Delaware hunters will be able to start honing their wing shooting skills on Tuesday, Sept. 1 with the opening of the mourning dove and resident Canada goose seasons, according to a press release from the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife. On Wednesday, Sept. 2, hunters can start adding teal to their bag.


Delaware hunters will be able to start honing their wing shooting skills on Tuesday, Sept. 1 with the opening of the mourning dove and resident Canada goose seasons, according to a press release from the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife. On Wednesday, Sept. 2, hunters can start adding teal to their bag. 
 
The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many early season hunting opportunities on its wildlife areas throughout the state. In some locations, hunting hours may be more restrictive than the general framework due to other activities taking place on the wildlife areas.
 
NEW CASTLE COUNTY
Dove season
In New Castle County, large sunflower fields have been planted at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area on the Rocks and Guestford tracts. Sorghum has been planted on the Bell Tract of Cedar Swamp. Hunting spots are chosen by a lottery held at noon at the Cedar Swamp check station located on Collins Beach Road. Hunting days will be Sept. 1, Labor Day Monday, Sept. 7, and all Saturdays in September. Hunting hours are 1-5 p.m. All other areas of Cedar Swamp outside of zones 1, 2, 8 and 9 are open daily to dove hunting according to all state and federal regulations. 
 
The Baxter Tract of the Augustine Wildlife Area has two sunflower fields open throughout the dove season with no special permits required. Shooting hours for these fields are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
 
Resident Canada geese
Resident Canada goose hunting will be available on the C&D Canal Wildlife Area and on and around Reedy Island in the Delaware River. No special permits are required.
 
September Teal
 In New Castle County, 11 blind sites on the Port Penn Tract of the Augustine Wildlife Area will be open for the early teal season. These blinds are available by permit only through lottery drawings held at the Augustine check station at the end of North Congress Street in Port Penn. Lottery drawings are held daily two hours before legal shooting time throughout the season. September teal hunting is also permitted in the ponds and impoundments of the C&D Canal Wildlife Area except that no hunting is permitted within the retriever training area. No special permits are required for this area. 
 
KENT COUNTY
Dove season
Kent County state wildlife areas offer several dove hunting opportunities with both lottery and non-lottery hunts. Lottery permit hunts are available at the Milford Neck Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Penuel Tract, the Norman G. Wilder WMA Caulk Tract and the Ted Harvey WMA Logan Lane and Buckaloo Tracts. Permits to hunt the sunflower fields on these areas are issued through a noon lottery at the Little Creek checking station located on Route 9/Bayside Drive just south of the town of Little Creek. These areas are hunted on opening day, Labor Day, and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in September only.
 
For those not interested in the lottery hunts, dove hunting opportunities are available at both the Blackiston and Norman G. Wilder wildlife areas where sunflower fields have been planted. These sites are open all days of the dove season with hunting hours from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. 
 
Resident Canada geese 
Several Kent County wildlife areas have resident Canada goose hunting opportunities. At the Milford Neck WMA, all of the waterfowl hunting blind sites will be open on a first come-first served basis. In addition, Blackiston, Norman G. Wilder (Petersburg and Willow Grove Tracts), Milford Neck and Little Creek (Davy Crockett Tract) will be open for September goose hunting with no restriction to blinds or blind sites. Additionally, at the Woodland Beach and Roberts tract permit required blinds, resident goose hunting will be allowed while hunting September teal.
 
September Teal   
Daily lotteries for blinds will be held at the Woodland Beach WMA for marsh blinds, blinds on Taylor’s gut impoundment and the McKay Tract. At the Ted Harvey WMA, Roberts Tract and river blinds 32-44 will be available through a daily lottery at the Little Creek WMA. Lotteries will be held two hours before legal shooting time at the Woodland Beach Checking Station and two hours before legal shooting time at the Little Creek Checking Station. Other Wildlife Areas open for teal hunting include Milford Neck WMA, and the Little Creek Davey Crockett Tract. All teal hunting on the above areas will be every day of the September season from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.   
 
SUSSEX COUNTY
Dove season
Dove hunting on managed fields will be available on the Assawoman and Nanticoke Wildlife Areas. At Assawoman, permits will be issued from the check station beginning at noon on the first Saturday in September with hunting hours from 1-6 p.m. Dove fields are located on the Muddy Neck portion of the area on the Short Tract. Hunting on this area will be on Saturdays only during the month of September. Hunters should be aware that due to deer damage and flooding, sunflowers were severely damaged in 2009 and hunting success may be limited. Dove hunting will be allowed on other unmanaged areas with a permit.
 
At the Nanticoke WMA, there are corn and sunflowers at the George Adams Field and the Dirt Pit Fields. No permits or check out are required and there are no limits on the number of hunters. Dove hunting is allowed on other unmanaged areas without a permit.
 
All other Wildlife Areas in Sussex County are open for dove hunting with no permits required.
    
Resident Canada geese
No resident goose hunts are planned for Sussex County on State Wildlife Areas. No resident goose flocks are present on areas accessible for hunting.
 
September Teal   
Prime Hook State Wildlife Area is closed to teal hunting to remain compatible with Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge’s policy of leaving the area undisturbed. No other Sussex County state wildlife areas fall within the September teal season zones.
 
GENERAL HUNTING INFORMATION
 
September season dates are:
Doves: Sept. 1-26
Resident Canada Geese: Sept. 1–25
Teal: Sept. 2-19.
 
The September teal season has been expanded from 9 days to 16 days. Since the season starts very early, most blinds on State Wildlife Areas will not be grassed.
 
In 2009, non-toxic shot must be used for all dove hunting on state wildlife areas during the month of September.
 
In addition to a Delaware hunting license, hunters will need to have registered with the Federal Harvest Information Program (H.I.P) to get a registration number. Hunters can call toll free 877-335-2447 to register.
 
If hunting from a blind that was selected through a lottery, all hunters in the blind are required to have the $20 annual blind permit that can be purchased where hunting licenses are sold. 
 
Hunting maps for State Wildlife Areas are available online at www.fw.delaware.gov or by calling 302-739-9912.