Hunting at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

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

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.


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.

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, 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

Related Documents
11x17 Bombay Deer 2023-web.pdf

2023 Bombay Hook NWR Deer Hunting Regulations

Bombay Hook Upland 2023.pdf

Bombay Hook NWR 2023-24 Upland Game and Webless Migratory Birds hunting brochure

Bombay Waterfowl 2023.pdf

Bombay Hook NWR 2023-24 Waterfowl regulations brochure.


Bombay Hook NWR Youth Hunt letter 2022-23

2023 Headquarters Deer Hunt Application 3-2354 Bombay Hook.pdf

Bombay Hook Headquarters Deer Lottery Application.

Hunt Dates: October 11th, November 15th, December 13th

Hunt Areas: H-1, H-2, H-3, H-4, R-3, R-6

Bombay Hook lottery deer Hunt map.pdf

Bombay Hook NWR HQ Lottery Deer Hunt Map 2023

Bombay Hook Regular Area Hunt map

Hunt map for Regular Area units R-1, R-2, R-4, R-5.

All access is from Rt 9 on Dutch Neck Rd

Bombay Hook Fischer Tract Hunt map

Bombay Hook Fischer Tract Hunt Map

Bombay Hook Steamboat Landing Hunt map

Steamboat Landing Hunt Map

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