Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Hunting license is $39.50 plus $20 for hunter’s choice or antlerless tag, and $20 for quality buck or antlered tag. A conservation access pass is $32.50.
Resident hunting license and deer permit
License is $199.50. Some licenses are reciprocal for neighboring states, and the cost may vary depending on the state you live in, plus $50 for hunter’s choice or quality buck tag. A conservation access pass is $65.
Non-resident hunting license and deer permit
Taken by Herbert Milam in Sussex County in 1978.
Record B&C Typical Stat
Total B&C Typical Entries
Taken by Keith Lee in Sussex County in 2005.
Record B&C Non-Typical Stat
Record B&C Non-Typical Entries
Check out the latest info for Delaware. Image by William T. Smith
Season Dates (2023):
Deer season dates vary. Please CONFIRM SEASON DATES.
The Grade: A
Delaware deer harvest numbers had been down a few years ago, but they’ve mostly rebounded. Like much of the region, Delaware should benefit from recent heavy mast crops and mild winters. The deer herd should be in great shape this season.
Delaware is a small but diverse state, with habitat ranging from coastal marsh to upland hardwood forest. Archery season opens earlier than in most states (Sept. 1), giving hunters a crack at a velvet buck the first week of the season.
“Delaware has one of the longest deer seasons available to hunters,” said Samuel C. Millman, wildlife biologist with the state’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. “Our previous harvests indicate that we are trending up in harvest every year.”
Also, the state is developing a new portal for hunters to purchase their license and tags and register deer harvests. This update is meant to make this step in the process much easier. All things considered, Delaware gets an A again this season.
Antler Nation Knowledge:
All of Delaware’s B&C entries have come from Sussex, New Castle, and Kent counties. Huntable land can be scarce, but urban settings offer prime spots for bowhunting. With nearly 10% of the state being public land, hunters who can’t find private ground can still participate.
According to Delaware officials, certain wildlife areas have mandatory antler restrictions for hunters hoping to have an opportunity at an older buck. Other areas are archery only, and some areas require hunters to hunt from established stands rather than roaming freely and choosing where they want to hunt. Regardless, find the right PUBLIC LAND for you.
“Do not underestimate the wildlife areas’ productivity of big bucks,” Millman said. “I would encourage hunters to dig deep into the forested wildlife areas, as these bucks will keep to the forests for cover. When you think you’ve hiked deep into the forest, go a little deeper. You will not regret the extra effort. But don’t forget about the most recent change, which restricted use of trail cameras on state wildlife area properties.”
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