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Small Game Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Delaware Hunting

Bullfrog and Snapping Turtle Seasons

SEASONS

DATES

LIMIT*

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bullfrog

May 1 – Sept. 30

24 Daily

May be taken with a valid hunting or fishing license.

Snapping Turtle*

June 15 – May 15

No limit

Snapping turtle minimum length is 11 inches on the curvature of the top shell. Traps must be tagged with trapper’s name and address or current year’s license number. Baited fish hooks are unlawful. A free snapping turtle permit number must be obtained and will be issued at the time of the trapping license purchase. Those interested in trapping on Division of Fish & Wildlife lands and state-owned ponds will need to contact the Regional Manager for an additional permit for those lands.

Diamondback
Terrapin*

Sept. 1 – Nov. 15

4 Daily

Small Game Seasons and Bag Limits

All seasons and limits subject to change. Please stay current by consulting the online version of this guide by visiting http://www.eregulations.com/delaware/hunting/ or call (302) 739-9912.

SEASONS

DATES

LIMIT

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Gray Squirrel

Sept. 15 – Feb. 6
Closed during
Nov. Shotgun
Deer Season

6

Gray squirrels may be hunted with shotguns statewide, .17 through .22 cal. rimfire and pellet firearms and muzzleloading rifles up to .36 cal. south of the C&D Canal. Only shotguns may be used north of the C&D Canal. When a squirrel season overlaps with a deer firearms season, squirrel hunters must wear 400 square inches of hunter orange displayed on the head, chest and back.

Cottontail Rabbit

Nov. 23 – Feb. 27

4

Rabbits may be hunted with shotguns, compound, recurve, and lonbows. Rabbit hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material displayed on head, chest, and back when hunting during any deer firearms season.

Groundhogs

July 1 – June 30

No limit

Groundhogs are an unprotected species and may be hunted with longbows, crossbows, shotguns, muzzleloaders, handguns, and rimfire or centerfire rifles. A hunting license is not required to hunt groundhogs.

Ring-necked Pheasant
(Male Only)

Nov. 23 – Feb. 6

2

Pheasants may be hunted with shotguns and longbows. Pheasant hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material displayed on head, chest, and back when hunting during any deer firearms season.

Bobwhite Quail

Nov. 23 – Jan. 2

6

Bobwhite Quail may be hunted with shotguns and longbows. Quail hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material displayed on head, chest, and back when hunting during any deer firearms season.

Hunter and Trapper Mail Surveys

Each year, the Division sends out hunter and trapper mail surveys to estimate the total harvest and hunting effort for game species in Delaware. Aside from deer, turkeys, coyotes and gray foxes, hunters and trappers are not required to report the animals they harvest. These surveys allow biologists to determine harvest information for all of the other wildlife species that are hunted and/or trapped.

Around 5,500 hunters and 630 potential trappers are surveyed annually. The average age of those surveyed in 2018/19 was 56 years old, with the youngest age of 6 and oldest 92.

The Division is currently testing an electronic version of the surveys, if you would like to participate, be sure to include an email address when purchasing a hunting license. Thank you to all the hunters and trappers who participate in these surveys each year!

Estimated Mammal Harvest from the 2018/19 Hunter Mail Survey:

Category

Squirrel

Rabbit

Raccoon

Opposum

Red Fox

Groundhog

Coyote

# of Hunters

1,043

857

112

47

484

279

56

# of Days Hunted

8,651

7,333

1,483

309

4,655

10,649

865

# of Days per Hunter

4.4

3.7

2.6

0.7

3.8

10.6

1.4

Total # Harvested

5,108

5,046

1,030

0

1,009

2,348

1

Harvest
per Day

0.6

0.7

0.7

0

0.2

0.2

0.0

Estimated Game Bird Harvest from 2018/19 Hunter Mail Survey:

Category

Mourning Dove

Crow

Snipe

Woodcock

Wild Quail

Pen-raised Quail

Wild pheasant

Pen-raised Pheasant

Turkey

Canada Goose

Snow Goose

Brant

Ducks

Sea ducks

Rails

# of
Hunters

2,945

680

474

721

21

103

21

144

3,852

5,294

2,039

659

3,481

680

453

# of Days Hunted

8,177

1,050

1,009

2,019

124

536

124

494

12,338

37,756

9,454

1,133

30,423

1,545

371

# of Days per Hunter

2.8

1.5

2.1

2.8

6.0

5.2

6.0

3.4

3.2

7.1

4.6

1.7

8.7

2.3

0.5

Total # Harvested

37,467

2,183

556

1,050

0

2,348

0

597

571

34,893

13,183

1,071

40,619

3,151

41

Harvest Per Day

4.58

1.41

0.55

0.52

0.00

4.38

0.00

1.21

0.05

0.92

1.39

0.95

1.34

2.04

0.11

Waterfowl leg banding

Division wildlife biologists have been busy banding waterfowl as part of a expansive monitoring initiative across the Atlantic Flyway.

Did you know?

Reports from hunters of harvested waterfowl with leg bands help biologists learn more about species distribution (travel, etc.) and survival rates! Old bands may still have a phone number and/or website to report bands. Since fall 2017, the reporting phone number has been discontinued. If you harvest a banded bird, please go to www.reportband.gov to report the band.