Delaware Deer Season 2024-2024: DE Deer Hunting Guide [Schedules, Licenses, and Regulations & More!]

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Deer hunters are enthusiastically preparing for the Delaware hunting season 2024-2024 as September arrives. Hunters are preparing for a trip that requires skill, patience, and a profound connection to the outdoors as the foliage changes and the pursuit approaches. The forthcoming season offers amazing opportunities for hunters of all backgrounds and experiences with archery, muzzleloader, shotgun, and more. From pursuing a gorgeous buck through the woods to sharing campfire stories, the Delaware Deer Hunting Season captivates hunters and nature lovers.

Deer Season

General Deer Season

DE Deer SeasonsStart DateSeason End DatesLocation ArcheryFriday, September 01, 2024Tuesday, January 31, 2024Statewide MuzzleloaderFriday, October 06, 2024Sunday, October 15, 2024Statewide MuzzleloaderSunday, January 22, 2024Saturday, January 28, 2024Statewide CrossbowFriday, September 01, 2024Tuesday, January 31, 2024Statewide General Firearm (Shotgun Seasons)Friday, November 10, 2024Sunday, November 19, 2024Statewide General Firearm (Shotgun Seasons)Friday, January 13, 2024Saturday, January 21, 2024Statewide Special AntlerlessSunday, October 01, 2024Monday, October 23, 2024Statewide Special AntlerlessMonday, October 16, 2024Monday, October 30, 2024Statewide Special AntlerlessFriday, October 20, 2024Sunday, December 17, 2024Statewide Special AntlerlessFriday, October 27, 2024Sunday, December 17, 2024Statewide Special AntlerlessMonday, October 30, 2024Sunday, December 17, 2024Statewide Handgun and Straight- walled Pistol-caliber RifleFriday, January 06, 2024Thursday, January 12, 2024Season closed in Wildlife Management Zones 1A and 1B Handgun and Straight- walled Pistol-caliber RifleSunday, January 08, 2024Thursday, January 12, 2024Statewide Youth and Non-ambulatory HuntSaturday, November 04, 2024Sunday, November 05, 2024Statewide

DE Youth Deer Hunt

Youth Deer HuntRegulations Youth and Non-Ambulatory Deer Hunt DatesNovember 4 and 5, 2024 YouthAny youth aged 10 to 15 years Non-Ambulatory IndividualsIndividuals who use a wheelchair for mobility SupervisionYouth hunters must be directly supervised by an adult who is at least 21 years old. Hunter Education13 to 15-year-old hunters need to have finished a Hunter Education Course and have a certification card. Junior Hunting LicenseDelaware junior hunting licenses must be purchased by young hunters aged 13 to 15. Bag LimitsRegular bag restrictions and laws are in effect. Adult CompanionsAdult companions must have a Delaware hunting license (or be exempt), however they cannot have access to a firearm while on the hunt. Physical RequirementsYoung hunters must be big enough and strong enough to wield a gun safely. Deer RegistrationEvery deer taken must be recorded. Hunt LocationsOpen statewide on both public and private lands State Wildlife Areas1.5 hours before the start of the legal shooting period, stand allocation drawing Bombay Hook National Wildlife RefugeAt Fischer Tract and Steamboat Landing, hunting is first-come, first-served. ContactContact the refuge for further details about enrolling at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

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Bag Limits

ResidencyAntlerless Deer TagsMaximum Antlered Bucks Resident42 Non-Resident42 License Exempt Hunters42

DE Deer License Costs

License TypePrice Resident Adult Hunting License (Ages 16-64)$39.50 Resident Junior Hunting License (Age 13-15)$5.00 Resident Guide Hunting License (Age 18+)$159.50 Non-Resident Adult Hunting License (Age 16+)$199.50 Non-Resident Junior Hunting License (Age 13-15)$50.00 Non-Resident Guide Hunting License (Age 18+)$475.00 Non-Resident 3-Day Hunting License (Age 16+)$75.00 Non-Resident Antlered Deer Tag$50.00 Non-Resident Quality Buck Tag$50.00 State Wildlife Area Waterfowl Blind and Deer Stand Permit$20.00 Each additional Antlerless Deer Tag$20.00

This list includes just a partial list of licenses, permits, and tags. The official hunting digest has the entire list and details. License agents may charge $2.50 to issue a license, $1.50 for deer tags, permits, and passes, and $1.00 for waterfowl (duck) stamps. The license year is July 1-June 30.

DE Deer Regulations

  • With landowner permission, Sunday deer hunting is allowed on private and public property during deer seasons. Statewide Sunday deer hunting dates are posted on the website for all seasons. Sunday deer shooting dates and suitable public lands may be found on the official website or by calling the Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. Any animal except deer on designated grounds, commercial shooting preserves, or red fox in season cannot be hunted on Sunday.
  • Deer hunters will obtain Deer Harvest Report Cards instead of tags. This report card lists all “tags” depending on hunting eligibility and purchases. Hunters must punch the report card, complete the section on deer harvesting, enter the harvest date, and register the deer within 24 hours. The report card should include the deer registration number and be maintained with its tags. The Delaware Hunting License or LEN card and Deer Harvest Report Card must be carried while hunting deer. Updated cards will show the original and new tags for hunters. Hunters should preserve the latest card because previous ones expire. Deer Carcass Tags are needed for deceased deer. Deer Carcass Tags provide more information.
  • Deer hunters who harvest a deer no longer need to affix a tag at the kill site but must complete the Deer Harvest Report Card portion. The hunter only needs a physical tag when the deer is no longer in their hands. Deer Carcass Tags are accessible in the printed guide, the Digital DNREC account, and the FW website, or maybe self-made by adding the hunter’s name, license number, harvest date, and deer registration number post-registration. A hunter may send a deer to a processor, donate it, or leave it while it’s hanging to chill. A Deer Carcass Tag is needed when a Natural Resource Police Officer finds a deer without the hunter. Call 302-735-3600 with questions.
  • Delaware residents get a Deer Harvest Report Card with four antlerless deer tags with their licenses. Quality Buck Tags, which include a Hunter’s Choice Tag, cost $20 and are added to the Deer Harvest Report Card. The Hunter’s Choice Tag can be used for antlerless or antlered deer, while the Quality Buck Tag is only for antlered deer with a minimum outside spread of 15″. Hunters can harvest a maximum of 2 antlered bucks across all seasons, while all other deer must be antlerless. Additional antlerless deer tags can be purchased for $20 each.
  • Non-resident hunting licenses include a Deer Harvest Report Card with 4 antlerless deer tags. At $50 each, they can buy an Antlered Deer Tag and a Quality Buck Tag, which will be integrated into their report card. The Antlered Deer Tag can only be used on deer with 3 inches or more of antlers.
  • Licensed exempt hunters in Delaware must obtain a License Exempt Number (LEN) and a Deer Harvest Report Card if they are not required to buy a hunting license. They can no longer make their deer tags. They will receive a free Deer Harvest Report Card with 4 antlerless deer “tags” and 1 Hunter’s Choice deer “tag”.
  • Quality Buck Tags in Delaware are only available to antlered deer with an outer antler spread of at least 15 inches. In context, the distance between a deer’s ears when fully extended in the “alert” position is about 15 inches.
  • All deer hunters must register their deer within 24 hours. Before registering, hunters should not chop flesh or remove deer components other than the viscera. Deer registration may be done online or by calling 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868). Hunters will be directed via computer or phone questions. Antlered deer hunters must record the antler spread and number of points. The antler spread will be “15 inches or greater” or “less than 15 inches,” measured across the main beams’ widest point. Hunters record the quantity of one-inch or greater points, eliminating broken or shorter ones. After answering the questions, hunters should put their deer harvest registration number on their Deer Harvest Report Card. This number proves registration. If problems happen, hunters should call 302-735-3600. Deer hunters must show their registration number to butchers and taxidermists. Reference illustrations show how to estimate antler point height and spread breadth.
  • Hunting is authorized on private and state-owned areas south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal using revolvers and single-shot pistols of particular barrel length and calibre. Straight-wall handgun ammo must be in these calibres and case lengths. Someone 21 or older must supervise under-18s who carry handguns openly.
  • The University of Delaware and the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife have researched tagging and tracking deer in the state. Numbered ear tags and radio transmitter collars provide valuable data on deer behaviour and hunter harvests. Hunters can harvest marked deer if they meet legal requirements.
  • When firearm hunting for deer is allowed in Delaware, hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange on their head, chest, and back. This also applies to hunters pursuing small game in State Wildlife Areas. Hunters using ground blinds must display 400 square inches of hunter orange within 10 feet of the blind and a
  • Based on net Boone and Crockett scores, the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife’s website lists the top hunter-taken deer. Deer meeting Pope and Young, Longhunter Society, and shotgun and pistol-calibre rifle minimums are eligible for entry. The Division accepts entries from any year, but antlers cannot be scored until at least 60 days after harvesting.
  • The Delaware Hunters Against Hunger Program (DHAH), run by the Division of Fish and Wildlife, donates legally harvested Delaware deer to needy people. Walk-in coolers and contracted private deer processors are available across the state. Only Delaware-harvested deer are eligible for donation.
  • The Youth and Non-Ambulatory Deer Hunt on November 4 and 5, 2024, is open to youth hunters aged 10 to 15 and wheelchair users. Youth hunters must be supervised by a 21-year-old. Hunters aged 13 to 15 must have completed a Hunter Education Course, have a certification card, and buy a Delaware junior hunting license. Normal bag limits and regulations apply.
  • Half an hour before dawn and half an hour after dusk is deer hunting time.
  • Sika deer are found in marshes, swamps, woodlands, and agricultural fields. They were introduced from Asia, particularly China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, into Maryland in 1916. Despite their small population in Delaware, they spread across Delaware.
  • Sika and white-tailed deer are distinct species, and their breeding seasons differ. Sika deer breed in mid-to-late October and white-tailed deer in mid-November. However, research in Maryland suggests that sika deer and white-tailed deer can coexist without significant direct competition when sika deer populations are low to moderate.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>