In winter, snow geese blanket the salt marshes and fields of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Approximately 100,000 of these birds overwinter here, providing long hunting seasons, abundant hunting opportunities and a spectacle that has few rivals on the Atlantic Seaboard. A boat is required to access the snow goose area, as well as, Kelly Island and the Mahon Tract. On these tracts, hunters must use temporary blinds. The refuge also offers excellent opportunities for other waterfowl species, deer, small game and turkey. Each hunting area has specific regulations. Check with the refuge manager before planning your hunt.
2023 - 2024 HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES AT BOMBAY HOOK AND PRIME HOOK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES
Bombay Hook and Prime Hook will offer Deer, Waterfowl, and Upland Game/Webless Migratory Bird hunting opportunities this year.
Both refuges will conduct a lottery for Headquarters unit deer hunts. Applications can be picked up at either refuge or printed from the web sites. Completed applications can be submitted in person or by mail to either refuge headquarters (addresses below). The deadline to apply is Friday, September 15th.
Bombay Hook: October 11th (Muzzleloader), November 15th (Shotgun), December 13th (Antlerless)
Prime Hook: November 16th and January 18th (Shotgun)
Bombay Hook will offer permits in units H-1, H-2, H-3, H-4, R-3, and R-6. There will be 45 permits issued per hunt date. This is different than years past. The remaining Regular area units will be open in alignment with state seasons, except late handgun. See maps for amended unit boundaries.
Prime Hook will offer permits in the 4 headquarters units. There will be 28 permits issued per hunt date.
Existing deer stands at both refuges may be used at your own risk. These stands are not maintained as we are in the process of gradually removing them all except the designated disabled stands/blinds.
In addition to the regular duck and goose seasons both refuges will be open for Resident Canada Goose and September Teal this year. Bombay Hook hunts on Kelly Island and Mahon Tract will continue to be issued at the Little Creek hunt check station. Prime Hook hunts will be issued via hunter led daily lottery at the Prime Hook Hunt check station.
If you have any questions, please call (302) 684-8419 or (302) 653-9345.
Bombay Hook NWR
2591 Whitehall Neck Rd
Smyrna, De 19977
Prime Hook NWR
11978 Turkle Pond Road,
Milton, DE 19968
2023-2024 Season Hunt Road Closure Dates
Instead of partial closures, in 2023 we will have 3 full closures of the auto tour route. These closures are for the Headquarters hunt plus the Eastern 2 units of the Regular Area. The Western 4 units of the Regular Area will be open in alignment with State seasons.
Muzzleloader: October 11th
Shotgun: November 15th
Antlerless December 13th