Delaware Wild Turkey Hunting Season to Open

Delaware hunter Matthew Lawson bagged his first wild turkey in the First State last year. Delaware’s season starts next month. /Submitted photo

 

One-Day Youth and Non-Ambulatory Hunter Turkey Hunt April 2, Followed by Regular Hunting Season Opening on April 9

Wild turkey hunting in Delaware begins Saturday, April 2 with a one-day turkey hunt for youth ages 10 through 15 and for non-ambulatory hunters, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today – with the regular turkey hunting season opening Saturday, April 9 and running through Saturday, May 7. Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with no Sunday hunting allowed. Only bearded turkeys may be harvested, and the bag limit is one bearded turkey per hunter each year, regardless of where and when harvested.

Youth participating in the one-day April 2 hunt must be 10 to 15 years of age and must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older who has completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety class and who possesses a Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN). Accompanying adults may not hunt during the youth-day hunt. Regular-season turkey hunters under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult of 21 years of age or older who has completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety class and who possesses a Delaware hunting license or LEN. Non-ambulatory hunters who participate in the one-day hunt on April 2 must need a wheelchair for mobility.

Hunting regulations require that all harvested birds must be checked at an authorized turkey check station by 2:30 p.m. on the day the bird was harvested. A list of turkey check stations is available at dnrec.delaware.gov and in the 2021/2022 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide. Check station hours may vary, so hunters are advised to call the station to confirm hours of operation. Hunters who want their bird scored and entered into National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) records are reminded to have their turkey’s weight recorded on a certified scale. For more information, see the NWTF website.

Hunting on state wildlife areas and in state forests during the spring regular turkey hunting season requires carrying a public land permit that was issued via preseason lottery, with the permit specifying the public lands and season segment/dates that can be hunted. Hunters participating in the special turkey hunt for youth and non-ambulatory hunters on April 2 may hunt without a public land permit on those state wildlife areas and state forests open to turkey hunting during the regular turkey hunting season as indicated on pages 43 and 45 of the Hunting & Trapping Guide.

Turkey hunters are reminded of the following hunter education requirements:

  •  All turkey hunters 13 years of age and older must have completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety course, including youth ages 13 through 15 hunting on the special youth turkey hunt on April 2.
  • Hunters completing the turkey hunting course for the first time and who possessed a current hunting license or LEN prior to completing the course are reminded that they will need to reprint their license or LEN so that it will indicate successful completion of the course. Likewise, hunters who previously completed the turkey hunting course should ensure that their hunting license displays their turkey hunting course number. Hunters who have successfully completed the course no longer need to carry a course card as proof of completion if their hunting license or LEN indicates they have passed the course.
  • Prospective hunters who are unable to attend an in-person turkey hunter safety course offered by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife may complete an approved online course offered by an outside vendor for a fee. More hunter education information can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov. Upon completion, hunters will need to submit a copy of their course completion certificate to huntereducation@delaware.gov. Please include a phone number that the hunter education office can call regarding any questions about your certificate.

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife offers turkey hunting opportunities on those state wildlife areas that are open to turkey hunting, with details available at de.gov/wamaps.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife are required to display a Conservation Access Pass (CAP). Hunters can opt to receive one free annual CAP with the purchase of any Delaware hunting license. To obtain a CAP, hunters will need the registration card for the vehicle to which the pass will be assigned.
Delaware hunting licenses and CAPs can be purchased online at de.gov/huntinglicense or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters obtaining a License Exempt Number (LEN) are reminded that they should create a profile using the DNREC ePermitting portal or obtain a LEN at a hunting license agent if they have not already done so.

Additional information on hunting seasons and state wildlife areas is available in the Hunting & Trapping Guide or by calling the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. Information on hunting licenses and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/huntinglicense or by calling the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Recreational Licensing office at 302-739-9918.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Delaware Turkey Hunting Season to Open in April

Self-serve Required Turkey Harvest Registration
Provided at Check Stations

Delaware’s statewide one-day turkey hunt for youth ages 10 to 15 and for non-ambulatory disabled hunters requiring a wheelchair will be held Saturday, April 3, followed by the four-week spring turkey hunting season from Saturday, April 10 through Saturday, May 8. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds turkey hunters that hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with no Sunday hunting.

Youth hunters on the one-day turkey hunt must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older who has completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety course and has a Delaware hunting license or a License Exempt Number (LEN). The accompanying adult may not hunt on the special one-day turkey youth hunt.

Only bearded turkeys may be harvested, and the bag limit is one bearded turkey per hunter each year, regardless of where and when a bird is harvested.

All harvested turkeys must be registered at an authorized turkey check station by 2:30 p.m. on the day the bird was harvested. A list of available check stations is available at 2021 Turkey Check Stations and on page 31 of the 2020/2021 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide. Turkey harvest data collected by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife are used to manage Delaware’s wild turkey population.Turkey check station box

Due to the ongoing coronavirus period, hunters will be required to use a self-registration process to register harvested turkeys. Easily identifiable, residential-style mailboxes with self-registration forms are located at each check station. To complete registration of a harvested turkey, hunters are required to fill out the form as completely as possible and sign and date the form. After completing the form, hunters should remove and retain the small bottom portion as a receipt, before folding and placing the top portion in the slot in the back of the mailbox. If multiple hunters are using or waiting to use a self-check station, hunters should remain the required six feet (or further) apart from one another, or fill out the registration form in their vehicle. Check stations will not be weighing wild turkeys harvested by hunters this season.

Hunters who want their bird scored and entered into National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) records are reminded to have their turkey’s weight recorded on a certified scale. For more information, visit NWTF Wild Turkey Records or contact your local NWTF representative.

Hunters on state wildlife areas and state forests during the spring turkey hunting season are required to carry their public land permit that was issued through a preseason lottery. The permit specifies the public land and season segment/dates that can be hunted. Hunters participating in the April 3 special turkey hunt for youth and non-ambulatory disabled hunters may hunt without a public land permit on state wildlife areas and state forests open to turkey hunting during the regular turkey hunting season.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife are required to display a Conservation Access Pass (CAP). Hunters can opt to receive one free annual CAP with the purchase of any Delaware hunting license. To obtain a CAP, hunters will need the registration card for the vehicle to which the pass will be assigned.

All turkey hunters 13 years of age and older must have completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety course. Turkey hunters under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older who has completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety course and who has a Delaware hunting license or a License Exempt Number (LEN).

Due to cancelation of in-person turkey hunter safety courses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program is offering a free online turkey course to until May 14, 2021.

To complete the online course, participants may go to Delaware turkey hunting course on the DNREC website to view the video, take the 20-question test, and either create an account or sign into an existing account in the DNREC ePermitting system to review and/or print their hunting license.

Participants must earn a score of 80% or higher on the test to successfully pass the turkey hunting course. Tests will be reviewed within 24 hours of completion. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a confirmation email and the course will be added to their profile in the DNREC hunter education database.

Hunters who completed a Delaware-accepted turkey course online must send a copy of the certificate of completion to the hunter education office at HunterEducation@delaware.gov or by calling 302-735-3600 x1.

Hunters completing the turkey hunting course for the first time who have a current hunting license are reminded to reprint their license to indicate successful completion of the course. Hunters who previously completed the turkey hunting course also should check to ensure that their hunting license displays their turkey hunting course number. Additionally, hunters who have successfully completed the course no longer need to carry a course card as proof of completion when their hunting license indicates they have passed the course.

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt. Delaware hunting licenses and Conservation Access Passes can be obtained online at Delaware Licenses or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters can obtain a free LEN through the DNREC ePermitting system or from a licensing agent where hunting licenses are sold, where hunters must create a profile to obtain their LEN.

For more information on turkey hunting, visit the 2020/2021 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps or call DNREC’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. More information on hunting licenses and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/hunting or by calling DNREC’s Recreational Licensing office at 302-739-9918.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Registration Open for Delaware Mandatory Wild Turkey Hunting Course

A wild turkey gobbler strutting in Sussex County – this year’s Delaware wild turkey hunting season starts April 10 and runs through May 8. /DNREC photo: Wayne Lehman

Free Course is Offered Online-Only for 2021 Season

Delaware’s annual spring wild turkey hunting season is starting in April 2021. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds both resident and non-resident hunters age 13 and older that they must pass a turkey hunting course approved by the Delaware Hunter Education Program before they can legally hunt turkeys in the First State.

All hunters to include turkey hunters born after Jan. 1, 1967, also must have completed an approved basic hunter education safety course and have a course card/hunter safety number. These hunter education requirements have collectively helped Delaware turkey hunters achieve an excellent hunting safety record since the state began offering a wild turkey hunting season in 1991.

The turkey hunting course is only being offered online and free of charge rather than the traditional in-person course due to continued COVID-19 precautions. The online course will be available through the Hunter Education Program until May 14, 2021.

To complete the online course, participants may go to Delaware turkey hunting course on the DNREC website to view the video, take the 20-question test, and either create an account or sign into an existing account in the DNREC ePermitting system to review and/or print their hunting license.

Participants must earn a score of 80% or higher on the test to successfully pass the turkey hunting course. Tests will be reviewed within 24 hours of completion. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a confirmation email and the course will be added to their profile in the DNREC hunter education database.

Hunters completing the turkey hunting course for the first time who have a current hunting license are reminded that they will need to reprint their license so that it will indicate successful completion of the course.
Likewise, hunters who previously completed the turkey hunting course also should check to ensure that their hunting license displays their turkey hunting course number. Additionally, hunters who have successfully completed the course no longer need to carry a course card as proof of completion when their hunting license indicates they have passed the course.

For more information, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Apply now for Delaware state forest turkey permit

DOVER – The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) is accepting applications for its lottery to award state forest permits for the 2020 turkey hunting season, which begins April 11, 2020 and ends on May 9, 2020. A special one-day hunt for youth and non-ambulatory disabled hunters occurs on April 4, 2020. No Sunday hunting is allowed. State forest turkey permits are issued for one of four season segments: A (4/11-4/17), B (4/18-4/24), C (4/25-5/1), or D (5/2-5/9).

Blackbird State Forest
Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna is one of the three state forests where hunters can apply for a 2020 spring turkey permit.

The 2020 Delaware State Forest Turkey Hunting Permit Application is now online.

Completed applications must be received by January 10, 2020 at:

Delaware Forest Service Turkey Permit Application
2320 S. DuPont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901

Turkey hunters can request a permit for either Blackbird State Forest, Taber State Forest, or Redden State Forest and also indicate their request for preferred weeks and locations. All hunters are required to complete a turkey hunting safety education course. Failure to check the box on the form indicating completion of an approved course will disqualify the application. 

The Delaware Forest Service began issuing its own separate permits for state forests in 2019. The change now provides hunters with up to two weeks of permitted turkey hunting: either at a DNREC Wildlife Area or a Delaware State Forest. State forest hunting is still free to the public and requires no separate usage fees. The DFS receives no funding from income generated by hunting license and registration fees. Even though the Delaware Forest Service is issuing its own permits, all current turkey hunting license and registration requirements remain in effect: harvested wild turkeys must still be registered through the state turkey hunting check stations.

“The Delaware Forest Service’s goal is to continue enhancing the quality of turkey hunting opportunities on state forest lands. Hunters that turned in their turkey logs this past season provided us with valuable information that helped us monitor populations throughout the remainder of the year,” said Kyle Hoyd, assistant state forester. “We are also targeting areas to implement forest and wildlife management techniques that will provide the much needed habitat turkeys require to survive. This will help us improve the quality of turkey hunting at our state forests,” said Hoyd.

In addition, the DFS will use a system that allows hunters to call in if they no longer need their permit so it can be reassigned to another individual on the waiting list. This was developed in response to a lack of hunters during previous seasons. The DFS will also provide hunters with a survey card they will need to fill out to apply the following year that includes questions on how many turkeys they saw, days hunted, and on which tracts they hunted.