Delaware waterfowl hunting seasons set to reopen
DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds waterfowlers that the last of three 2013-’14 split seasons for hunting migratory ducks and Canada geese in Delaware reopens Thursday, Dec. 12 – with duck season running through Saturday, Jan. 25, and Canada goose season ending Friday, Jan. 31.
Other current or upcoming waterfowl seasons are:
· Brant: Monday, Dec. 23 – Saturday, Jan. 25; daily bag limit two; possession limit six
· Snow geese: open through Friday, Jan. 31; daily bag limit 25, no possession limit; including Ross’ geese.
(Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is open for snow goose hunting Monday, Wednesday and Friday, by permission of the refuge manager.) Snow goose season then continues through a federal conservation order, reopening Feb. 1 through Feb. 7, and resuming again Feb. 10 through April 12, 2014.
The daily limit of six ducks (excluding mergansers and coots) may include, in any combination, up to: four mallards, including no more than two hen mallards; one black duck; two pintail; two canvasback; three wood ducks; two redheads; two scaup, six teal; six shovelers; six gadwall; six wigeon; six goldeneye; six ring-necked ducks; six bufflehead; six ruddy ducks; one mottled duck; one fulvous whistling-duck; four scoters; six eiders; six long-tailed ducks. The possession limit is three times the daily limit. The season on harlequin ducks remains closed.
Season dates for coots and mergansers are the same as for ducks, with a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit of 45 for coots, and a daily bag limit of five and a possession limit of 15 for mergansers.
Canada geese have a daily bag limit of two, with a possession limit of six birds. Hunters also may take white-fronted geese, which count against the daily bag limit for Canada geese, allowing hunters to take up to two Canada geese, or two white-fronted geese, also known as “specklebellies,” or one of each daily.
In order to hunt, Delaware residents age 16 through 64 are required to purchase a Delaware hunting license; a Delaware junior license is required for ages 13 through 15. Some license requirements differ for non-resident hunters. Delaware hunting licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.
Hunters age 16 through 64 who hunt resident or migratory waterfowl – including Canada geese – are required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl stamp, available for purchase online, from DNREC’s Dover license desk, or from Delaware license agents. Resident hunters younger than 16 or those 65 and older are not required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl stamp. There are no exemptions for non-residents age 65 and older on purchasing a hunting license, or state waterfowl stamp. A Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp, available for purchase online and at U.S. Post Offices, also is required for all individuals 16 years of age and older.
Migratory bird hunters also must obtain a HIP number as required under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Harvest Information Program. To conveniently obtain a HIP number online from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, click HIP DelHunt. Hunters also may call 1-855-335-4868 (1-855-DELHUNT) toll-free. The HIP number is available free of charge.
To obtain a HIP number, hunters will be asked to provide their name and address, and answer a few questions about their previous year’s hunting effort and success with migratory birds, including ducks, geese, doves, woodcock, rails, snipe and coots.
For more information about migratory game bird hunting, the 2013-2014 Migratory Game Bird Season Summary is available online at 2013-2014 Waterfowl Season Summary.
For more information on hunting in Delaware, hunters should also consult the 2013-2014 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide, available online at 2013-2014 Hunting Guide, along with state wildlife area maps if they plan to hunt on wildlife areas.
Copies of the 2013-2014 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and the 2013-2014 Migratory Game Bird Season Summary are available at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, or from license dealers statewide.