DELAWARE DEER HUNTING REGULATIONS
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
7.1.1 Unless otherwise provided by law or regulation of the Department, it shall be unlawful for any person to:
188.8.131.52 Kill or take or attempt to kill or take more than four antlerless deer in any license year;
184.108.40.206 Possess or transport an antlered deer that was unlawfully killed.
220.127.116.11 Possess or transport an antlerless deer that was unlawfully killed.
18.104.22.168 Kill any antlered deer without first purchasing a Delaware Resident Combination Hunter’s Choice Deer tag and Quality Buck Deer Tag, a Delaware Non-Resident Antlered Deer Tag, or a Non-Resident Quality Buck Deer Tag except that persons exempt from purchasing a hunting license shall be entitled to take one Hunter’s Choice deer at no cost.
22.214.171.124 No hunter may harvest more than two antlered deer during a license year between July 1st and June 30th of the next calendar year.
7.1.2 For the purposes of this section, a person “driving deer” and not in possession of any weapon or firearm shall not be treated as if they are hunting deer, provided they are assisting lawful hunters.
7.1.3 It shall be unlawful for any person to purchase, sell, expose for sale, transport or possess with the intent to sell, any deer or any part of such deer at any time, except that hides from deer lawfully killed and checked may be sold. This subsection shall not apply to venison approved for sale by the United States Department of Agriculture and imported into Delaware.
7.1.4 Notwithstanding subsection 7.1.1 of this section, a person may purchase Antlerless Deer Tags for $10 each to kill or take additional antlerless deer during the open season. Hunters may take additional antlerless deer on Antlerless Deer Damage Tags at no cost.
7.1.5 Notwithstanding subsection 7.1.1 of this section, a person may use one Quality Buck tag to take an antlered deer with a minimum outside antler spread of fifteen inches, provided the tag is valid for the season in which it is used. Hunters exempt from the requirement to purchase a hunting license must purchase a Quality Buck tag in order to take a second antlered deer in any one license year.
7.2 Tagging, Deer Harvest Report Cards, and Registering Harvested Deer.
7.2.1 Attaching Tags or Punching Deer Harvest Report Cards. Each licensed person who hunts and kills a deer shall, immediately after the killing and before removing the deer from the location of the killing, attach an approved tag to the deer or punch/cut the appropriate section of their approved Deer Harvest Report Card and record in ink the date of harvest on the tag or Deer Harvest Report Card. An approved tag shall mean an Anterless Deer Tag or Doe Tag received with the hunting license, a Delaware Resident Quality Buck Deer Tag, a Delaware Resident Hunter’s Choice Deer Tag, a Delaware Non Resident Quality Buck Deer Tag, a Delaware Non Resident Antlered Deer Tag, an Antlerless Deer Damage Tag, or an Antlerless Tag purchased in addition to the hunting license tags. Any unlicensed person not required to secure a license shall make and attach a tag to the deer that contains the person’s name, license exempt number (LEN), address and reason for not having a valid Delaware hunting license or punch/cut the appropriate section of their Deer Harvest Report Card.
7.2.2 Retention of Tag. If required, the tag required by subsection 7.2.1 of this section shall remain attached to the deer until the deer is processed for consumption.
7.2.3 Registering Deer. Each person who hunts and kills a deer shall, within 24 hours of killing said deer, register their deer by phone or over the internet through systems authorized by the Division. Deer taken to a processor or taxidermist must be registered before the animal is delivered, even if this occurs within the 24-hour timeframe. After registering a deer, hunters will be given a deer registration number. This number must be recorded in ink on the approved tags or the hunter’s approved Deer Harvest Report Card listed in subsection 7.2.1 of this section. It shall be unlawful to knowingly enter incorrect information when registering a deer.
7.2.4 Dressing. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove from any deer any part thereof, except those internal organs known as the viscera, or cut the meat thereof into parts, until such deer has been registered using the phone or internet system authorized by the Division.
7.2.5 Deer Registration Number. The Deer Registration number provided by the automated phone/internet system must remain with the head and/or carcass until the mount is picked up from the taxidermist or the meat is processed and stored as food.
7.3 Method of Take.
7.3.1 Shotgun. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt deer during the shotgun season using a shotgun of a caliber smaller than 20 gauge, or have in his or her possession any shell loaded with shot smaller than what is commonly known as “buckshot.”
7.3.2 Archery and Crossbow Seasons. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt deer during the archery season or crossbow season and have in his or her possession any weapon or firearm other than a knife, a longbow or crossbow and sharpened broadhead arrows having minimum arrowhead width of 7/8 of an inch.
7.3.3 Muzzle-loading Pistols. A single shot muzzle-loading pistol of .42 caliber or larger using a minimum powder charge of 40 grains may be used to provide the coupe-de-grace on deer during the primitive firearm season.
7.3.4 Refuge in Water. It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot, kill or wound or attempt to shoot, kill or wound any deer that is taking refuge in or swimming through the waters of any stream, pond, lake or tidal waters.
7.3.5 Dogs. It shall be unlawful for any person to make use of a dog for hunting during the shotgun or muzzleloader seasons for deer (in each county), except as permitted in the hunting of migratory waterfowl from an established blind or for hunting dove, quail, raccoon or rabbit on properties closed to deer hunting with firearms during December and January.
7.4 Illegal Hunting Methods; Baiting.
It shall be unlawful for any person to set, lay or use any trap, snare, net, or pitfall or make use of any artificial light, or other contrivance or device, for the purpose of hunting deer. This subsection does not preclude the use of bait for the purpose of attracting deer in order to hunt them on private land.
7.5.1 Shotgun Seasons. Deer may be hunted with shotgun in accordance with the statutes and regulations of the State of Delaware governing the hunting of deer: from the Friday in November that precedes Thanksgiving by thirteen (13) days through the second Saturday succeeding said Friday; and from the Saturday that precedes the third Monday in January through the following Saturday in January.
7.5.2 Archery Seasons. Deer may be hunted with longbow in accordance with statutes and regulations of the State of Delaware governing the hunting of deer: from September 1 (September 2, if September 1 is a Sunday) through the last day of January, provided hunter orange is displayed in accordance with § 718 of Title 7 when it also lawful to hunt deer with a gun.
7.5.3 Muzzleloader Seasons. Deer may be hunted with muzzle-loading rifles in accordance with the statutes and regulations of the State of Delaware governing the hunting of deer: from the Friday that precedes the second Monday in October through the second Saturday that succeeds the Friday opening day; and from the Monday that follows the close of the January shotgun season through the next Saturday.
7.5.4 Special Antlerless Season. Antlerless deer may be hunted with a shotgun in accordance with the statutes and regulations of the State of Delaware governing the hunting of deer during all Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays in October except for during the October Muzzleloader season and the last Monday prior to the opening Friday of the October Muzzleloader season. Notwithstanding the foregoing, antlered deer may be taken with archery equipment that is legal during this October shotgun season. Antlerless deer may be hunted with shotgun in accordance with the statutes and regulations of the State of Delaware governing the hunting of deer: from the second Saturday in December through the third Saturday in December.
7.5.5 Crossbow Seasons. Deer may be hunted with crossbows in accordance with statutes and regulations of the State of Delaware governing the hunting of deer: from September 1 (September 2, if September 1 is a Sunday) through the last day of January, provided hunter orange is displayed in accordance with 718 of Title 7 when it also lawful to hunt deer with a gun.
7.5.6 Special Shotgun Season for Young and Disabled Hunters. Deer may be hunted on the first Saturday of November by disabled (non-ambulatory) hunters using a wheelchair for mobility, and hunters 10 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age (10 to 15 inclusive). Hunters 13-15 years of age must have completed an approved course in hunter training and possess a Delaware Resident or Non-Resident Junior Hunting License. Young hunters must be accompanied by a licensed non-hunting adult who is 21 years of age or older. Young hunters must be of sufficient size, physical strength and emotional maturity to safely handle a shotgun.
7.6 Carcass Importation Ban.
7.6.1 Importation. It shall be unlawful to import or possess any carcass or part of a carcass of any member of the family Cervidae (deer) originating from a state, Canadian province, country or any portion of the aforementioned jurisdictions thereof as determined by the Division, in which Chronic Wasting Disease has been found in free-ranging or captive Cervids. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following parts may be imported into the state:
126.96.36.199 Boned-out meat that is cut and wrapped;
188.8.131.52 Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or skull attached;
184.108.40.206 Hides or capes with no skull attached;
220.127.116.11 Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached;
18.104.22.168 Antlers (with no meat or tissue attached);
22.214.171.124 Upper canine teeth (buglers, whistlers, or ivories); and
126.96.36.199 Finished taxidermy products.
7.6.2 Carcass Notification. Any person who imports into Delaware any deer carcass or parts described in subsection 7.6.1 of this section and is notified that the animal has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease must report the test results to the department within 72 hours of receiving the notification. In order to facilitate the proper disposal of any infected material, the department may take into possession any imported carcass or carcass part of an animal if the animal has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.
3 DE Reg. 289 (08/01/99)
6 DE Reg. 536 (10/01/02)
8 DE Reg. 352 (08/01/04)
11 DE Reg. 334 (09/01/07)
12 DE Reg. 496 (10/01/08)
14 DE Reg. 52 (07/01/10)
15 DE Reg. 1505 (04/01/12)