The afternoon managed deer hunt scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 16, at Brandywine Creek State Park has been canceled. The park office will open at noon Wednesday. The Dec. 16 morning managed shotgun hunt will proceed as scheduled with an on-site lottery for pin and stand sites at the Hawk Watch pavilion at 5 a.m. Those interested in entering the lottery must arrive by 4:30 a.m. to register.
Hunting for deer and small game has been allowed in some Delaware State Parks since the early 1980s. Over the past four decades Delaware’s deer population has increased dramatically, resulting in impacts to native plant communities in the state’s natural areas, including Delaware State Parks. To mitigate the impact of over-abundant deer, hunting is now permitted for deer in nine State Parks: Brandywine Creek, Auburn Valley, White Clay Creek, Lums Pond, Killens Pond, Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore, Holts Landing and Trap Pond. Small game hunting is permitted in Trap Pond and waterfowl can be hunted in Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore State Parks.
Deer hunting is an important management tool incorporated in our resource management to attempt to reduce the negative impacts deer have on the natural resources in Delaware State Parks. In parks where hunting occurs some trails may be closed during gun hunting seasons. There is no hunting of any kind in any Delaware State Park on Sundays. Trails that are closed on weekdays and Saturdays during gun seasons are fully open to other park users on Sundays during those seasons. The following Delaware State Parks have trail closures during gun hunting seasons: White Clay Creek, Lums Pond, Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Trap Pond. Check here for trail maps of Delaware State Parks that allow gun hunting that show which trails are open and which trails are closed during gun hunting seasons.
Please access the trail closure maps provided for more information on what trails will be closed during hunting season this year.