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DNREC sets deer hunt for youth and non-ambulatory disabled hunters

DOVER – To promote and provide additional hunting opportunities, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has designated Saturday, Nov. 5 as Delaware’s annual deer hunting day for youth hunters ages 10 through 15 and for non-ambulatory disabled hunters on both public and private lands statewide.

Youth hunters must be of sufficient physical size and strength to safely handle a firearm and must be accompanied by an adult companion age 21 or older who possesses a valid Delaware hunting license or is legally exempt from purchasing a license. Youth hunters may also hunt during the regular seasons for all game if accompanied afield by an adult. Youth hunters age 13 through 15 must have completed a hunter education course, possess a certification card and purchase a Delaware junior hunting license. Youth hunters age 10 through 12 must possess a license exempt number and may take hunter education.

“Youth hunting days are an excellent opportunity for veteran adult hunters to share their knowledge and experience with the next generation, thereby continuing one of Delaware’s great conservation and outdoor recreation traditions,” said Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis. “Hunting is an exciting outdoor activity for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy.”

In addition to youth hunters, non-ambulatory disabled hunters of any age who use a wheelchair for mobility may hunt deer Nov. 5.

Standard bag limits and regulations apply, and all deer taken must be registered. On state wildlife areas that require a lottery drawing for available deer stands during the Nov. 5 hunt, the drawing will be held 2 hours before sunrise. To sign up for the lottery, participating hunters should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the drawing. Hunters also should check each wildlife area’s rules before hunting. Adult companions accompanying participating youth must be licensed or license-exempt to hunt in Delaware, and may not possess a firearm during the hunt.

Bombay Hook and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuges, under the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Delaware State Forests, managed by the Delaware Department of Agriculture, are also open to youth and non-ambulatory disabled hunters for the annual deer hunt. For specific rules and regulations on these areas, interested hunters should check with the appropriate managing agency.

Delaware hunting licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. Hunters not required to purchase a hunting license may obtain their license exempt number by visiting the Hunter and Trapper Registration System website or by calling 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868).

To promote youth hunting, deer stand fees are waived for youth hunting on state wildlife areas on youth hunting days. These daily stand fees apply at all other times. Specialized blinds/stands and hunting locations as well as special hunting permits also are available for disabled hunters. For more information, call 302-739-9912.

For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2016-2017 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and from license agents throughout the state. For information on specific wildlife areas, click Delaware Wildlife Area Maps. Printed maps also are available at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife also reminds hunters to take along their cameras for a great opportunity to take photos that might be entered in the Division’s annual Delaware Hunting Photo Contest, with the winner to be published in next year’s Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. Deadline for contest entries is Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Information and forms are available on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website or may be requested by calling Jennifer Childears at 302-739-9910, or email jennifer.childears@state.de.us.