Delaware’s Dove, Resident Canada Goose & Teal Seasons To Open In September

Delaware’s Dove, Resident Canada Goose & Teal Seasons To Open In September
Hunting opportunities offered at State Fish and Wildlife Areas.

Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

DOVER, Delaware –-( Delaware hunters will be able to start honing their wing shooting skills on Thursday, Sept. 1 with the opening of the mourning dove and resident Canada goose seasons.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, hunters can start adding teal to their bag. The DNREC 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 due to other activities taking place on the wildlife areas.

New Castle County

In New Castle County, sunflower fields have been planted at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area on the Rocks, Guestford and Bell tracts. The sunflower field at the Rocks Tract has been relocated this year to approximately100 yards further down the driveway past the old field. 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 Thursday, Sept. 1, Labor Day Monday, Sept. 5, and all Saturdays in September. Hunting hours are 1 to 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 one sunflower field open throughout dove season with no special permits required. Shooting hours for this field are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. All other tracts of the Augustine and C&D Canal Wildlife Areas are open to dove hunting throughout the season with no special permits required.

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
Eleven blinds 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. Lotteries are held on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday with drawings taking place 1 ½ hours before legal shooting time throughout the season.

Kent County

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 check station on Route 9/Bayside Drive just south 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 the 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 1 ½ hours before legal shooting time at the Woodland Beach Check Station and 2 hours before legal shooting time at the Little Creek Check 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 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 Short Tract. Hunting on this area will be on Saturdays only during the month of September. Hunters will be hunting over sunflowers in 2011. Dove hunting will be allowed on other unmanaged areas with a permit.

At the Nanticoke WMA, dove hunting will begin on opening day, Sept. 1. Corn and sunflowers are planted 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 open to teal hunting this year. Hunting days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. State blinds 1-8 will be open. Permits are free and will be issued on a first come-first served basis from the tag board on Prime Hook State Wildlife Area at Little Neck Road. All federal blinds are closed, and no drawings or check out will occur. No other Sussex County state wildlife areas fall within the September teal season zones.

General Hunting Information for the 2011-2012 seasons:

September season dates are:

  • Doves: Sept. 1-Oct. 1
  • Resident Canada Geese: Sept. 1 –24
  • Teal: Sept. 10 –28.

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, teal, dove and goose hunters will need to have registered with the Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) to get a registration number. Hunters can call toll free 1-855-335-4868 or go to to register for an HIP number.

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. This permit is waived for hunters participating in Division of Fish and Wildlife-designated youth hunting days.

Hunting maps for state wildlife areas are available online at or by calling 302-739-9912.

A legislative change that hunters should be aware of this year is that businesses licensed to operate as a commercial game preserve may now operate on Sundays. This change only applies to for-profit businesses and not to licensed shooting preserves that release game solely for hunting purposes.

For additional information, hunters should consult the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and the Delaware Migratory Game Bird Season Summary. The Division would like to note that Sunday, Oct. 2 is not a deer hunting day as listed in the print version of the guide. The Division apologizes for any confusion this error may cause. It has been corrected in the online version of the Guide that can be viewed at