2017 – 2018 Hunting Season Rules
Refer to map for approximate locations of indicated areas
In addition to the rules and regulations found in the “Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide: 2017-2018”, specific rules that apply to White Clay Creek State Park are listed below. of all hunters participating in the Delaware State Park Hunting Program is required. There is an annual $10 hunting registration fee. This charge is waived for Delaware hunters age 65 or over and for juvenile hunters age 10 - 15. Registration will take place at the White Clay Creek State Park Office.
General Deer Hunting Rules
- There is NO SUNDAY HUNTING in Delaware State Parks.
- Failure to comply with any state laws, rules, regulations, and/or policies may result in arrest and/or suspension of all hunting privileges in Delaware State Parks.
- For safety reasons, only one adult and only one firearm (shotgun/muzzleloader/bow/crossbow) is permitted at each stand/post site.
- Note that you must harvest an antlerless deer (female deer are the priority) in White Clay Creek State Park first, before harvesting a buck. To become ‘Buck Eligible’ you must have your antlerless deer confirmed by contacting a Park Ranger (302) 368-6900, 943-7350, 943-8617 and 943-0125. Archery hunters who harvest an antlerless deer during archery season will be qualified to harvest a buck (by bow or gun) during the shotgun seasons.
- Driving deer into and/or through hunting areas is prohibited.
- The clearing/cutting of vegetation to form shooting lanes or for any other purpose is prohibited.
- Juvenile hunters age 10 - 17 must be accompanied by an adult when applying for a Delaware State Park hunting permit and/or when signing in to hunt during the Shotgun Season’s on-site lottery. A parent or guardian is to be available (by telephone) the entire time the 16 – 17 juvenile is hunting. Juvenile hunters age 10 - 15 must be accompanied by a licensed hunter or by a license exempt hunter, age 18 or older, at all times while hunting. Only one firearm is allowed per stand.
- When tracking a wounded deer, hunters must use every physical effort to recover the deer. When tracking a wounded deer, hunters must keep arrows in their quiver or keep shotgun action open and unloaded; muzzleloaders must have percussion cap or primer removed. DO NOT shoot at a deer that you, yourself, did not wound. If you observe a wounded deer, contact a Park Ranger.
- When field dressing a deer, hunters should be courteous to other hunters and park visitors. The deer should always be dressed well off any trails and out of public view. If you kill a deer: you must first field tag the deer carcass; then field dress the deer; then drag it out – in that order.
- Please take your trash, soiled field dressing apparel, shell casings, etc. with you when you are finished hunting that day.
- The consumption of alcoholic beverages prior to hunting and the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited.
- A “Person Prohibited” in accordance with Delaware criminal code may not hunt with or possess any firearm including; shotgun, muzzleloader, crossbow, compound or recurve bow. If you have questions, contact a Park Ranger.
- There will be no handgun season, or use of handguns, in Delaware State Parks (handguns prohibited).
- Driving motorized vehicles off-road into fields, woods, or along trails is prohibited.
- Permanently Disabled Hunters are an important and growing part of our hunting population. For more information regarding permanently disabled hunting rules and opportunities, refer to the last page.
Whitely Farms, David English, and Judge Morris West
- Please be considerate of the hayride groups that will be using the Whitely Farms fields and the Nine Foot Road parking area on Saturday afternoons through November 4.
- There are ten archery / shotgun pins (51, 53, 54, 56-62), one wooden archery / shotgun stand (55), and one archery-only pin (52) in the Whitely Farms area of White Clay Creek State Park.
- There are eight archery-only pins (AA-HH) in the David English area. All White Clay Creek State Park archery rules and conditions apply.
- The ten archery / shotgun Whitely Farms pins will be available to shotgun hunters during the White Clay Creek State Park shotgun deer seasons. All White Clay Creek State Park shotgun rules and conditions apply.
- Shotgun hunting within the Whitely Farms area will only be from a portable non-damaging tree stand (provided by the hunter) within the painted radius. Gun hunting from the ground is not allowed. Only one person is allowed in each portable tree stand. The bottom of the portable tree stand must be at least 10 feet above the ground when gun hunting.
- Any shotgun hunter who selects stand 55 must hunt from the wooden stand. Stand 55 archery hunters may use the wooden stand or they may use a climber stand within the painted radius.
- Be aware that the hunter at the neighboring pin(s) may be posted anywhere within their assigned radius so be particularly cautious when shooting in the general direction of your neighboring pin(s).
- Pins 51-60 are signed from the Nine Foot Road parking area. If the Nine Foot Road parking area is full, park along the gravel shoulder of Nine Foot Road. You may also park at the new Smith Mill parking area. Pins 61 and 62 are signed from the new Smith Mill parking area.
- Pins AA, BB, CC, EE, FF, GG and HH are signed from the park office parking area. Pin DD is signed from the trail directly opposite the bottom of the Cart Road Trail, where stands 3 – 11 park. Parking along Pleasant Hill Road is not allowed.
- Five archery-only pins (UU, VV, WW, XX, YY) are located in Judge Morris. These pins are located on the west side of Polly Drummond Hill Road. Hunters will be allowed to park in the paved Judge Morris parking area which is located on Polly Drummond Hill Road. The Old Coach Road parking area, the Upper Pike Creek Road bridge area, and the Judge Morris parking area on Polly Drummond Hill Road are the only three areas where Judge Morris hunters are allowed to park. Pins M-V will be signed from the Old Coach Road lot. Pins UU – YY will be signed from the trail opposite the Judge Morris lot on Polly Drummond Hill Road.
Archery Deer Hunting Seasons
October 9, 2017 – November 9, 2017
November 20, 2017 - December 2, 2017
Archery Rules (including Crossbow)
- If you plan to archery hunt at White Clay Creek State Park, regardless of where you purchase your State Park Hunting Permit, you must appear in person at the White Clay Creek State Park office (during business hours) prior to hunting to sign the archery hunting registration form. There is no additional fee to archery hunt. After October 10, permits are available Monday thru Friday at the park office during normal business hours. Call the park office for days and hours of operation or if you have questions, (302) 368-6900.
- Archery hunting is permitted only from elevated stands or from a portable non-damaging (without screw pegs) tree stand, or on the ground. Hunting must be within the painted radius around each elevated stand/pin. When an elevated stand does not have a painted radius, archer must hunt from the elevated stand.
- The Chambers Rock Zone 1 is marked with an archery pin in the northwest and southwest corners and a painted perimeter marking a rectangular area. The east boundary of the zone does not extend beyond the wood line.
- Archery Zone 2 is located in the wooded area southwest of the Upper Pike Creek Road bridge pull off. Zone 2 is bordered by Pike Creek and Upper Pike Creek Road. Zone 2 hunters must be posted in an elevated climber stand at least 20 yards away Upper Pike Creek Road. Shooting at deer that are either in the creek or across the creek is prohibited.
- Archery Zone 3 is located in the wooded area at the south end of the Judge Morris property. This area is bordered by fields and by a private parking area. Hunters are not allowed to park in the private parking area on the south side of this zone. Hunters must be posted in an elevated climber stand at least 20 yards away from the private parking area. Zone 3 is ONLY open to archery hunting on Saturdays, on Thanksgiving Day, and on the day after Thanksgiving. *This area is subject to closure on Saturdays when the mansion grounds are being used.
- Hunting in Archery Zones shall be from a portable non-damaging (without screw pegs) placed within the zone boundaries. Only one hunter is permitted in each zone. Hunting from ground level is prohibited within the archery zones.
- A daily on-site lottery for permanent stand, pin and zone assignments will be held at 5 a.m. during the first two days of the White Clay archery season and on the first Saturday of the season. At all other times stands will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis using the self-registration tag board system. The lotteries and self-registration will take place at the new Smith Mill parking lot on which is located directly off of Paper Mill Road. The archery tag board is located in the new Smith Mill parking lot. Hunters must sign in and out there, and pick up their stand tag at the bulletin board in the lot. The tag must be placed on the dashboard of the hunter’s vehicle and be visible at all times when hunting. Reminder: Tags are not to be removed before 5:00 AM prior to the end of Daylight Savings Time. After DST ends, tags are not to be removed prior to 4:30 AM. As stated on the Self-Registration form, this applies to all stands including the Permanently Disabled Stands.
- When leaving the area for any reason (e.g. lunch, work, coffee, deer kill, etc.), hunters must sign out and return the tag to the bulletin board.
- Hunters that fail to sign out and return the tag to the bulletin board when leaving the area or that have another person sign in and pick up a tag for them will lose their hunting privileges for the rest of the season.
- The archery-only stations or ‘pins’ (Stations A-X, AA-HH, UU-YY, J-PD, M-PD) and Archery Zones (1-3) will be open for archery hunting during both the archery season listed above and during legal shotgun seasons, in accordance with all applicable regulations. Each of these stations is indicated by a labeled post. Hunting is permitted from the painted radius around the labeled post. Note: Pin A has been moved.
- PD stands 1, 10, 19, 26, 50, J, and M are only to be used by PD archery hunters during the archery season.
- During shotgun seasons, archery hunters wishing to hunt from the archery-only stations must check in at the shotgun lottery area in the Carpenter Recreation Area parking lot. This can only be done at either the morning or afternoon lottery drawings. Note: Hunter orange must be worn by archery hunters at all times when dates overlap with any Statewide Gun Seasons, including early October gun seasons and November Youth/Non-ambulatory Disabled Hunt. (Oct. 6-14, 16, 20, 21, 23, 27, 28, 30 and Nov. 4)
- Archery/Crossbow hunters must take one antlerless deer from White Clay Creek State Park during the 2017-18 season before they may take an antlered deer.
- During the November 20 – December 02 archery season, the archery tag board will be located in the Judge Morris parking area on Polly Drummond Hill Road. The traditional Possum Hill archery tag board will be used from October 9 through November 9.
- The archery tag board will remain at the new Smith Mill Road lot during the last two weeks of the archery season.
Shotgun Deer Hunting Seasons
November 10 - November 18, 2017
December 13 - 16, 2017 – Special Antlerless Season
January 13, January 15- January 20, 2018
Regular Shotgun Season Rules
- Stands will be assigned by an on-site shotgun lottery each day of the hunt at the Carpenter Recreation Area two hours prior to legal shooting time on the day of the hunt and again at 12:00 noon on the day of the hunt.
- Hunters must take one antlerless deer from White Clay Creek State Park during the 2017-18 season before they may take an antlered deer.
- Hunting at White Clay Creek State Park is for wildlife management. Hunters are encouraged to shoot multiple antlerless deer provided that hunter already has the necessary number of antlerless deer tags in possession.
- Use of muzzleloaders is permitted during the Shotgun Seasons. There are no Muzzleloader Seasons in White Clay Creek State Park.
- Hunters are required to hunt from their assigned elevated deer stand. All hunters picked for a stand in the morning must hunt in the morning and remain in their stand until 9 a.m. Afternoon hunters must be in their assigned stand by 3 p.m. With the exception of a personal emergency, a hunter may only leave their stand before 9 am in the morning or before the end of legal shooting time in the afternoon or evening to dispatch a downed deer that the hunter wounded provided that downed deer can be seen by the hunter from their stand.
- When shotgun hunters are finished hunting for the day, they must return their daily hunting permit to the permit box in the Carpenter Recreation Area parking lot. Daily permits must be filled out completely before returning them.
- During the daily shotgun season lottery, if stand M-PD, PD 1, PD10, PD19, PD26 or PD50 has not been assigned to a Permanently Disabled Hunter, then they will be included in the normal daily lottery drawings. If a PD stand is issued to a non-PD hunter in the morning lottery, the permit for the PD stand must be turned in prior to the noon drawing.
- During shotgun seasons, archery hunters wishing to hunt from the archery-only stations must check in at the shotgun lottery area in the Carpenter Recreation Area parking lot. This can only be done at either the morning or afternoon lottery drawings. Hunter orange must be worn when dates overlap with any Statewide Gun Season, including early October gun seasons!
- There will be shotgun hunting from designated pin sites on the east side of Judge Morris during this coming four day December antlerless shotgun season. Shotgun hunting within the Judge Morris area will only be from a portable non-damaging tree stand (provided by the hunter) within the painted radius. Gun hunting from the ground is not allowed. Only one person is allowed in each portable tree stand. The bottom of the portable tree stand must be at least 10 feet above the ground when gun hunting.
- Possession of a loaded firearm, except while lawfully hunting from an assigned deer stand, is prohibited.
November 4, 2017 Shotgun Youth Hunt
- There will be a Youth Shotgun Deer Hunt at White Clay Creek State Park on Saturday November 4, 2017. This one day hunt will be open to juvenile hunters ages 10-15 who have completed a Hunter Education course, possess a Division hunting permit, and (when age required) possess a Delaware junior hunting license.
- The buck eligibility requirement is waived for youth shotgun hunters during this one day hunt. Only lottery selected shotgun youth hunters may harvest an antlered buck on this date without first harvesting an antlerless deer.
- Each juvenile hunter must be accompanied by an adult mentor who is at least 18 years of age. The mentor must have the lawful right to hunt in the State of Delaware, possess a valid Division of Parks & Recreation hunting permit, and either possess a valid Delaware hunting license or be hunting license exempt.
- The accompanying mentor is not allowed to shoot. Only one youth and one adult will be allowed to occupy each deer stand. Only the ten wooden Carpenter stands (5, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, and 40) will be hunted. Youth hunters may use a shotgun or a muzzleloader.
- Gun hunting, by juveniles or by adults, in other areas of White Clay Creek State Park on November 4 is prohibited. Juvenile archery hunters are still required to be “buck eligible” to harvest an antlered deer with a bow on November 4.
- Youth hunters are required to sign up in person, accompanied by a parent or guardian, at the White Clay Creek State Park office for the youth hunt participation lottery. The participation lottery will be used to create a list of youth hunters who will be guaranteed a deer stand on November 4. The drawing will conducted by park staff on Friday October 20. Applicants are not required to be present for the lottery drawing. Youth hunt lottery winners will be notified of their status by phone and/or email by 4:00 pm Monday October 23.
- Selected youth hunters, and their adult mentor, will participate in a traditional on-site stand lottery drawing at the Carpenter Recreation Area on November 4. The stand lottery drawing will take place two hours prior to legal shooting time. Once stands are assigned, youth hunters may keep their stands for the entire day. There will be no noon stand lottery drawing. A deer stand permit cannot be transferred to another youth hunter.
Dependent upon ongoing construction, weather, or other factors, one or more areas may be closed. Hunters are encouraged to carry a cell phone while they are scouting, hunting, and tracking. For updated or additional information, contact the park office at (302) 368-6900 or visit the Delaware State Parks website at www.destateparks.com. The White Clay Creek State Park office is located at the intersection of Chambers Rock Road and Thompson Station Road. Park office hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please immediately report any medical emergencies, hunting accidents, or violations of any hunting laws, rules, or regulations to a Park Ranger, the park office, or by calling the DNREC dispatch center at 1-302-739-4580 or 1-302-739-4863.
White Clay Creek Hunting Opportunities for Permanently Disabled Hunters
Permanently Disabled Hunters are a small but important segment of our hunting population that is likely to grow larger in coming years. As we have increased hunting opportunities for all hunters, we have been increasing opportunities for Permanently Disabled Hunters. The rules that follow below are meant to accomplish these goals.
Before you consider registration as a Permanently Disabled Hunter, understand that this will limit your hunting opportunities within the park to just a few stands or pins, and you will still have to participate in the daily lottery for these limited opportunities with other Permanently Disabled Hunters. This is strictly intended for those hunters that are physically unable to access the majority of the stands in the park because of difficult terrain and long walking distances. Read the instructions below. All of the White Clay Creek Hunting Rules in the park will also apply to the Permanently Disabled Hunter as well.
- A hunter wishing to participate must obtain a disabled hunter certification card to use all facilities and opportunities made available to disabled hunters on State Wildlife Areas and State Parks. For more information on obtaining this card, call the Division of Fish and Wildlife at (302) 739-9912
- Once registered, Permanently Disabled Hunters will be limited to the following stand/pin locations: Archery Stand J-PD, Archery Stand M-PD, as well as stands PD1, PD10, PD19, PD26 and PD50. By registering as a Permanently Disabled Hunter you are limiting your hunting to these locations. These seven sites are for Permanently Disabled Hunters not confined to a wheelchair (Category 2). They will be equipped with stairs instead of ladders to facilitate access to the stands.
- During the morning shotgun lottery, if Stands M-PD, PD1, PD10, PD19, PD26 and PD50 are not assigned to Permanently Disabled Hunters, these six stands become available to non-Permanently Disabled Hunters. If a PD stand is issued to a non-PD hunter in the morning lottery, the permit for the PD stand must be turned in prior to the noon drawing so that the stand once again becomes available to an afternoon lottery PD hunter.
- During the archery season, stands M-PD, PD1, PD10, PD19, PD26 and PD50 are only available to permanently disabled hunters. PD archery hunters may hunt from the ground within the painted radius of any pin.
- Stand J-PD is for Permanently Disabled hunters only. J-PD is not available at any time to hunters who are not permanently disabled.
- Park staff will not be available to help the Permanently Disabled Hunter retrieve game or otherwise provide assistance except in the case of an emergency. Permanently Disabled Hunters must make arrangements with a friend or family member to help them.
- Two Wheelchair Accessible locations (NAWA) for the 2017-18 season are located at Lums Pond State Park. For more information please contact Delaware State Parks Operations at (302)739-9220 or Lums Pond State Park at (302) 368-6989.