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Rules for State Forests and Forest Service Lands

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Rules For Delaware Forest Service Lands

(Blackbird, Redden, and Taber State Forests)

(Administered by Delaware Forest Service, Department of Agriculture)

  • For Redden State Forest information call: (302) 856-2893.
  • For Blackbird State Forest call:
    (302) 653-6505.
  • For Taber State Forest call: 
    (302) 698-4549.

Hunting Rules and Regulations On State Forests

The following rules and regulations apply to ALL State Forest lands:

  • State Forests are year-round multiple use areas. Hunters share the use of State Forest Lands with other public users such as hikers, campers, horseback riders, firewood cutters, and loggers.
  • No special permits are required to hunt on State Forest lands, except as specified in the DNREC, Division of Fish and Wildlife annual Hunting and Trapping Guide. Properly licensed hunters may hunt during any open season except on areas designated, such as those marked with Wildlife Sanctuary, NO HUNTING, or Safety Zone signs.
  • Hunting is only permitted as specified on State Forest maps available free-of-charge from State Forest Offices and on-line at
  • No permanent deer stands, platforms, ladders, or blinds may be constructed. No screw-in steps, tree spikes, crews, or nails are allowed. All parts of temporary (portable) deer stands must be removed on the final day of the January muzzleloader season; any stands remaining after this date will be removed and become property of the Delaware Forest Service.
  • Deer drives by any person or persons are not permitted on any State Forest land at any time.
  • Portions of some State Forest tracts are only open to archery hunting for deer. Please contact your local State Forest office for more information.
  • Small game hunting is closed on State Forest lands during firearm deer season.
  • The Delaware Forest Service reserves the right to close to hunting specific State Forest tracts during specific hunting seasons. Therefore, it is important to consult the current hunting guide for a listing of these closures.
  • Trapping rights may be leased for State Forest lands. No other trapping is permitted on State Forest lands.
  • Target shooting is prohibited. Firearms are allowed for legal hunting only, and are prohibited on State Forest Lands from March 1 through August 31.
  • Waterfowl hunting is not permitted on State Forest land or waters.
  • No dumping or littering.
  • Placing paint, ribbon, flagging, reflectors, etc., is not permitted
  • No living trees, shrubs or other vegetation may be cut, felled, uprooted, removed or otherwise injured or destroyed.
  • No off-road vehicles registered or unregistered.
  • Camping is available by permit in designated areas only.
  • It is unlawful to use bait for hunting purposes on all State lands.
  • No parking in front of access gates to State forest lands.

The following hunting restrictions apply to several tracts at Blackbird State Forest.

Maps delineating these areas are available at Blackbird State Forest headquarters or by calling (302) 653-6505.

  • Deer hunting is limited to numbered stands on Tybout, White Road, Dulany and South Barlow Tracts.
  • Double stands can only be used by either one adult or one adult and one youth.
  • For shotgun season, stands will be chosen in a lottery. There will be a daily lottery held at Blackbird State Forest headquarters, located on the Tybout Tract on Blackbird Forest Road (Rd 471), 1.5 hours before legal hunting time.
  • For Muzzleloader season there will be a lottery held at Blackbird State Forest Headquarters, located on the Tybout Tract on Blackbird Forest Road (Rd 471), 1.5 hours before legal hunting time.
  • For the October antlerless deer seasons, the Tybout Tract, including the Reynolds Farm, will be closed for hunting (this includes stands 1-22 and R1 – R5). The stands on White Road, Dulany Manor, and Barlow will be available on a first-come, first-served basis through the stand permit box at Blackbird State Forest Headquarters located on the Tybout Tract on Blackbird Forest Road; there will be no stand lottery for the October antlerless season.
  • Dulany Tract is managed for Quality Deer Management only.
  • No small game hunting on Dulany Tract.
  • Please note that archery hunting is the only type of hunting allowed on the Meadows and North Barlow Tracts. The Meadows Tract contains the Blackbird State Forest Education Center, which includes an outdoor education trail, so hunters should be aware that they may encounter other individuals on this property.
  • All hunters on these tracts, during shotgun and muzzleloader season, must hunt from the stand only, as walk around hunting is not permitted.
  • During Archery season bowhunters must be within 50 yards of their designated stand.
  • Stands will be available during Archery season on a first come first served basis.
  • No more than one hunter may hunt from a stand at any one time.
  • Squirrel hunting is not allowed with a rifle or muzzleloading rifle. Shotgun squirrel hunting is permitted.

The following hunting restrictions apply to Taber State Forest.

  • Squirrel hunting is not allowed with a rifle or muzzleloading rifle. Shotgun squirrel hunting is permitted.
  • For deer hunting, only the entrails (internal organs known as viscera) may be left behind on State property; all other deer parts must be removed from State property.


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