Delaware might be a small state, but Delaware archery season makes up for it with a bevy of bountiful hunting opportunities and diverse species. The First State encompasses 19 public areas managed by The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife manages approximately 68,000 acres across the state.
These 19 lands provide habitat for wildlife and outdoor recreational activities. You have options for hunting on public and private land during several seasons throughout the year.
Delaware (DE) Archery Season, 2022-2023
While the Diamond State offers ample hunting seasons for a variety of species, its strict with its daily hunting times. Sunday hunting is illegal in the state, except on commercial preserves or during red fox chases when in season.
When does Archery Season Start in DE?
Delaware Deer Seasons
Archery and Crossbow September 1-January 31
Special Antlerless October 1-2, 17, 21-24, 28-31 / December 10-18
Youth and Non-ambulatory Hunt November 5-6
Please note: crossbow and archery hunters can bag antlered bucks throughout the antlerless seasons in October. They may not snag these bucks during the antlerless season in December.
Delaware Spring 2023 Turkey Seasons
Public Land Permit A April 8-14
Public Land Permit B April 15-21
Public Land Permit C April 22-28
Public Land Permit D April 29-May 6
Delaware separates turkey hunting seasons by public and private land permits. Private lands enable hunting throughout the entire season. Public lands require hunting permits, and hunters must obey additional season dates.
Delaware Small Game Seasons
Gray Squirrel September 15-February 4
Cottontail Rabbit November 21-February 28
Groundhogs July 1-June 30
Ring-necked Pheasant (Males Only) November 21-February 4
Bobwhite Quail November 21-January 7
What are the legal hunting hours in Delaware?
Delaware allows ample hunting seasons throughout the year, but hunting certain species is illegal on Sundays. As of 2016, hunting deer on Sundays is legal with the permitted methods. Deer hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset.
Hunters may use bows and crossbows during muzzleloader, handgun, general firearm, and straight-walled pistol-caliber seasons. Hunters must also wear 400 square inches of orange material prominently displayed on their chest, back, and head.
Hunting Licenses and Permits in DE
You can purchase Delaware Fish and Wildlife Licenses from the official website or approved agents, such as post offices. Delaware’s trapping and hunting licensing year cover July 1 through June 30. All residents and non-residents born after January 1, 1967, must undergo and complete a mandatory 10-hour safety course before obtaining their hunting license.
All individuals receiving in-kind or monetary compensation for personal guide services to hunters must apply for a Delaware Guide License. Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamps are necessary for hunting waterfowl. There are no special exceptions for persons 65 years or older.
Any resident licensed to hunt snow geese may hunt snow geese in Delaware, provided they have a Delaware state waterfowl stamp. Some residents and non-residents may have exempt status from these requirements to purchase trapping or hunting licenses, but they must obtain the free License Exempt Number (LEN) before embarking on their trip.
Check out our guide 30+ Hunting Rules to Keep You Safe while bowhunting in the wild.