Contact: Joanna Wilson or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Shotgun deer season opens clear and cold,
and with success for many hunters
Registered deer numbers over the weekend show
strong start to November shotgun season
UPDATED: DOVER (Nov. 17, 2014) – After a night of rain and snow to the north, Friday’s opening day of Delaware’s shotgun deer season dawned cold and dry under clearing skies, drawing hopeful deer hunters from all over the state and from neighboring states as well. By mid-morning, hunters were returning to their trucks, many of them hauling their harvest, while others strapped portable tree stands to their backs and toted their shotguns out of the field with a spring in their step, anticipating another day when they too would bring home a trophy buck or venison to the table.
For thousands of Delaware deer hunters, their favorite and unrivaled time of year afield had arrived, and they went afield with prognostications pointing to a bountiful harvest in the state. Of all Delaware’s deer seasons, the early shotgun season draws by far the most interest from hunters. During Delaware’s five-month deer season, nearly 50 percent of the overall annual deer harvest will be taken over eight days in November. This season, predictions call for hunters to take more than 13,000 deer, with this past weekend’s hunt and the days ahead through Nov. 22 accounting for almost half that number.
According to Joe Rogerson, deer biologist with DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, this year's shotgun season got off to a strong start, with hunters registering 2,810 deer for Friday’s opening day and Saturday, Nov. 15, compared to 2,939 deer last year over the same period. “The harvest this season compared to last season is nearly identical, with only a slight drop of about 4 percent,” Rogerson said.
Hunters are reminded that they must register their deer within 24 hours of harvest, and are encouraged to do so by visiting the Hunter and Trapper Registration (HTR) system online at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt using their smartphone, tablet, or computer. While the online HTR system offers expediency in deer registration, those who prefer to register their deer through a live customer service representative have the option to call 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868). Using the website instead of the live customer service phone number to access the HTR system is a cost-savings measure that helps the Division of Fish & Wildlife direct more funding to on-the-ground habitat conservation and management, and to public hunting areas.
As an added incentive for hunters to access the HTR system online rather than by phone, the Division of Fish & Wildlife will randomly select 20 hunters or trappers throughout the season to receive a donated $50 gift card to Cabela’s. Only hunters and trappers who access the HTR system online will be entered into these drawings.
For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2014-2015 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide, along with state wildlife area maps if planning to hunt on wildlife areas. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state. The maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and online at Delaware Hunting Maps.
Vol. 44, No. 401