Woman dressed warmly in camouflage and standing in marsh reeds aims a shotgun into the air

Migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting were expanded in 2015. Ducks Unlimited consistently ranks Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge as one of the top five waterfowl hunting spots in the United States. It is easy to see why. As many as 85,000 ducks and 200,000 snow geese use the refuge in the fall. The refuge's well-managed hunting program includes seven well-spaced State Area fixed duck blinds and five blind sites via GPS coordinates allocated by a lottery drawing that is held two hours before legal shooting time each morning on refuge hunting days. Hunters who are drawn may select available blinds that must be accessed by boat or one of the five walk-in blind sites. Hunters may hunt ducks until 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the state duck season. The refuge also offers hunts for white-tailed deer, dove and rabbit. A late-season snow goose hunt may be available on a first-come, first-serve basis subject to Conservation Order Limits. Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is one of the sport's great destinations in the Atlantic Flyway. With such a wealth of hunting opportunities, it's easy to see why many sportsmen return year after year.


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.

Headquarters Hunt dates:
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. 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

Related Documents
2023 Headquarters Deer Hunt Application 3-2354 Prime Hook.pdf

Prime Hook NWR Headquarters Lottery Hunt Application

Prime Hook Island Farm 2023-web.pdf

Prime Hook NWR Island Farm Disabled Hunt Area Regulations 2023

Prime Hunt Maps.pdf

Prime Hook NWR 2023 Hunt Area Maps

11x17 Prime Deer 2023 -web.pdf

Prime Hook 2023 Deer Hunting regulations.

Update: Previous version erroneously showed the refuge open for October Antlerless. The refuge is NOT open for October Antlerless.

Prime Hook Waterfowl 2023.pdf

Prime Hook NWR Waterfowl Regulations 2023

Prime Hook Upland 2023.pdf

Prime Hook NWR Upland Game and Webless Migratory Bird hunting regulations 2023-24

Upland Game Harvest Report

FWS Form 3-2362 Upland Game Harvest Report

Migratory Bird Harvest Report

FWS Form 3-2361 Migratory Bird Harvest Report

Big Game Harvest Report

FWS Form 3-2359 Big Game Harvest Report