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Delaware’s deer hunting seasons get underway in January, as numerous other hunting and trapping seasons continue.

The state’s limited trophy deer zones will open in late January, running through March.

The hunting season for deer in Delaware was extended by three days during January, with several other hunting and trapping seasons already being in place.

Deer seasons continue in Delaware and the Northern Appalachian Mountains. Hunting remains open in most of North Carolina and Tennessee, while many other states will have additional hunting seasons open during the first week of January.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources has just given hunters another chance. The Department’s deer and bear license sales are now open for the first of many more hunting and trapping seasons throughout the state.

Deer hunting seasons opening in January:

  • January handgun deer*: Jan. 7, Jan. 9 through 14 (closed Sunday, Jan. 8**) Hunting permitted only south of the C&D Canal
  • January general firearm deer* (also known as the January shotgun season): Jan. 14 through 22, including Sundays
  • January muzzleloader deer: Jan. 23 through 29, including Sundays

*Straight-walled pistol-caliber rifles are allowed during the January handgun and general firearm (shotgun) deer seasons only south of the C&D Canal.
**Hunters may only use archery equipment, including crossbows, to hunt on Sunday, Jan. 8.

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Bobwhite quail: through Jan. 7, 2023
  • Woodcock and common snipe: through Jan. 16, 2023
  • Canada goose (migratory season): through Jan. 23, 2023
  • Ducks (including sea ducks***), coots and mergansers: through Jan. 31, 2023
  • Brant: through Jan. 31, 2023
  • Tundra swan (by special permit ONLY): through Jan. 31, 2023
  • Snow goose: through Jan. 31, 2023, and Feb. 4, 2023
  • Mourning dove: through Jan. 31, 2023
  • Archery and crossbow deer: through Jan. 31, 2023, including all Sundays
  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 4, 2023
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 4, 2023
  • Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 28, 2023
  • Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 28, 2023
  • Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 28, 2023
  • Raccoon and opossum (hunt): through Feb. 28, 2023****
  • Beaver (hunt): through Mar. 19, 2023, private land only
  • Crows: through Mar. 25, 2023, June 22 through 24, 2023 and June 29 through 30, 2023 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
  • Groundhog (hunt): through June 30, 2023

***Sea duck hunters are advised that there is no longer a special sea duck zone with its own separate season dates or daily bag and possession limits. Season dates for sea ducks are now the same as the regular duck season and the daily bag and possession limits for sea ducks are now included as part of the regular daily bag and possession limits for all ducks. Refer to Page 34 of the 2022/2023 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide found at for additional information about hunting sea ducks.
****Special raccoon and opossum hunting hours during the January handgun, January general firearm and January muzzleloader deer seasons are 7 p.m. until midnight.

Continuing trapping seasons include:

  • Red fox and coyote: through Mar. 10, 2023
  • Beaver: through Mar. 20, 2023
  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum and nutria (New Castle County Only): through Mar. 10, 2023 (Mar. 20, 2023 on embanked meadows)
  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum and nutria (Kent and Sussex counties): through Mar. 15, 2023

Learn more about that here.