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Welcome to 2024-25 Delaware Hunting

2024 Delaware Hunting Regulations Cover

New Regulation Changes for 2024-2025

Sunday Hunting

  • The General Assembly recently passed, and the Governor signed, legislation (HB 271) which authorized the hunting of gamebirds on Sundays. Hunting on Sundays is now allowed for all gamebirds which includes ducks, geese, doves, turkeys, pen-raised released quail, pheasants, and others. This expanded opportunity does not include furbearers, gray squirrels, or rabbits. Hunting on Sunday remains open for deer.



  • The Special Antlerless season that occurs in October is now only open Friday – Sundays. Mondays are no longer open for this season (Deer Seasons)
  • Hunters may now use straight-walled pistol caliber rifles and handguns during the Special Antlerless deer only seasons that occur in October and December (Deer Seasons)
  • Both archery and crossbow hunters may now harvest an antlered deer during the Special Antlerless deer only season that occurs in December. Archery and Crossbow hunters may continue to harvest antlered deer during the October Antlerless Season segment.
  • A second weekend available to youth and non-ambulatory adult hunters will occur the last weekend of September (Deer Hunting)
  • To collect additional information on sika deer harvests, when registering a deer, hunters will now be asked if the animal they harvested was a white-tailed deer or sika deer (Deer Hunting).
  • To minimize the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease occurring in Delaware, restriction of the importation of selected deer parts of deer harvested within high-fenced captive facilities (Deer Hunting)
  • Non-resident hunters that are exempt from purchasing a hunting license will continue to receive four antlerless deer tags for free but instead of also receiving a Hunter’s Choice tag for free will now receive an antlered deer tag for free (Deer Hunting). The non-resident quality buck tag must still be purchased.


  • Turkeys may now be hunted on Sundays (Turkey Hunting)
  • Create a Turkey Harvest Report Card and establish now harvest reporting procedures (Deer & Turkey Harvest Reporting). All of which are the same as the procedures for deer.
  • Clarify the size shot allowed for turkey hunting (nothing larger than size 4 shot) to promote the technical advancement of shot shells while maintaining human safety considerations (Turkey Hunting). Shot comprised of Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) is legal.
  • Allow smaller gauge shotguns for the purposes of hunting turkeys to now include .28 and .410 gauges (Turkey Hunting)
  • Clarify the prohibition of hunting turkeys using the aid of bait or dogs (Turkey Hunting)
  • Clarify the types of courses accepted for fulfillment of turkey specific hunter education requirements (Turkey Hunting)


  • Sunday hunting is now allowed for all gamebirds including ducks, geese, doves, turkeys pen-raised released quail, pheasants, and others. Hunting on Sundays remains open for deer but is not allowed for Furbearers, squirrels, or rabbits.
  • Eliminate the annual bag limit on beavers (Furbearer Trapping & Hunting)
  • Allow green frogs to be hunted at the same time bullfrogs can be hunted and clarify that the daily bag limit for both species is in aggregate and not per species (Small Game Hunting)
  • Extend the gray squirrel, pheasant, and pen-raised released quail seasons to close on the last day of February (Small Game Hunting)
  • Close the wild bobwhite quail season but allow landowners who have sufficient habitat and are implementing management practices to support quail to obtain a permit from the Division to hunt on their lands. Establish a season for which pen-raised release quail may be harvested. The Division will reevaluate the wild bobwhite quail season closure every three years (Small Game Hunting)
  • Adjust the trapping season dates for raccoons and opossums in Kent and Sussex Counties to coincide with season dates in New Castle County (Furbearer Trapping & Hunting)
  • Allow raccoon hunters to chase raccoons (no harvest) one month earlier to now open on August 1st. Reduce the number of firearm deer seasons in which raccoon hunters are not allowed to hunt at night with the aid of a dog and clarify the hunting hours (Furbearer Trapping & Hunting)
  • Close the diamond back terrapin trapping season (Small Game Hunting)
  • Open the trapping season for red fox and coyotes to open on November 1st, a month earlier than was allowed previously (Furbearer Trapping & Hunting)

Gamebird Releases

  • Require anyone releasing gamebirds into the wild to obtain a permit from the Division and provide the release location (Small Game Hunting)

Method of Take

  • Reduce the minimum poundage for compound, recurve, and longbows to 30 pounds (Deer Hunting). Previously, the minimum draw weight was 35 pounds.
  • Expand legal methods of take for raccoons and opossums (Furbearer Trapping & Hunting)
  • Clarify that both bullfrogs and green frogs may be harvested by hand (Small Game Hunting)
  • Clarify the types and features of foothold traps that can be used (Furbearer Trapping & Hunting)
  • Clarify the types of firearms that may be used to hunt gray squirrels (Small Game Hunting)
  • Require trappers that obtain a permit to trap snapping turtles to obtain and complete an annual report of their take (Small Game Hunting)

Transferring Harvested Game

  • No person shall put or leave any harvested animal at any place (other than at their personal residence), or in the custody of another person for cleaning, processing, shipping, transportation, or storage (including temporary storage), or for the purpose of having taxidermy services performed, unless such animals have a tag attached, signed by the hunter, stating their address, the total number and species harvested, and the date such animals were killed. The only exception to this pertains to deer and turkeys, for which a Deer/Turkey Possession Tag is to be placed on the animal and include the 12-digit registration number (Deer & Turkey Harvest Reporting).

Federal Laws and Regulations Adopted

  • Clarify that only youth hunters are allowed to hunt waterfowl during the special youth waterfowl seasons and does not also include non-ambulatory hunters using a wheelchair for mobility which are allowed to hunt during these special seasons for deer and turkeys (Deer Seasons and Turkey Hunting)


  • Extend the hunting season by one month for falconers and clarify the types of game species (rabbits, squirrels, etc.) that may be taken by the aid of a falcon (Essential News & Reminders)

Guide Licenses

  • Clarify when holders of a guide license are required to submit an annual report and the criteria for which a nonresident can be exempt from obtaining a guide license if they are guiding snow goose hunters and previously have been convicted of a wildlife violation (Licensing & Permits)

Wildlife Theft Prevention Fund

  • Add and clarify various offenses for which informants may receive rewards through the Wildlife Theft Prevention Fund if they provide tips that result in the arrest and conviction of the violator (General Hunting Information)