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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsAdministrative CodeTitle 730003900 Wildlife

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3900 Wildlife


(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))

3.1 Federal Laws.

It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, buy, sell or possess any protected wildlife or part thereof, except in such manner and numbers as may be prescribed by the following federal laws and regulations promulgated thereunder: Airborne Hunting Act (16 USC § 742j-l et seq.), Eagle Act (16 USC § 668 et seq.), Endangered Species Act (16 USC 1531 et seq.), Lacey Act (16 USC § 3371 et seq.), Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 USC § 1361 et seq.), and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 USC § 703 et seq.). Notwithstanding the foregoing, the federal laws and regulations shall be superseded by more stringent restrictions prescribed by State law or regulation of the Department.

3.2 Sea Ducks.

Scoters, eiders and old squaw ducks may be taken during their special season not less than 800 yards seaward from the Delaware Bay shore beginning at an east/west line between Port Mahon and the Elbow Cross Navigation Light south to the Atlantic Ocean or in the Atlantic Ocean.

3.3 Non-toxic Shot.

3.3.1 Required Usage. Non-toxic shot, as defined by federal regulations, shall be required for hunting waterfowl, rails, snipe, and moorhens in Delaware. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess shells loaded with lead shot while hunting waterfowl, rails, snipe, and moorhens.

3.3.2 Maximum Shot Size. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, except for deer, in Delaware with any size non-toxic shot (as defined by federal regulations) pellet(s) larger than size T (.20 inches in diameter).

3.4 Special Mallard Release Areas.

The Division may issue permits to allow the taking of captive-reared mallards during the established waterfowl season under applicable federal regulations. Permits shall only be issued to persons who: control at least 100 acres of land on which there is suitable waterfowl habitat; agree to follow a management plan and federal regulations; and maintain a log of guests and birds harvested. Failure to follow the management plan or a violation of State or federal laws may result in the revocation of a Special Mallard Release Area Permit. Waterfowl may only be hunted on Special Mallard Release Areas from one-half hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset.

3.5 Mute Swans (Cygnus olor)

3.5.1 Mute swans shall be considered an exotic, invasive species that is not subject to state protection. Mute swans may only be taken during legal waterfowl hunting seasons and shooting hours. The method of take for mute swans is restricted to shotguns no larger than 10 gauge and with non-toxic ammunition no larger than size T.

3.5.2 It shall be unlawful to possess, buy, sell, barter, trade, or transfer any live mute swan or their eggs to or from another person unless permitted by the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

3.5.3 It shall be unlawful to release any mute swan into the wild.

3.6 Special Shotgun Season for Young and Disabled Hunters

3.6.1 Waterfowl may be hunted on a special day established annually by the Division for disabled (non-ambulatory) hunters using a wheelchair for mobility and hunters 10 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age (10-15 years inclusive). Hunters 13-15 years of age must have completed an approved course in hunter training and possess a Delaware Resident or Non-Resident Junior Hunting License. Young hunters must be accompanied by a licensed non-hunting adult who is 21 years of age or older. Young hunters must be of sufficient size, physical strength and emotional maturity to safely handle a shotgun.

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

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

12 DE Reg. 496 (10/01/08)

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


Last Updated: March 26 2021 14:31:24.
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