Wild turkey hunting season kicks off in Delaware April 2nd

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.

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.

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