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Migratory Bird Seasons & Bag Limits

Hunting Regulations Icon Delaware Hunting

 

DUCKS

SEASON DATES

DAILY BAG LIMIT

POSSESSION LIMIT

Ducks (Regular Season)

Oct 25 – Nov 6

6

18

Nov 25 – Nov. 30

Dec 13 – Jan 31

September Teal

Sep 12 – Sep 30

6

18

Limited to the designated teal zone south of the C & D Canal to Lewes, and east of Routes 13, 113/113A, and 1. Bag limit may include any combination of blue-winged and/or green-winged teal
Youth Waterfowl Hunt

Youth must be age 10-15.

Oct 19 & Feb 8

Daily bag limits as listed below apply for ducks, mergansers, coots, moorhens, gallinules, Canada geese, snow geese, grant, and swans. Limits are described by each species.
Daily Bag Limits and Possession Limits
The daily limit of 6 ducks (excluding mergansers and coots) may include, in any combination, up to: 2 mallards of which, no more than 1 may be a hen; 2 black ducks; 1 pintail; 2 canvasback, 3 wood ducks; 2 redheads; 2 scaup, 6 teal; 6 shovelers; 6 gadwall; 6 wigeon; 6 goldeneye; 6 ring-necked ducks; 6 bufflehead; 6 ruddy ducks; 1 mottled duck; 1 fulvous whistling-duck; 4 scoters; 4 eiders; 4 long-tailed ducks. The possession limit is 3 times the daily limit. The season on harlequin ducks remains closed.
Sea Ducks

Scoters, Eiders, and Long-tailed ducks

Nov 23 – Jan 31*

5**

15**

* Season dates apply to Special Sea Duck Area where ducks may be taken not less than 800 yards (1/2) mile seaward from the Delaware Bay shore or the Atlantic Ocean shore beginning at an east-west line between Port Mahon and the Elbow Cross Navigation Light, south to the Delaware-Maryland line. The shooting of crippled sea ducks from a motorboat under power will be permitted in the designated sea duck hunting area. Sea ducks may be harvested within the designated Special Sea Duck Area only during the Sea Duck Season. Sea ducks may be taken outside of the Special Sea Duck Area only during the regular duck season and are part of the regular duck season bag and possession limits.

** The daily bag limit for sea ducks to include no more than 4 scoters, 4 long-tailed ducks, or 4 eiders. Within the Special Sea Duck Area, during the regular duck season, the sea duck limit may be in addition to limits for other ducks during the regular duck season. The season on harlequin ducks remains closed.

COOT

Same as Duck Season

15

45

MERGANSERS**

Same as Duck Season

5

15

** Daily bag limit may include no more than 2 hooded mergansers (6 in possession)

GEESE AND BRANT

SEASON DATES

DAILY BAG LIMIT

POSSESSION LIMIT

Canada Goose (Resident)

Sep 2 – Sep 25

15

45

Canada Goose (Migratory)

Including White-fronted geese

Nov 28 – Nov 30

1

3

Dec 21 – Jan 21

Brant

Dec 21 – Jan 1

2

6

Jan 4 – Jan 27

Snow Goose

Including Ross’ goose

Oct 1 – Jan 31 and Feb. 8

25

No limit

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge open Mon., Wed., and Fri. with permission of Refuge Manager.
Snow Goose Conservation Order

Feb 1 – Feb 7

Feb 10 – Apr 10

No bag or possession limits

During the Conservation Order (CO) unplugged shotguns and electronic calls may be used to harvest snow geese. Shooting hours have been extended to ½ hour after sunset and daily bag & possession limits have been eliminated. Hunters who wish to participate in the CO must register for a free, annual permit, available by visiting www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt (after Jan 1st). Participants are required to re-visit this website after the CO has closed to report their harvest to the Division of Fish & Wildlife.

The Snow Snow Goose Conservation Order will be closed on Saturday, February 8, 2020 which is the second youth waterfowl day and will reopen on Monday, February 10, 2020. Snow geese, including Ross’ geese, may be harvested on Saturday, February 8, 2020 within the regular season framework. No liberal methods allowed during the Conservation Order may be allowed this day and a daily bag limit of 25 applies.

Swans

SEASON DATES

DAILY BAG LIMIT

POSSESSION LIMIT

Tundra Swan (By special permit ONLY)

Oct. 25 – Jan. 31

1 per season

1 per season

Mute Swan

Legal to take during any open waterfowl season

No limit

No limit

(Closed during the Snow Goose Conservation Order)
Trumpeter Swan

Closed Season

0 – Closed Season

0 – Closed Season

OTHER SPECIES

SEASON DATES

DAILY Bag LIMIT

POSSESSION LIMIT

Mourning Dove

Sep 2 – Oct 7

15

45

Nov 25- Jan 31

During the month of September, all hunters must use non-toxic shot when dove hunting on State Wildlife Areas.
King & Clapper Rails

* Singly or in combination of the two species

Sep 2 – Nov 21

10*

30

Sora & Virginia Rails

* Singly or in combination of the two species

Sep 2 – Nov 21

25*

75

Woodcock

Nov 25 – Nov 30

3

9

Dec 7 – Jan 21

Common Snipe

Sep 13 – Nov 30

8

24

Dec 7 – Jan 21

Moorhens & Gallinules

Sep 2 – Nov 21

15

45

Crow

*Thurs., Fri., & Sat. only

Jun 20 – Mar 31*

No Limit

No Limit