The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife provides opportunities for migratory bird hunting on state wildlife areas. The following is a summary of those opportunities and the procedures and rules that apply. (Updated Aug. 21, 2023)
All migratory game bird hunters except crow hunters, including duck and goose hunters, also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through the DNREC ePermitting system or by calling toll free 1-855-335-4868.
Hunters using the ePermitting system should either create a profile or use the “Quick Hunting Registration” option.
Anyone born after January 1, 1967, must satisfactorily complete a basic hunter education course before obtaining a Delaware Hunting license.
Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife are required to display a Conservation Access Pass.
For full hunting rules and regulations, please refer to the posted Wildlife area maps and rules.
Delaware hunters may find GPS transmitters, bands or other human-created additions on migratory gamebirds they encounter during hunting seasons. Harvesting such gamebirds is legal, but hunters should report what they find to state and federal biologists.
Sunflower fields are planted on the Rocks and Daniels Tracts of the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area. Permits to hunt these fields are issued through a noon lottery at the Cedar Swamp lottery station, located on Collins Beach Road.
These areas are open to hunting on Opening Day, Labor Day and all Saturdays in September. Hunting hours are 1 to 6 p.m.
Dove hunting is prohibited in zones 2, 3 and 8 outside of the regulated dove fields but is allowed in all other zones in accordance with all state and federal regulations from half an hour before sunrise to sunset.
Dove hunting is also permitted on the C&D Canal Conservation Area, Augustine Wildlife Area and Eagles Nest Wildlife Area in accordance with all state and federal regulations from half an hour before sunrise to sunset with no special permits required. Non-toxic shot is required for all dove hunting during the early season.
Resident Canada goose hunting will be available on the C&D Canal Conservation Area, on and around Reedy Island in the Delaware River and on the Eagles Nest Wildlife Area, no special permits are required.
Hunting hours are half an hour before sunrise to sunset. Resident Canada geese may be harvested on the Port Penn and Ashton Tracts of the Augustine Wildlife Area while hunting teal by obtaining a permit as described below for September Teal.
Blinds will be available on the Port Penn and Ashton Tracts of the Augustine Wildlife Area for the early teal season. These blinds are available by permit only through lottery drawings held at the Augustine lottery station at the end of North Congress Street in Port Penn. Lotteries are held on opening day, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with drawings taking place one and a half hours before legal shooting time throughout the season.
Sunflower fields are planted on the Main Tract of the Little Creek Wildlife Area, the Logan Lane and Buckaloo/Morris Tracts of the Ted Harvey Conservation Area and the Penuel Tract of the Milford Neck Wildlife Area. Permits to hunt these fields are issued through a noon lottery at the Little Creek check station on Route 9 (Bayside Drive) just south of the town of Little Creek.
These areas will be open to hunting on Opening Day, Labor Day and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in September. Hunting hours are from 1 to 6 p.m. Dove hunting is restricted to these fields only on these four areas.
Due to wet spring conditions around planting time and recent summer rains, many of these fields have more weeds than in previous years but are still attracting doves.
Sunflower fields that are open without a lottery have been planted on the Blackiston Wildlife Area off Underwoods Corner Road and Sewell Branch Road and on the Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area off Ironmine Road. No special permit is required to hunt these areas.
Resident goose hunting will be available on the Blackiston, Norman G. Wilder, Little Creek-Davey Crockett Tract, Ted Harvey-Morris and Buckaloo Tracts and Milford Neck-Penuel, Main and Rawley’s Island Tracts with no special permits required. Hours are half an hour before sunrise to sunset.
Select blinds will be open at the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area for the early teal season. These blinds will be available by permit only through a lottery at the Woodland Beach check station on Route 9. Lotteries will be held one and a half hours before legal shooting time daily.
Ted Harvey Conservation Area river blinds and Roberts and Island Farm Tract blinds will be issued through the Little Creek lottery station beginning two hours before legal shooting time each day. Blinds will not be grassed for the early teal season. The Little Creek-Davey Crockett Tract and Milford Neck-Penuel, Main, Rawley’s Island and Cedar Creek Tracts are open without special permits.
Sunflower and corn fields are planted at the Nanticoke Wildlife Area for dove hunting this year. They are located on either side of the Main Road running between Old Sharptown and Phillips Landing Roads (called the George Adams and Dirt Pit Fields). No permits or check-in are required.
Nanticoke is open daily to dove hunting, in accordance with all state and federal regulations, from half an hour before sunrise to sunset.
Sunflower fields are planted on the Muddy Neck Tract of the Assawoman Wildlife Area on both sides of Double Bridges Road. Permits to hunt these fields are available at the Assawoman Lottery Station beginning at noon on Opening Day, Labor Day and all Saturdays in September. Hunting hours are 1 to 6 p.m.
All other wildlife areas in Sussex County are open for dove hunting with no permits required, in accordance with all state and federal regulations, from half an hour before sunrise to sunset.
Resident goose hunting is available at the Assawoman Wildlife Area from a field blind on the Muddy Neck Tract south of Double Bridges Road. A hunter-facilitated drawing will occur two hours before sunrise on Mondays and Thursdays during the early season. Check the Assawoman Checking Station for information or call 302-539-3160 in advance.
Prime Hook State Wildlife Area blinds and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge blind sites will be open for the early teal season. Hunting days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Permits are free and will be issued using a hunter-facilitated drawing two and a half hours before sunrise from the check station located on the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Hunting hours are half an hour before sunrise to sunset. Hunters should plan to use the Foord’s Landing boat ramp within the federal refuge to access the state waterfowl blinds as the new water levels have made the state boat ramp inaccessible.
No other Sussex County state wildlife areas fall within the September teal season zones.