or more, who actually reside thereon, and the immediate members of the family of such occupants who also reside on said farm, may hunt or trap on said farms without a license.
  • A nonresident, who owns but is not an occupant of a farm in this State containing 20 acres or more, and the immediate members of the family of the nonresident farm owner may hunt or trap without a license on said farm if the farm occupant or resident, if any, gives the owner written permission or if hunting, trapping, and/or fishing is permitted pursuant to a written lease, if any, between the farm owner and the occupant or resident of the farm.
  • A nonresident participating in an organized fox hunt may participate without a license.

LICENSE REQUIREMENTS RELATED TO NON-RESIDENT MILITARY PERSONNEL

Any member of the armed forces of the United States of America while actually stationed within this State shall be deemed a resident of this State for the purpose of obtaining a license to hunt, trap and fish in this State. Each such application shall be supported by a written statement signed by the applicant’s commanding officer certifying the applicant’s place of station within this State.

To be eligible for the resident license, applicants are asked to complete an application at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Services/Pages/Rec-Lic.aspx or by calling (302) 739-9918. These licenses are not available through State Licensing Agents with the exception of the DAFB for active duty military stationed in Delaware purchasing a license.

Delaware Guide License

The Delaware Guide License is a relatively recent addition to the licensing requirements. As such, the Division of Fish and Wildlife gets questions related to the specifics. Here are the requirements related to this license. For those still having questions, please call the Division’s Recreational Licensing Office at (302) 739-9918.

All individuals receiving monetary or in-kind compensation for providing personal guide services to hunters are required to have a Delaware Guide License. License holders must be 18 years of age or older.

Persons acquiring a guide license must not have been convicted for violations of any wildlife or fisheries statutes or regulations within the last three years prior to applying for a Delaware Guide License.

All persons possessing a Delaware Guide License are required to complete and submit an annual report to the Division within seven days after the close of the season to include the following information which must be readily available for inspection by enforcement officers: full name of each hunter, address of each hunter in the party, hunting license number for each hunter, date, number and species of each animal harvested, location of hunts and the name and license number of the guide.

The guide shall retain all hunting field records for a period of three years.

A resident or non-resident Guide license is valid as a Guide and a Hunting license. A separate hunting license is not required.

A non-resident shall be exempt from the guide licensing requirement only while guiding hunters for snow geese (light geese), provided:

  • The non-resident is properly licensed to guide in another state or Canadian province which extends the same exemption to Delaware residents;
  • The non-resident guide purchases a Delaware migratory waterfowl (duck) stamp and obtains a Delaware H.I.P. permit;
  • The non-resident resides in another state or Canadian province which extends the same exemption to Delaware residents.

Trapping Licenses

Trappers must purchase their trapping license through the Division of Fish & Wildlife. Trapping licenses are not available electronically from licensing agents or online. Applications are available online at www.de.gov/fw, by submitting the trapping application (see below) in this guide or by calling (302) 739-9918 for an application. Trappers will be issued a license number that can be renewed annually and 25 metal trapping tags that are supplied during the first purchase. Additional metal trapping tags are available for purchase at the Division’s Dover office. Once a trapping license has been issued, the Division of Fish & Wildlife will automatically enroll the trapper in the annual trapping license mail renewal program.