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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : News : Waterfowl hunting split seasons on the calendar for fall and winter

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

Waterfowl hunting split seasons on the calendar for fall and winter

DOVER (Oct. 12, 2012) – The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds migratory game bird hunters to become familiar with the rules and dates for this year’s waterfowling split seasons.

This year’s split-season dates for hunting migratory ducks are:

·         Friday, Oct. 26 – Wednesday, Nov. 7

·         Monday, Nov. 19 – Thursday, Nov. 29

·         Thursday, Dec. 13 – Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013

The daily limit of six ducks (excluding mergansers and coots) may include, in any combination, up to: four mallards, including no more than two hen mallards; one black duck; two pintail; one canvasback, three wood ducks; two redheads; four 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 two times the daily limit. The season on harlequin ducks remains closed.

Goose and brant seasons* are as follows:

·         Canada Geese including white-fronted geese: split seasons Monday, Nov. 19 – Thursday, Nov. 29, and Thursday, Dec. 13 – Saturday, Jan. 26; daily bag limit two; possession limit four

·         Brant: Saturday, Dec. 1 – Saturday, Jan. 26; daily bag limit two; possession limit four

·         Snow geese: Monday, Oct. 1 – Saturday, Jan. 26; daily bag limit 25, no possession limit; including Ross’ geese

*Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge open Monday, Wednesday and Friday with permission of refuge manager.

The 2013 Snow Goose Conservation Order runs Jan. 28 through April 13, with no bag or possession limits. During the Conservation Order (CO) unplugged shotguns and electronic calls may be used to harvest snow geese. In addition, shooting hours have been extended to ½ hour after sunset. Hunters who wish to participate in the CO must register for a free annual permit, available by visiting after Jan. 1, 2013. Participants will be required to re-visit this website after the CO has closed to report their harvest to the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Season dates for coots and mergansers are the same as for ducks, with a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit of 30 for coots, and a daily bag limit of five and a possession limit of 10 for mergansers.

In order to hunt, Delaware residents ages 16 through 64 are required to purchase a Delaware hunting license; a Delaware junior license is required for ages 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 For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.

Hunters age 16 and older who take resident or migratory waterfowl – including Canada geese – are required to purchase a Delaware Duck Stamp, available for purchase online or from Delaware license agents, and a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp, available for purchase online and at U.S. Post Offices.

Delaware migratory bird hunters also must obtain a HIP number as required under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Harvest Information Program. The toll-free number to call for a HIP number is 1-855-335-4868 (1-855-DELHUNT), or go online at This number is available free of charge.

To obtain a HIP number, hunters will be asked to provide their name and address, and answer a few ques­tions about their previous year’s hunting effort and success with migratory birds, including ducks, geese, doves, woodcock, rails, snipe and coots.

For more information about migratory game bird hunting, the 2012-2013 Migratory Game Bird Season Summary is available online at 2012-2013 Waterfowl Season Summary.

For more information on hunting in Delaware, hunters should also consult the 2012-2013 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide, along with state wildlife area maps if they plan to hunt on wildlife areas. Copies of the guide are available at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, at license agents statewide, and online at

Vol. 42, No. 401

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