Youth Hunting Information
The Division of Fish and Wildlife is committed to providing safe and responsible hunting opportunities for youth in Delaware.
The Division’s established youth hunting programs support Delaware’s Children in Nature Initiative, a statewide effort to improve environmental literacy in Delaware, create opportunities for children to participate in enriching outdoor experiences, combat childhood obesity, and promote healthy lifestyles. Delaware’s multi-agency initiative, which partners several state and federal agencies with community organizations, is part of the No Child Left Inside program. To further promote the outdoors and getting youth involved with hunting, Ducks Unlimited, in collaboration with the Division will be hosting a Greenwing event in early Spring. For more information, please visit: http://www.greenwing.org/
Hunter Education Classes
All persons born after January 1, 1967 are required to satisfactorily complete a Basic Hunter Education Course in order to obtain a Delaware Hunting License. Youth age 10 and older are eligible to take the Basic Hunter Education Course. Students under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Parents are reminded that younger students require a level of maturity and vocabulary sufficient for understanding adult subject matter and completing assignments. Students of smaller physical body size may find it very difficult or impossible to successfully complete the live firing exercise.
Adults Accompanying Youth
A youth (ages 15 and under) hunting in Delaware must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older who is the lawful holder of a hunting license or has a lawful right to hunt and has a License Exempt Number (LEN). However, during the youth deer, turkey, and waterfowl seasons the accompanying, unarmed, adult must be 21 years of age or older. Adults accompanying youth under the age of 13 while turkey hunting must have completed an approved turkey hunting education course as well as meet the requirements above.
Purchasing a Hunting License
- Both resident and non-resident youth ages 13 through 15 must purchase a junior license to hunt in Delaware.
- Both resident and non-resident youth under the age of 13 must obtain a License Exempt Number (LEN) and must be accompanied by a person who is the lawful holder of a Delaware hunting license or has a lawful right to hunt in Delaware.
- Youth under the age of 16 do not need to purchase a State Waterfowl (Duck) Stamp.
Frequently Asked Youth Hunting Questions:
- Question: If a youth licensed hunter (age 13-15) turns 16 in the middle of a hunting season, does that person need to purchase an adult hunting license?
Answer: Yes. In this case, the youth should consider purchasing an adult hunting license instead of a youth hunting license in anticipation of turning 16 during the course of the hunting season.
- Question: Can a person under the age of 18 obtain a guide license?
Answer: No. Guides must be 18 years of age or older.
- Question: Does an adult hunter accompanying a youth hunting waterfowl need to have a license and waterfowl stamps if he/she is not hunting and not in possession of a firearm? Also, does the adult need a license and waterfowl stamps if he/she is calling, but not in possession of a firearm?
Answer: Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older (21 years of age or older on a Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day) who is the lawful holder of a hunting license or has a lawful right to hunt and has a License Exempt Number (LEN). Accompanying licensed and license exempt adult hunters must also have a federal waterfowl (duck) stamp but only licensed hunters are required to have a state duck stamp, as well. If these criteria are not met, the adult DOES NOT have the lawful right to hunt (to include calling) and may not accompany the youth hunter.
- Question: Does an adult accompanying a youth hunting turkey need to have a license and turkey safety course card even if the adult is not hunting? Also, does the adult need a license and permit if he/she is calling but not in possession of a firearm?
Answer: Yes. The accompanying adult must have a valid Delaware license and must have completed an approved turkey hunting education course. Also, the accompanying adult must be at least 18 years of age (21 years of age if during the special Youth and Non-ambulatory Hunt).
- Question: Does a hunter with a Junior Hunting License need to have a State Wildlife Area Waterfowl Blind and Deer Stand Permit?
Answer: Yes, unless the hunter is participating in a Division of Fish and Wildlife youth hunting day and then the requirement to have this permit is waived.
2021/22 Scheduled Youth Hunts
Youth and Non-ambulatory Deer Hunt: November 6 and 7, 2021
Youth and Non-ambulatory Turkey Hunt: April 2, 2022
Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days: October 16, 2021 and February 5, 2022