Shotgun deer hunting season continues through Saturday

21dsn outdoors deer photo by .

Arthur Weidner of Milford spotted this deer on Broadkill Beach Road earlier this week and wanted to share it with our readers.

DOVER — Delaware’s shotgun deer hunting season continues through Saturday with muzzleloader season beginning Monday. That runs through Jan. 30.

Archery and crossbow seasons end Jan. 30.

Delaware hunting licenses are required for residents age 16 through 64; a Delaware junior license is required for ages 13 through 15. Some requirements differ for non-resident hunters.

Licenses can be purchased at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson and Robbins Building at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents around the state. Participating agents are listed at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s website. For more information, call (302) 739-9918.

Deer must be tagged immediately after harvest, and tags must remain attached until the deer is processed. Delaware hunting licenses come with four antlerless deer tags, but additional tags may be purchased online or from license agents for $10.

A combination resident hunter’s choice/quality buck tag costs $10, with the resident hunter’s choice tag usable on both antlered and antlerless deer and the resident quality buck tag only usable on an antlered deer with a minimum outside antler spread of 15 inches.

Non-residents may purchase separately one antlered deer tag valid for any deer and/or one quality buck tag for deer with a minimum outside antler spread of 15 inches for $25 each. Hunters are permitted to harvest a maximum of two antlered bucks for all seasons combined. All other deer taken must be antlerless.

Hunters must register deer within 24 hours of harvest. A registration number is required before taking any deer to a butcher or taxidermist.
Likewise, hunters who butcher their own deer must register the deer within 24 hours of harvest or before processing.

Hunters may register deer by visiting the Hunter and Trapper Registration system at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt using a smartphone, tablet or computer. Those who prefer to register through a customer service representative can call (855) 335-4868.

The website is a cost-savings measure that helps the Division of Fish & Wildlife direct more funding to on-the-ground habitat conservation and management and to public hunting areas, according to DNREC spokeswoman Joanna Wilson.

Hunters who harvest a deer and already have enough venison for themselves are encouraged to donate their deer to the Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger Program. All donated deer will be processed free of charge to the hunter, and the meat will be distributed to participating charitable groups.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife maintains walk-in coolers where hunters may donate field-dressed, tagged deer.

Cooler locations are at:

• Sussex County: Assawoman Wildlife Area, Frankford; Gumboro Community Center, Millsboro; Redden State Forest Headquarters, Georgetown; Trap Pond State Park, Laurel.

• Kent County: Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, Smyrna; Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area, Viola; Mosquito Control Office, Milford.

• New Castle County: Augustine Wildlife Area, Port Penn.

Coolers are checked periodically, and donated deer are taken to the Sussex Correctional Institution’s deer butchering program, or to participating private butcher shops, where they are processed.

If a hunter donates a deer, the Division of Fish & Wildlife requests the hunter please call the phone number posted on the cooler, so the deer is transported for processing in a timely manner. Any deer dropped off at a cooler must be field-dressed and registered, with the registration number written on the field tag attached to the animal.

Deer also may be donated at the Sportsmen Against Hunger participating private butcher shops. Including:

• Sussex County:

Dave’s Cut ‘Em Up: 6854 Delmar Road, Delmar. (302) 381-7257

Ole McDonald’s Farm Fresh Meats & Produce: 8977 DuPont Blvd., Lincoln. (302) 265-2321

• Kent County:

Miller’s Butcher Shop: 577 Morgans Choice Road, Wyoming. (302) 697-8278.

D&J Custom Cutting: 89 Myers Drive, Hartly. (302) 492-0323

• New Castle County:

Townsend Deer Butchering: 1300 Dexter Corner Road, Townsend. (302) 378-3268.

Cedar Hill Custom Deer Cutting: 738 Paddock Road, Smyrna. (302) 272-8916

Marks Butcher Shop: 7296 Grantham Lane (River Road Industrial Park), New Castle. (302) 229-0897

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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