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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : News : Delaware's dove and resident Canada goose and teal seasons to open in September


 
 
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Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Delaware’s dove, resident Canada goose
and teal seasons to open in September

DOVER (Aug. 27, 2014) – Delaware hunters will start honing their wing shooting skills Labor Day Monday, Sept. 1, with the opening of the mourning dove and resident Canada goose seasons on private lands and state wildlife areas. The daily bag limit for both mourning doves and Canada geese is 15.

DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many early-season hunting opportunities on its wildlife areas throughout the state. The Division advises Delaware hunters on the following wildlife area-related topics before going afield:

  • In some locations, hunting hours may be more restrictive due to other activities taking place on the wildlife areas.

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

  • Due to a decline in hunting license revenues, which are matched with federal funds to cover operating costs for state wildlife areas, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has implemented a number of program cuts, including a reduction in dove field sunflower plantings on state wildlife areas. Dove hunters will find sunflower fields in New Castle County at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area - Guestford Tract; in Kent County at the Little Creek Wildlife Area - Davey Crockett Tract, and Ted Harvey Wildlife Area - Logan Lane Tract. In addition, Milford Neck Wildlife Area - Penuel Tract has a freshly-mowed wheat field for non-lottery dove hunting. No sunflower plantings were made this year at Kent County’s Blackiston and Norman G. Wilder wildlife areas, and very limited plantings were made at Sussex County’s Assawoman Wildlife Area.

A summary of hunting opportunities, procedures and rules on state wildlife areas include: 

New Castle County

Dove
Hunting at Guestford Tract’s sunflower fields will be run through a lottery held at noon at the Cedar Swamp lottery station on Collins Beach Road. Hunting days will be Labor Day Monday and all Saturdays in September. Hunting hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  All other areas of Cedar Swamp outside of zones 1 and 2 are open daily to dove hunting in accordance with all state and federal regulations from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

Due to the loss of its sunflower crop, the Rocks Tract on Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area will not be part of the lottery this year, but will instead be open daily from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset on a first come-first served basis with hunters being required to hunt from designated spots in the field. 

Augustine Wildlife Area is open throughout dove season with no special permits required. No sunflower fields were planted there this year. Dove hunting also is permitted on the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Blackbird Reserve Wildlife Area throughout the September season, with no special permits required. Hunting at the Augustine and Blackbird Reserve wildlife areas and the C&D Conservation Area is permitted from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

Resident Canada Geese
Resident Canada goose hunting will be available on the C&D Canal Conservation Area and on and around Reedy Island in the Delaware River. No special permits are required. Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

September Teal
Hunters can start adding teal to their bag on Friday, Sept. 12 when the Special September Teal Season opens. The daily teal bag limit is 6 birds, and includes both green-winged and blue-winged teal with a possession limit of 18 birds.

Ten blinds on the Port Penn Tract of the Augustine Wildlife Area will be open for the early teal season. These blinds are available by permit only through lottery drawings held at the Augustine lottery station at the end of North Congress Street in Port Penn. Lotteries are held on opening day, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, with drawings taking place 1½ hours before legal shooting time throughout the season.

Kent County

Dove
Kent County state wildlife areas offer dove hunting opportunities with both lottery and non-lottery hunts. Lottery permit hunts are available at Little Creek Wildlife Area – Davey Crockett Tract, and Ted Harvey Wildlife Area – Logan Lane Tract. Permits to hunt the sunflower fields on these areas are issued by lottery at noon at the Little Creek lottery station on Route 9/Bayside Drive just south of Little Creek. These areas are open to hunting on Labor Day Monday and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in September only. Hunting hours are 1-5 p.m.

For those not interested in lottery hunts, Milford Neck Wildlife Area – Penuel Tract has a freshly mowed wheat field for dove hunting. This site is open all days of dove season, with hunting hours from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. 

Resident Canada Geese
Several Kent County wildlife areas have resident Canada goose hunting opportunities. At the Milford Neck Wildlife Area, all of the waterfowl hunting blind sites will be open on a first come-first served basis. In addition, the following wildlife areas will be open for September goose hunting with no restriction to blinds or blind sites: Blackiston, Norman G. Wilder – Petersburg and Willow Grove tracts, Milford Neck and Little Creek – Davey Crockett Tract. From Sept. 12-25, daily lotteries for blinds will be held at the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area for marsh blinds, blinds on the Taylor’s Gut impoundment and the McKay Tract. Also from Sept. 12-25, the Ted Harvey Wildlife Area – Roberts Tract and river blinds 32-44 will be available through a daily lottery at the Little Creek Wildlife Area. Lotteries will be held at the Woodland Beach lottery station 1½ hours before legal shooting time and at the Little Creek lottery station 2 hours before legal shooting time. Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

September Teal
Hunters can start adding teal to their bag on Friday, Sept. 12 when the Special September Teal Season opens. The daily teal bag limit is 6 birds, and includes both green-winged and blue-winged teal with a possession limit of 18 birds.

Daily lotteries for blinds will be held at the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area for marsh blinds, blinds on the Taylor’s Gut impoundment and the McKay Tract. At the Ted Harvey Wildlife Area, the Roberts Tract and river blinds 32-44 will be available through a daily lottery at the Little Creek Wildlife Area. Lotteries will be held at the Woodland Beach lottery station 1½ hours before legal shooting time and at the Little Creek lottery station 2 hours before legal shooting time. Other wildlife areas open for teal hunting where no permit is required include Milford Neck Wildlife Area, and the Little Creek – Davey Crockett Tract. All teal hunting on the above areas will be every day of the September season from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.   

Sussex County

Dove
Dove hunting will be available at Assawoman and Nanticoke wildlife areas. Sunflowers were planted on one field at Assawoman, with limited success. At Assawoman, dove hunting will be permitted only on Saturdays, beginning Sept. 6. Hunting hours are 1-6 pm. During the month of September, permits will be issued on a self-served basis beginning at noon at the Assawoman Wildlife Area check station; no permits are required after September. Hunting hours after September will be ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

At the Nanticoke Wildlife Area and other wildlife areas in Sussex County, dove hunting will begin on Monday, Sept. 1, with no sunflowers planted this year. Dove hunting will be open from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset, with no permits required.

Resident Canada Geese
No resident goose hunts are planned for Sussex County on state wildlife areas, as no resident goose flocks are present on areas accessible for hunting.  

September Teal
Hunters can start adding teal to their bag on Friday, Sept. 12 when the Special September Teal Season opens. The daily teal bag limit is 6 birds, and includes both green-winged and blue-winged teal with a possession limit of 18 birds.

Prime Hook State Wildlife Area is open to teal hunting this year. Hunting days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. State blinds 1-8 will be open. Permits are free and will be issued on a first come-first served basis from the tag board on the Prime Hook State Wildlife Area at Little Neck Road. All federal blinds are closed, and no drawings or check out will occur. No other Sussex County state wildlife areas fall within the September teal season zone. Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

General Hunting Information for the 2014-2015 seasons
September season dates for the remainder of the state are:

  • Doves: Sept. 1-27 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Resident Canada Geese: Sept. 1 – 25 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Teal: Sept. 12-30 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset).

For later dates, hunters should consult the 2014-2015 Delaware Migratory Game Bird Season Summary, which is available online now at www.fw.delaware.gov, and will be available in printed form by early September.    

A Delaware hunting license is required to participate in the migratory game bird season. A resident annual hunting license costs $25 for ages 16 through 64. A resident junior hunting license costs $5 for ages 13 through 15. To hunt waterfowl in Delaware, including teal, residents age 16 through 64 are required to purchase a state waterfowl (duck) stamp, which costs $9. Higher license prices apply to non-resident hunters, and no exemptions are made for non-residents age 65 and older on purchasing a hunting license or waterfowl stamp. Delaware hunting licenses and waterfowl stamps can be purchased online, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, or from hunting license dealers statewide.

For hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird hunting stamp is required to hunt teal and geese. Federal duck stamps may be purchased online at www.fws.gov/duckstamps. Federal stamps also are sold at most U.S. Post Offices and national wildlife refuges, as well as many major sporting goods stores and large chain stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses; call ahead to check availability in your area. For more information, visit the website above or call 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).

If hunting waterfowl on a state wildlife area from a blind that was selected through a lottery, all hunters in the blind are required to have the $20 annual blind permit that can be purchased where hunting licenses are sold. This permit is waived for hunters participating in Division of Fish and Wildlife-designated youth hunting days.   

Hunters who are exempt from purchasing a license must obtain an annual, free License Exempt Number (LEN). To hunt migratory gamebirds such as ducks, geese and doves, hunters also must register for an annual, free Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. LEN and HIP numbers can be obtained through the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Hunter and Trapper Registration System (HTR). This free, easy-to-use system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offers a choice between using the mobile-friendly website or a phone system.

To use the HTR system, please visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt. If you prefer to talk to a live customer service representative, call 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868). Hunters who use the HTR website to obtain a HIP or LEN permit number will be entered in a drawing to win one of 20 donated $50 gift cards from Cabela’s. Those who use the phone application to register for HIP or LEN will not be eligible for the gift card drawing.

For more information on migratory gamebird hunting in Delaware, hunters should consult the 2014-2015 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide along with wildlife area maps. The guide is available online at 2014 Hunting Guide and where hunting licenses are sold. Newly updated hunting maps and wildlife area-specific regulations are available online at Delaware Hunting Maps.

Hard copies of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and the hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, or by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.

Vol. 44, No. 290
-30-
8/27/2014
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