Public Lands & Waters photo

Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area/Woodland Beach Wildlife Area
: east Delaware
Size: 11,303 acres combined
ZIP: 19977

The state’s only public lands dedicated to Quality Deer Management lie side-by-side in the marshlands of Delaware Bay. Antler restrictions introduced in 2004 (requiring an outside spread of 15 inches) have boosted the survival rate of young bucks, producing a bumper crop of 140-class three-year-olds. A generous spread of oak-hickory hardwoods and corn and soybean food plots supply the groceries; vast expanses of marshland supply the sanctuaries. “Deer get out in the marsh to escape hunting pressure,” says Joseph Rogerson, deer biologist for Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, who lives at Woodland Beach. “For the guy who’s willing to walk and is prepared to deal with flies and mosquitoes, there are lots of islands and hummocks out there where early season deer lay up.” Or wait for the rut, when the bugs are gone and big bucks leave the marsh to roam.