Delaware Deer Season 2024: [Schedules, Licenses, and Regulations & More!]

This season offers archery, muzzleloader, shotgun, and more interesting hunts for all levels. Here is a complete guide on the schedule, bag limits, regulations and more.

DE Deer Season


Archery1-Sep – 31-Jan
Muzzleloader6-Oct – 15-Oct
 22-Jan – 28-Jan
Crossbow1-Sep – 31-Jan
General Firearm (Shotgun Seasons)10-Nov – 19-Nov
 13-Jan – 21-Jan
Special Antlerless1-Oct – 23-Oct
 16-Oct – 30-Oct
 20-Oct – 17-Dec
 27-Oct = 17-Dec
 30-Oct – 17-Dec
Handgun and Straight- walled Pistol-caliber Rifle6-Jan – 12-Jan
 8-Jan – 12-Jan
Youth and Non-ambulatory Hunt4-Nov – 5-Nov

Youth Hunt

Youth and Non-Ambulatory DateNovember 4 and 5
YouthAny youth aged 10 to 15 years
Non-Ambulatory IndividualsIndividuals who use a wheelchair for mobility
SupervisionMust be directly supervised by an adult who is at least 21 years old.
Hunter Education13 to 15-year-old need to have finished a Hunter Education Course and have a certification card.
Junior LicenseJunior licenses must be purchased within age 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 RequirementsMust be big enough and strong enough to wield a gun safely.
RegistrationHunt 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, There is first-come, first-served.
ContactContact the refuge for further details about enrolling at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

Bag Limits

ResidencyAntlerless Deer TagsMaximum Antlered Bucks
License Exempt Hunters42

License Costs

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


  • Sunday shooting is allowed on private and public properties at specific times with landowner agreement. Find Sunday shooting dates and qualifying public lands on the official website or call the Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. The Sunday pursuing ban excludes specified lands, commercial shooting preserves, and red foxes throughout the year.
  • Instead of tags, sportsmen will get Harvest Report Cards with their eligibility and purchases. Must be registered within 24 hours after punching these cards and completing the harvesting part, including the harvest date. Report cards should include registration numbers and be retained with tags. People who hunt must carry their Delaware Hunting License or LEN and Harvest Report Card in the field. As older cards expire, you should save the latest ones, which show both tags. Carcass tags provide supplementary information for killed animals.
  • Those who hunt must fill out the Harvest Report Card instead of attaching a tag at the kill site. A physical tag is only necessary when the animal is no longer in possession. Print guide, Digital DNREC account, or FW website provide carcass tags. Outdoor enthusiasts may also make tags with their name, license number, harvest date, and registration number after registration. Hunting communities may process, donate, or hang the animal. A Carcass Tag is needed if a Natural Resource Police Officer finds an animal without the hunter. For questions, call 302-735-3600.
  • Residents get a Deer Harvest Report Card with four antlerless animal tags with their permits. A $20 Quality Buck Tag with a Hunter’s Choice Tag may be added to the Harvest Report Card. The Quality Buck Tag is for antlered animals with a minimum outer spread of 15″, whereas the Hunter’s Choice Tag may be used for antlerless or antlered animals. Hunters may harvest 2 antleried animals every time, and all others must be antlerless. Additional antlerless animal tags cost $20 apiece.
  • Non-resident licenses include a Harvest Report Card with 4 antlerless tags. At $50 each, they can buy an Antlered Tag and a Quality Buck Tag, which will be integrated into their report card. The Antlered 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 Harvest Report Card if they are not required to buy a hunting license. They will receive a free Harvest Report Card with 4 antlerless”tags” and 1 Hunter’s Choice “tag”.
  • Quality Buck Tags in Delaware are only available to antlered 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.
  • Must register their deer within 24 hours. Before registering, hunters should not chop flesh or remove deer components other than the viscera. 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 pursuers 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 Harvest Report Card. This number proves registration. If problems happen, hunters should call 302-735-3600. 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 behavior and hunter harvests. Hunters can get harvest marked if they meet legal requirements.
  • When firearm 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 DE 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 deer to needy people. Walk-in coolers and contracted private processors are available across the state. Only state-harvested deer are eligible for donation.
  • The Youth and Non-Ambulatory Hunt on November 4 and 5, 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 the game timing.
  • 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.
  • White-tailed deer and sika have separate mating seasons. Sikas breed mid-October to late October, white-tailed deer mid-November. According to Maryland research, sika and white-tailed may cohabit without direct conflict when sika concentrations are low to moderate.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the Delaware deer hunting season start and end?

Archery runs from September 1 to January 31. Muzzleloader runs from October 6 to October 15, and from January 22 to January 28,. Crossbow runs from September 1 to January 31.

What are the specific dates for the shotgun game?

Shotgun runs from November 10, to November 19, and from January 13, to January 21.

Are there any special antlerless deer hunting seasons in Delaware?

It runs from Sunday, October 1, to Monday, October 23; Monday, October 16, to Monday, October 30; Friday, October 20, to Sunday, December 17; and Friday, October 27, to Sunday, December 17.

What types of firearms are allowed during the deer hunting season?

Archery hunting, which runs from September 1, to January 31, allows bows and arrows. The muzzleloader season has two periods: October 6, to October 15, and January 22, to January 28, during which muzzleloading firearms are permitted. The crossbow coincides with the archery game and allows the use of crossbows from September 1, to January 31. The general firearm (shotgun) seasons, taking place from November 10, to November 19, and January 13, to January 21, permit the use of shotguns. Additionally, special antlerless seasons, occurring on various dates from October to December, also allow the use of shotguns. The handgun and straight-walled pistol-calibre rifle season, running from January 6, to January 12, January 8, to January 12, respectively, permits handguns and rifles to meet the specified criteria. The youth and non-ambulatory hunt on November 4 and 5, is open to various legal firearms for eligible participants.

Can you provide the dates for the muzzleloader and handgun deer hunting seasons?

The Delaware handgun and straight-walled pistol-calibre rifle deer also have two periods. The first begins on October 6, and ends on October 15. The second begins on January 22, and ends on January 28.

Are there any restrictions on hunting Sundays during the deer hunting season?

The state prohibits Sunday hunting, but there are exceptions. Sunday deer hunting is allowed on private land with the landowner’s approval and on designated publicly-owned lands.

How long does the Delaware deer hunting season typically run?

It runs from September to January. It includes archery, muzzleloader, crossbow, general firearm (shotgun), special antlerless hunts, handgun/straight-walled pistol-calibre rifle, youth, and non-ambulatory hunts.

What are the youth hunt dates for deer hunting in Delaware?

The youth game dates are November 4th and 5th. Youth hunters aged 10 to 15 can hunt under adult supervision. Non-ambulatory wheelchair users can also hunt.

James Ellis

1 thought on “Delaware Deer Season 2024: [Schedules, Licenses, and Regulations & More!]”

  1. The information regarding the purchase of a Quality Buck tag only states the cost. There is no information about how to purchase it online or otherwise. Is it available as an afterthought or does it have to be purchased at the same time when you apply for licensure?


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