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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsAdministrative CodeTitle 730003900 Wildlife

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3900 Wildlife

 

(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))

2.1 General.

Unless otherwise provided by law or regulation of the Department, it shall be unlawful to hunt any protected wildlife with any weapon or firearm other than a longbow or shotgun (10 gauge or smaller), except that:

2.1.1 Crossbows may be used during all deer seasons;

2.1.2 A muzzle-loading rifle with a barrel length of at least twenty inches and loaded with black powder may be used to hunt deer during muzzleloader and shotgun deer seasons;

2.1.3 A .22 caliber rimfire pistol may be used to hunt raccoons and opossums and to take wildlife lawfully confined in a trap;

2.1.4 A hook, spear or gig may be used to take frogs; and

2.1.5 Snapping turtles may be taken by hand or by using a spear, gig, fyke net or turtle trap. Turtle traps can have only one throat or funneling device.

2.1.6 A single shot an antique or authentic reproduction black powder Sharps rifle of 45 to 60 caliber shall be lawful for use during shotgun deer seasons using paper patched bullets.

2.1.7 No person shall place in the field any set or unset equipment associated with the trapping of game animals until the opening day of any state approved trapping season.

2.1.8 Any person who sets or makes use of any trap, cable restraint or other approved wildlife capture device during any lawful trapping season, shall remove all trapping equipment by the last day of the approved trapping season.

2.1.9 It shall be unlawful to set a trap on public or private property without first acquiring written permission from the landowner or managing agency and having said permission in possession while tending traps.

2.1.10 It shall be unlawful to bait a trap with meat or animal products, except box/cage traps, if the bait is visible from above and within 10 feet of the trap. The use of animal fur or feathers without any attached animal tissue is not restricted.

2.1.11 Without first acquiring specific advance permission, it shall be unlawful for any person other than the rightful owner of a trap, to move, take, or damage any trap, or take, or attempt to take, wildlife from any trap.

2.2 Archery and Crossbow.

2.2.1 General. No person shall use or have in his or her possession, while hunting, any: poison arrow, arrow with and explosive tip, or any longbow with a minimum pull less than 35 pounds.

2.2.2 Crossbows used for deer hunting must have a minimum pull weight of 125 pounds, be manufactured after 1980, and have a mechanical safety. Crossbows may be equipped with a scope.

2.2.2.1 It shall be unlawful to transport a crossbow on or within any vehicle while the crossbow is in the cocked position.

2.3 Hunting from Boats.

2.3.1 Distance from Blinds. During the season for the hunting of migratory waterfowl, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt from a boat of any kind that is within 1500 feet of an established blind, except that:

2.3.1.1 Any person may use a boat to tend lawfully set traps for fur-bearing wildlife;

2.3.1.2 Any person may retrieve crippled waterfowl by the use of a boat in accordance with federal regulations;

2.3.1.3 Any person may use a boat for transportation to and from an established blind lawfully used by such person;

2.3.1.4 Any person may hunt from a boat that is firmly secured and enclosed in an established blind.

2.3.2 Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 2.2.1 of this section, any person may hunt migratory waterfowl within 1500 feet of an established blind, from a boat, with permission of the blind owner.

2.3.3 Gunning Rigs.

2.3.3.1 During the season for hunting migratory waterfowl, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt within 900 feet of the shoreline (high tide line) of the Delaware River and Bay, between the Appoquinimink River and the Smyrna River, without written permission of the closest adjoining landowner(s).

2.3.3.2 During the season for hunting migratory waterfowl, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt within 1500 feet of the shoreline (high tide line) of the Delaware River and Bay, between the Smyrna River and the Murderkill River, without written permission of the closest adjoining landowner(s).

2.3.4 Tender Boats. It shall be unlawful for tender boats servicing gunning (layout) rigs to be further than 1500 feet from the rig or to conduct any activity, except to pick up downed birds or service the rig.

2.3.5 During the season for hunting migratory waterfowl, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt from a boat, or a floating or fixed blind in the Little River in areas bounded on both sides by land administered by the Division, except as permitted in writing by the Director.

2.4 Foothold Traps.

2.4.1 Notwithstanding statutes § 703 and 788 of Title 7, it shall be unlawful for any person to set a foothold trap at any time in this State, except from December 1 through March 20. The use of toothed or serrated jawed traps is prohibited. All foothold traps set above the waterline must have padded, laminated or offset jaws, with the exception being that coil-spring traps with a jaw spread of 4 inches or less and long-spring traps with a jaw spread of 4 ½ inches or less do not need to be padded, laminated or have offset jaws.

2.4.2 It shall be unlawful for any person to set foothold traps with a jaw spread larger than 6 ½ inches above the waterline. The jaw spread of traps set below the waterline shall not exceed 7 ¾ inches.

2.4.3 It shall be unlawful for any person to set or make use of any foothold, except coil-spring traps with a jaw spread of 4 inches or less and long-spring traps with a jaw spread of 4 ½ inches or less, without first permanently attaching a metallic tag on each trap, bearing:

2.4.3.1 The words “Trapping License, Delaware”, the number of the trapping license issued to the owner of the traps and the year of issuance; or

2.4.3.2 The owner's name and address.

2.4.4 When information is furnished to the Division from the owner, tenant or sharecropper of any land that any species of wildlife is detrimental to crops, property or other interests on land on which he or she resides or controls, upon investigation, the Division may issue a permit to such person or his or her agent for the use of foothold traps to control said species of wildlife. Said permit may be issued at any time of the year.

2.4.5 The setting of each trap in violation of this section shall be a separate offense.

2.4.6 Foot encapsulating traps shall be considered foothold traps.

2.5 Gray Squirrel.

Hunting gray squirrels with a .17 through .22 caliber rimfire or pellet firearm with a rifled barrel, or muzzle-loading rifle not larger than .36 caliber is permitted south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

2.6 Muskrats.

It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot muskrats at any time, except with written permission of the Director.

2.7 Otters.

Each otter trapped in Delaware must be tagged by an authorized representative of the Division. Each otter sold in Delaware or shipped out of the State must be tagged in accordance with the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

2.8 Red Fox.

2.8.1 Red foxes may be killed or trapped in accordance with § 788 of Title 7 and the regulations found within this Section with the following: longbow and crossbow, shotgun, rimfire rifle or centerfire rifle up to .25 caliber, or a muzzle-loading rifle, foothold trap, cable restraint, or box trap.

2.8.2 Notwithstanding subsection 2.8.1 of this section, during any deer firearms season, it shall be unlawful to hunt red fox with any firearm that is not also legal for deer hunting.

2.8.3 Notwithstanding subsection 2.8.1 of this section, it shall be unlawful to kill a red fox that is being pursued by dogs.

2.9 Snapping Turtles

2.9.1 Turtle traps must have either an escape hole below water measuring a minimum of 7.5” in all directions or floats inserted inside the trap or attached to the trap or be set in such a way so that the trap provides sufficient breathing space for all captured turtles at all times.

2.9.2 Each trap shall be marked with a metallic tag bearing the trapper’s name and address or current year’s trapping license number. The tag shall be attached to the trap in a manner that allows it to remain visible, at all times.

2.9.3 All turtle traps must be lifted and emptied of catch at least once every 24 hours.

2.9.4 An annual permit must be obtained from the Division in order to trap snapping turtles. This permit is free.

2.10 Cable Restraints

2.10.1 It shall be unlawful for any person to set or make use of any cable restraint without first permanently attaching a metallic tag on each cable restraint, bearing:

2.10.1.1 The words “Trapping License, Delaware”, the number of the trapping license issued to the owner of the traps and the year of issuance; or

2.10.1.2 The owner's name and address.

2.10.2 It shall be unlawful to set a cable restraint with the bottom of the loop any higher than 12 inches above the ground.

2.11 Box/Cage Traps

2.11.1 It shall be unlawful for any person to set or make use of any box/cage trap without first permanently attaching a metallic tag on each trap, bearing:

2.11.1.1 The words “Trapping License, Delaware”, the number of the trapping license issued to the owner of the traps and the year of issuance; or

2.11.1.2 The owner's name and address.

3 DE Reg. 289 (8/1/99)

6 DE Reg. 536 (10/1/02)

11 DE Reg. 334 (09/01/07)

14 DE Reg. 52 (07/01/10)

15 DE Reg. 1505 (04/01/12)

17 DE Reg. 238 (08/01/13)

17 DE Reg. 746 (01/01/14)

 

 

Last Updated: November 07 2014 16:14:30.
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