65 Wood Duck nesting boxes are maintained throughout the property. Egg shell counts reveal an
average brood per house of 6 ducklings. This relates to a total annual hatch for wild Wood Ducks
of almost 400 birds.
Deer hunting on the property is extremely good. The state record for a whitetail by weight was
taken on the Sanctuary farm. We manage for trophy bucks and each year take an average of 2
quality bucks (typical whitetails that score 145 or better Boone and Crocket). We also average 3
management bucks (whitetails that exhibit an antler deformity, or inferior antler growth for its
age) per year on the Sanctuary farm. Our whitetail herd is hard to survey because so many
whitetails migrate onto the Sanctuary from the Prime Hook Refuge next door. I estimate roughly
200 animals on a constant basis. It is not uncommon to see 75 animals out feeding simultaneously
between 3 deer stands. We harvest about 15 doe annually to maintain a good ratio of Doe to
Other wildlife includes many Red Fox. We take 10 or so per year by hunting.
Bobwhite quail are native here, coveys total 4 or 5 and total approximately 60 birds. We only
hunt the quail 1 day a year with dogs. We kill only cocks when possible and our bag is only 10
birds or so annually. If the fox were controlled more I know that the quail population would
increase dramatically. I have also seen river otter in the fish ponds that I stock with large mouth
bass, bluegill and hybrid bass. Muskrats and raccoons are also on the marshes, we don’t trap or
hunt any of these species.
The hunting on the property was done mainly on Fridays and Saturdays. The early duck season
and last two weeks of season accounted for most of the ducks. Easy bag limits on wood ducks
with up to 5 hunters on Friday and Saturday for the 2 week early season. Late season was also
good with cold weather providing varied species shooting.
The flooded impoundment (about 6 acres) is treated as a refuge with hunting only done in the
evenings. I estimate resident daily duck populations averaging about 2000 birds.
In short, the bag numbers shown took place on weekends during the several split seasons that
Delaware has. I never exceed 5 hunters at the lodge for water fowling. Also please note that these
numbers do not include the 6 river duck blinds. I currently lease that hunting out to a local
hunting club. I could contact them to get their bag limits to add to ours if necessary.
Download Island & Sanctuary Farms 2009 Wildlife and Hunting Report (PDF)