DELAWARE — Small game and furbearer hunting and trapping opportunities continue into February in addition to the opening of the Snow Goose Conservation Order that began on Wednesday and the second special youth waterfowl hunting day on Saturday, Feb. 4, announced the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
The Snow Goose Conservation Order will be closed Saturday, Feb. 4 for the youth waterfowl hunting day and for a one-day reopening of the regular snow goose season. The Snow Goose Conservation Order reopens Monday, Feb. 6 and runs through Friday, April 7.
The Snow Goose Conservation Order is a separate season open only for snow geese that occurs when Delaware’s regular waterfowl hunting seasons are closed. During the Snow Goose Conservation Order, liberal harvest methods are permitted to help reduce the large snow goose population that is damaging the species’ Arctic nesting grounds, as well as wetlands and agricultural lands on migration routes and overwintering areas. More information, including licensing requirements, is available at de.gov/hunting.
The one-day, special youth waterfowl hunting day is open for hunters ages 10 through 15, with normal daily waterfowl bag limits and hunting regulations to apply, including a limit of 25 snow geese and one Canada goose. Youth hunters who are the named permittee on a Delaware Tundra Swan Permit may also harvest a tundra swan on Saturday, Feb. 4. More information on the youth waterfowl hunt, including licensing requirements, is available at de.gov/hunting.
Youth waterfowl hunting is available on many state wildlife areas, some of which are accessed through a waterfowl blind lottery drawing. The following wildlife areas issue waterfowl blinds through a lottery drawing: Augustine, Cedar Swamp, Woodland Beach and Assawoman wildlife areas, where a morning lottery is held one and a half hours before legal shooting time; and the Little Creek and Ted Harvey wildlife areas, where a morning lottery is held two hours before legal shooting time. A State Wildlife Area Waterfowl Blind Permit is not needed during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day.
Continuing hunting seasons in February include:
- Snow goose: Feb. 4 only
- Gray squirrel: through Feb. 4
- Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 4
- Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 28
- Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 28
- Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 28
- Raccoon and opossum (hunt): through Feb. 28
- Beaver: through Mar. 20, private land only
- Crows: through Mar. 25, June 22 through 24 and June 29 through 30 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
- Groundhog: through June 30
Continuing trapping seasons include:
- Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum and nutria:
- New Castle County: through March 10 (March 20 on embanked meadows)
- Kent and Sussex counties: through March 15
- Red fox and coyote: through March 10
- Beaver: through March 20, private land only
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available at de.gov/wamaps. More information on hunting seasons and wildlife areas is available in the 2022/2023 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide at de.gov/hunting.
Information on hunting licenses, the License Exempt Number (LEN), the Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number needed to hunt most migratory birds, the state waterfowl stamp and the Federal Duck Stamp, as well the Conservation Access Pass required for registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife is available at de.gov/huntinglicense.
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