Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Waterfowl hunting seasons reopen Nov. 24-29
DOVER (Nov. 18, 2014) – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds waterfowlers that the next seasonal segment for hunting migratory ducks and Canada geese runs from Monday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, Nov. 29.
Other current or upcoming waterfowl seasons are:
· Ducks and Canada geese: Third season segment begins Friday, Dec. 12. Duck season closes Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015; Canada goose season closes Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015;
· Brant: Monday, Dec. 22-Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, and Monday, Jan. 12-Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015; daily bag limit two; possession limit six;
· Snow geese: Season continues through Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015; daily bag limit 25, no possession limit; includes Ross’ geese. Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge open Monday, Wednesday and Friday with permission of refuge manager.
· Sea duck: Special season continues through Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 within the designated Special Sea Duck Hunt Area, located not less than 800 yards from shore between Port Mahon/Elbow Cross Navigation Light and the Delaware-Maryland line. For sea ducks harvested during the special season in the designated area, a daily bag limit of seven and possession limit of 21 applies to sea ducks; of this number, four can be scoters, with a daily possession limit of 12. Sea ducks may be harvested outside the designated area only during regular duck season dates, and count towards the regular six duck daily bag limit; those harvested within the special area do not count towards the regular season duck bag limit.
The daily limit of six ducks (excluding mergansers and coots) may include, in any combination, up to: four mallards, with no more than two hen mallards; one black duck; two pintail; one canvasback, three wood ducks; two redheads; two scaup, six teal; six shovelers; six gadwall; six wigeon; six goldeneye; six ring-necked ducks; six bufflehead; six ruddy ducks; one mottled duck; one fulvous whistling-duck; four scoters; six eiders; six long-tailed ducks. The possession limit is three times the daily limit. The season on harlequin ducks remains closed.
Season dates for coots and mergansers are the same as for ducks, with a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit of 45 for coots, and a daily bag limit of five and a possession limit of 15 for mergansers. Daily bag limit may include no more than two hooded mergansers (six in possession).
Canada geese have a daily bag limit of two, with a possession limit of six birds. Hunters also may take white-fronted geese, which count against the daily bag limit for Canada geese, allowing hunters to take up to two Canada geese, or two white-fronted geese, also known as “specklebellies,” or one of each daily.
Most state wildlife areas open for waterfowl hunting hold a lottery drawing for waterfowl blinds 1.5 hours before legal shooting time, except for Little Creek Wildlife Area, which holds its drawing two hours before legal shooting time. Hunters should plan to arrive in time to sign up for the drawing. Additional information about duck blind lotteries and availability at individual wildlife areas as well as rules specific to each wildlife area can be found online at Delaware Hunting Maps. Hard copies of these wildlife area maps are also available at DNREC’s Dover license desk, or by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.
How to get your hunting license, HIP/LEN numbers and required stamps:
In order to hunt, Delaware residents age 16 or older and under the age of 65 and non-residents age 16 or older must purchase an adult hunting license to hunt in Delaware. A junior hunting license is required for youths age 13 through 15. Delaware hunting licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.
Hunters age 16 and older who hunt migratory waterfowl – including resident Canada geese – are required to purchase a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp, available for purchase online, at DNREC’s Dover licensing office, or from Delaware license agents. Delaware resident hunters 65 and older are not required to purchase a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp. A Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp, available for purchase online and at U.S. Post Offices, is required for all waterfowl hunters age 16 and older; no exemptions are made for persons 65 years or older for purchasing federal stamps.
Hunters who are exempt from purchasing a license must obtain an annual, free License Exempt Number (LEN). Hunters who plan to pursue migratory game birds such as ducks, geese and doves, also must obtain a HIP number as required under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Harvest Information Program. LEN and HIP numbers can be obtained through the Division of Fish & 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 encourage hunters to use the convenient online HTR system, the Division of Fish & Wildlife has partnered with Cabela’s to enter hunters who use the HTR system via the website into a drawing for one of 20 donated $50 gift cards for the 2014-2015 season. 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 direct more funding to on-the-ground habitat conservation and management, and to public hunting areas.
To use the new HTR system, please visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt. Gift card drawings will be conducted periodically during the hunting season, but only hunters and trappers who use the website to obtain their HIP and LEN permits, or to register their deer will be eligible. If you prefer to talk to a live customer service representative, please call 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868), but note that you will not be eligible for the Cabela’s gift card drawing.
For more information on waterfowl hunting in Delaware, click on 2014-2015 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and the 2014-2015 Migratory Game Bird Seasons. The guide and the migratory bird season summary also are available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents statewide.
The Division of Fish & Wildlife also would like to encourage hunters to bring cameras and take photos to enter in the Division’s annual Delaware Hunting Photo Contest. The contest is seeking photos of Delaware hunters, with the winner to be published in next year’s Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. Deadline for contest entries is Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Information and forms are available on the Division’s website at Photo contest information, or www.facebook.com/delawarefishwildlife. Information also may be requested by calling 302-739-9911, or emailing Rachel.Weissenfluh@state.de.us.
Vol. 44, No. 402