DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife designated Feb. 10 as the second of two special youth waterfowl hunting days for ages 10-15 to be held on public and private lands.
Youth hunters must be of sufficient physical size and strength to safely handle a firearm and must be accompanied by a licensed or license-exempt adult hunter age 21 or older who cannot possess a firearm during the youth hunt. Youth hunters age 13-15 must have completed a hunter education course, obtained a Hunter Ed certification card and purchased a Delaware junior hunting license. Youth hunters age 10-12 must possess a license-exempt number and may have taken hunter education but are not required at these younger ages. No state or federal waterfowl stamps are required for youth hunters. Normal daily waterfowl bag limits and hunting regulations apply, and youth hunters also are permitted to harvest snow geese and two Canada geese during the special waterfowl hunting day.
On state wildlife areas, a lottery drawing for waterfowl blinds will be held 1.5 hours before legal shooting time at Augustine, Cedar Swamp, Woodland Beach, Ted Harvey and Assawoman; and two hours before legal shooting time at Little Creek Wildlife Area. Hunters should plan to arrive in time to sign up for the drawing. Other state wildlife areas that do not have lotteries but allow waterfowl hunting are also open on the youth day. Hunters and those who will accompany them also should check each wildlife area’s rules before hunting.
After the youth waterfowl hunt, the Division of Fish & Wildlife is implementing an annual Snow Goose Conservation Order, which began in 2009 as part of an Atlantic Flyway-wide effort to reduce the population of greater snow geese. Snow geese numbers have reached levels that are causing damage to their breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, as well as, defoliation and degradation to wetlands and agricultural areas where the birds overwinter in the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Delaware. The state’s 2018 Conservation Order to harvest snow geese will open Feb. 12 and run through April 13.
During the Conservation Order, hunters may pursue snow geese every day except Sunday. Use of unplugged shotguns and electronic calls are allowed, with legal shooting hours starting a half-hour before sunrise and extended to a half-hour after sunset; there are no daily bag and possession limits. All other federal and state hunting regulations apply.
To participate in the Conservation Order, hunters must obtain a free Snow Goose Conservation Order permit number by registering at dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt. Individuals needing assistance in obtaining the permit number should call 735-3600 during business hours Mondays through Fridays. Participants are also required to have a valid Delaware hunting license or a Maryland resident hunting license, a 2017-18 Delaware waterfowl stamp and a Delaware Harvest Information Program number, with the HIP. A federal waterfowl stamp is not required.
Once registered for the permit, hunters are required to keep this permit number in their possession while hunting and to report their hunting activity and harvest success to the Division of Fish & Wildlife by May 1 via dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt; hunters may also report by phone at 735-3600 during business hours Mondays through Fridays.
For more, call 739-9912 or visit fw.delaware.gov.