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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Fish & Wildlife : Hunting

New regulations affecting hunters and and users of state wildlife areas


Wildlife regulation changes for hunters and the users of state wildlife management areas (WMAs) are now in effect. A summary of the changes follows:

Deer Hunting

• For muzzleloader hunting, black powder has been defined as any manufacturer’s approved muzzleloading propellant.

Sika deer are now considered part of the daily bag for deer in Delaware.

• Hunters can now legally use a rifled shotgun barrel when deer hunting on the C&D Canal Wildlife Area.

• Hunters must write the date in ink on their deer field tags before they are attached to the deer in the field.

• Archery hunters may not use a bow-locking device that locks the bow at full draw.

• It is now illegal to import into Delaware the whole carcass or certain parts of any member of the family Cervidae (deer) originating from a state or Canadian province in which chronic wasting disease has been found in free-ranging or captive deer.

Small Game Hunting

• Hunting gray squirrels with a .17 caliber rimfire rifle, a .22 caliber rimfire rifle or muzzleloading rifle not larger than .36 caliber is now permitted south of the C&D Canal during the entire gray squirrel season.

• The gray squirrel daily bag limit has been increased to six per day.

• Pheasant, quail and rabbit hunting will be allowed during all deer firearm seasons, provided hunters wear 400 square inches of hunter orange material covering the head, back and chest.

• Pheasant and squirrel seasons have been extended to the first Saturday in February, 2008.

• Rabbit season has been extended to Friday, Feb. 15, 2008.

Wild Turkey Hunting

• It is illegal to use any electronic calling device for hunting wild turkeys.

• All new turkey hunters must pass a test at the conclusion of the mandatory turkey hunter safety class before they can be issued a turkey hunting permit.

Hunters must make a reasonable effort to retrieve a wounded or dead game animal; if not they may be found in violation of a new wanton waste regulation outlined below.

Wanton Waste

A person wounding or killing a game animal shall make a reasonable effort to retrieve the wounded or dead game animal. The retrieved game animal shall be retained in the individual's possession until any of the following occurs: The game animal is processed for consumption, consumed or utilized for its fur value; the game animal is transported to the individual’s residence, to a taxidermist, or to a place of commercial processing; or the game animal is utilized for scientific, educational or research purposes. Any use of a game animal as not described above will be deemed wanton waste.

Geocaching and Letterboxing

All individuals participating in geocaching or letterboxing activities on state wildlife management (WMA) areas must first obtain a permit from the Fish and Wildlife regional manager in charge of the area where the geocaching or letterboxing activities are going to occur.

To review the full text of the 2007-2008 hunting regulations, please visit .

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