Delaware Department of

State Forest Hunting

State Forest Hunting

State Forest Hunting

deer in DelawareDelaware has three state forests covering more than 20,000 acres: Blackbird in New Castle County, Taber in Kent County, and Redden in Sussex County. These areas provide a wide range of opportunities for in-season deer hunting, small game, and turkey hunting  at no additional cost. Hunting is subject to rules and regulations published in the 2018/19 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide  in addition to any specific restrictions on each forest tract map published by the Delaware Forest Service.

In order to protect public safety, each state forest may specify certain zones as “archery-only” or restrict hunting from designated areas. To accommodate multiple forest users – such as campers, hikers, and horseback riders – there is no Sunday hunting at any state forest. State forests are closed from dusk to dawn except for permitted users and in-season hunters.

Please consult the specific maps and corresponding rules for information on parking areas, deer stand locations (Blackbird only), and other restrictions.

New for the 2018/19 Hunting & Trapping Season:

1.  Delaware state forests will now participate in the October and December special antlerless deer seasons.

2.  The Delaware Forest Service will issue its own turkey permit for the spring season starting April 13, 2019.

Blackbird State Forest Hunting Rules and Regulations

1.   All Blackbird State Forest lands are open for public hunting for game in season by licensed hunters, unless otherwise posted.

2.   The following hunting restrictions apply to the Tybout, White Road, Dulany Manor, and South Barlow Tracts:

  • All deer hunting on these tracts are limited to the State Forest stands numbered 1 thru 51.
  • The northern half of Barlow tract and all of Ennis (Meadows) Tract are “archery only” hunting areas, no firearm hunting is
  • For firearm hunting seasons, there will be a lottery drawing at the Blackbird State Forest headquarters shop, located on the Tybout Tract at 502 Blackbird Forest Rd. (Rd. 471), 1.5 hours before legal hunting time (2 hours before sunrise as listed in the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide). Stands available after the lottery, or later during the day, will be available in the hunting information booth at the Tybout (headquarters) garage.
  • For the October antlerless deer seasons, the State Forest stands will be closed for hunting. The State stands will still be
    available for archery hunting and the open areas of the State Forest are open for the antlerless season.
  • For Muzzleloader seasons there will be a daily lottery held at Blackbird State Forest Headquarters, located on the Tybout Tract on Blackbird Forest Rd. (Rd. 471), 1.5 hours before legal hunting time (2 hours before sunrise as listed in the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide).
  • All hunters on these tracts, during shotgun and muzzleloader season, must hunt from the stand only, as walk around hunting is not permitted.
  • During Archery season bow hunters must be within 50 yards of their designated stand.
  • Stands will be available during Archery season on a first come first serve basis. Bow hunters must place a tag (provided), in the hunters’ information box, on the post of the stand they are going to be hunting from.
  • No more than one hunter may hunt from a stand at any one time.

No small game hunting and QDM protocols are in effect on the Dulany Manor tract.

3. Dog training is prohibited at all times on the Tybout Tract of Blackbird State Forest.

4. The following regulations apply to all Blackbird State Forest tracts:

  1. Squirrel hunting with shotgun is permitted. Squirrel hunting with rifle or muzzle loading rifle is not allowed.
  2. Woods roads and trails are closed to motor vehicle traffic.
  3. Parking lots are available at all tracts.
  4. Target shooting is prohibited. Firearms are allowed for legal hunting and are otherwise prohibited within designated safe areas on State Forest lands, except as set forth below:
  • Designated areas shall include State Forest offices, education centers, and lodges, and shall be identified by appropriate
  • Active duty and qualified retired law enforcement officers may possess firearms within areas administered by the
    Department, including designated areas, provided that proper and current credentials shall be produced upon request.
  • Delaware residents holding an active current permit to carry a concealed deadly weapon may carry a firearm within areas administered by the Department, including designated areas, provided that the permit shall be produced upon request. Residents of other states holding an equivalent permit or license to carry a concealed firearm may be permitted to carry a concealed weapon at the discretion of the Department.
  • Firearms may be carried within areas administered by the Department, outside of designated areas, by any person not
    prohibited by 11 Del. C. § 1448.
  • Law enforcement officers may limit the discharge of firearms and the use of other weapons within areas administered by the Department, in order to protect public safety and preserve the peace.
  • Any person possessing a firearm shall display identification upon request, sufficient to enable a law enforcement officer to undertake a background check.

e. Waterfowl hunting is prohibited.
f. Trapping is prohibited.
g. No deer driving.
h. No permanent deer stands, platforms, ladders, or blinds may be constructed. No screw-in steps, tree spikes, screws, or nails
are allowed. All parts of temporary (portable) deer stands must be removed on the final day of the January muzzleloader
season; any stands remaining after this date will be removed and become property of the Delaware Forest Service.
i. Blackbird State Forest is a year-round multiple use area. Hunters MUST share with other public users, such as hikers,
campers, horseback riders, firewood cutters, and loggers.

For more information, call the Blackbird State Forest office at (302) 653-6505.

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