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Hunting opportunities offered at many Delaware state wildlife areas

DOVER – Delaware hunters will start their 2017/18 hunting season Friday, Sept. 1 with the opening of archery and crossbow deer season, and mourning dove and resident Canada goose seasons on private lands and state wildlife areas.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife offers many early-season hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas, with details and rules for hunting on them available online at Delaware’s September hunting seasons. Hunters can start adding teal to their bag on Friday, Sept. 8 when the special September teal season opens. Gray squirrel season opens Friday, Sept. 15.

Seasons opening in September, with dates and hunting hours listed, are:

Doves: Sept. 1-30 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset)*
Resident Canada geese: Sept. 1-25 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset)
Teal: Sept. 8-26 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset).
Archery and Crossbow Deer: Sept. 1-Jan. 31, 2018
Gray squirrel: Sept. 15-Feb. 3, 2018

* Reminder: Non-toxic shot must be used for dove hunting on state wildlife areas during the month of September.

To hunt migratory game birds in Delaware, a Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required, with waterfowl hunters age 16 through 64 also required to purchase a state waterfowl (duck) stamp. Teal, dove and goose hunters also will need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. To register for a HIP number or LEN number, hunters can call toll free 1-855-335-4868 or go to Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration.

New this year, registered motor vehicles used to access designated public lands owned or managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife are required to display a Conservation Access Pass (CAP). Hunters can opt to receive one free annual vehicle pass with the purchase of any Delaware hunting license. To obtain a free CAP, or to purchase an additional pass, hunters will need to have the registration card for the vehicle to which the pass will be assigned.

Delaware hunting licenses, state waterfowl stamps, and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at Delaware Licenses, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or from hunting license dealers statewide. For hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird hunting stamp also is required to hunt teal and geese; federal stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices and online at Federal duck stamps.

For more information on hunting, click 2017-2018 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of guide and newly-updated hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting licenses, season details and conservation access passes also is available by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.