Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
Delaware’s dove, resident Canada goose
and teal seasons to open in September
Hunting opportunities are offered at state fish and wildlife areas
DOVER (Aug. 26, 2013) – Delaware hunters will be able to start honing their wingshooting skills Monday, Sept. 2 with the opening of the mourning dove and resident Canada goose seasons on private lands and state wildlife areas. DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many early-season hunting opportunities on its wildlife areas throughout the state. 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.
On Thursday, Sept. 12, hunters can start adding teal to their bag. Hunters should note that this year, the daily teal bag limit has increased from 4 to 6 birds and the possession limit is now 18 birds.
A summary of hunting opportunities, procedures and rules on state wildlife areas include:
New Castle County
In New Castle County, sunflower fields have been planted at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area on the Rocks, Guestford and Bell tracts. Hunting spots are chosen by a lottery held at noon at the Cedar Swamp lottery station located on Collins Beach Road. Hunting days will be opening day, Labor Day Monday, Sept. 2, and all remaining Saturdays in September only. Hunting hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. All other areas of Cedar Swamp outside of zones 1, 2, 8 and 9 are open daily to dove hunting in accordance with all state and federal regulations from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
The Green Tract of the Augustine Wildlife Area has one sunflower field open throughout dove season with no special permits required. Shooting hours for this field are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. All other tracts of the Augustine Wildlife Area and the C&D Canal Conservation Area are open to dove hunting throughout the season with no special permits required.
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.
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 state wildlife areas offer several dove hunting opportunities with both lottery and non-lottery hunts. Lottery permit hunts are available at Milford Neck Wildlife Area – Penuel Tract, Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area – Caulk and Willow Grove tracts, Little Creek Wildlife Area – Davey Crockett Tract, and Ted Harvey Wildlife Area – Logan Lane and Buckaloo tracts. Permits to hunt the sunflower fields on these areas are issued through a noon lottery at the Little Creek lottery station on Route 9/Bayside Drive just south of Little Creek. These areas are hunted on opening day, Labor Day and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in September only. Hunting hours are 1 – 5 p.m.
For those not interested in the lottery hunts, dove hunting opportunities are available at the following areas where sunflower fields have been planted: Blackiston Wildlife Area, and Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area – Haines Tract and Petersburg Tract off Firetower Road. These sites are open all days of the dove season with hunting hours from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. Blackiston Wildlife Area dove fields were planted later, so this would be an excellent opportunity for late-season dove hunting.
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 – Davy 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 1½ hours before legal shooting time at the Woodland Beach lottery station and 2 hours before legal shooting time at the Little Creek lottery station. Hunting hours here are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
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 1½ hours before legal shooting time at the Woodland Beach lottery station and 2 hours before legal shooting time at the Little Creek lottery station. Other wildlife areas open for teal hunting 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.
Dove hunting on managed fields will be available on the Assawoman and Nanticoke wildlife areas. Two types of millet were planted for dove rather than sunflowers to minimize deer damage losses. At Assawoman, hunts will be on Saturdays only beginning on Sept 7. Hunting hours are 1 – 6 pm. During the month of September, permits will be issued 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, dove hunting will begin on opening day, Labor Day Monday, Sept. 2. Corn and millet were planted at the George Adams Field and the Dirt Pit Fields. No permits or check out are required and there are no limits on the number of hunters. Dove hunting is allowed on other unmanaged areas without a permit.
All other wildlife areas in Sussex County are open for dove hunting with no permits required. Hunting hours at these sites are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
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.
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 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 zones. Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
General Hunting Information for the 2012-2013 seasons:
September season dates are:
- Doves: Sept. 2 – 28 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset)
- Resident Canada Geese: Sept. 2 – 25 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset)
- Teal: Sept. 12 – 30 (½ hour before sunrise to sunset).
For later dates, hunters should consult the 2013-2014 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 stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices.
If hunting 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.
Teal, dove and goose hunters also will need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. To register for a HIP number, hunters can call toll free 1-855-335-4868 or go to www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt.
For more information, hunters should consult the 2013-2014 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide along with wildlife area maps. The guide is available online at 2013 Hunting Guide. 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. 43, No. 333