Deer Hunting in Delaware

Back to All State Reports
  • A
  • 45,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 21,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $92

    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

  • $314.50

    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

  • 185 4/8"

    Taken by Herbert Milam in Sussex County in 1978.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 19

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 208 4/8"

    Taken by Keith Lee in Sussex County in 2005.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 10

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Delaware has some pretty good deer hunting. (Tom Reichner/Shutterstock photo)

Season Dates (2019)

Archery and crossbow season spans September 1 to February 2. Muzzleloader season is October 11 to 20 and January 27 to February 2. Youth weekend is November 2 to 3. Shotgun season runs November 15 to 24 and January 18 to 26. Handgun season is January 4 and 6 to 11. These are the dates set when published, please check the state DNR's website to confirm.

The Grade: A

While numbers had been down a few years, they began to make a rebound in 2014 and three seasons ago saw a record 14,681 deer harvested for the state, including new records for both adult does (6,869) and antlered bucks (4,218). Like most of the bordering states, Delaware should benefit from recent heavy mast crops and mild winters. The deer herd should be in great shape this fall.

While huntable land can be scarce, urban settings offer prime spots for both vertical archery and crossbows, legal in Delaware for the entire five-month archery season. With nearly 10 percent of the state being public land, hunters who can’t find private land can still participate. And take a look at the recent B&C record deer data when each state is looked at from a level playing field.. Here's a shocker.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

All 28 of Delaware’s B&C entries have come from Sussex, New Castle and Kent Counties, including a 171 6/8 incher taken by John J. Connell in 2014. Wildlife management zones Wildlife Management Zones 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, and 17 all set records for deer harvest two seasons ago and should see even better numbers this year.