DOVER – Delaware’s month-long spring turkey hunting season opens Saturday, April 13 and runs through Saturday, May 11, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today. Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Only bearded turkeys may be harvested, and the bag limit is one bearded turkey per hunter each year, regardless of where and when a gobbler is harvested.
A special statewide one-day turkey hunt for youth ages 10-15 and for disabled hunters requiring a wheelchair for mobility will be held Saturday, April 6 from a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. Youth hunters on this 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 class and who has a Delaware hunting license or is license-exempt. The accompanying adult may not hunt.
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 check stations is available at 2019 Turkey Check Stations. Check station hours may vary, so hunters are advised to call the station to confirm hours of operation. Hunters who want to have their bird scored and entered into the National Wild Turkey Federation records are reminded to have their bird’s weight recorded on a certified scale. If the check station does not have a certified scale, hunters will be directed to another station to have the turkey weighed.
Hunting on state wildlife areas and state forests during the spring turkey hunting season requires carrying the public land permit that was issued through a preseason lottery, with the permit specifying the public land and season segment/dates that can be hunted. Hunters participating in the special turkey hunt for youth and disabled hunters on April 6 may hunt without a public land permit on those state wildlife areas and state forests that are open to turkey hunting during the regular turkey hunting season.
All turkey hunters 13 years of age and older must have completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety class, including youth ages 13-15 participating in the special youth turkey hunt on April 6. Turkey hunters under age 13 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older who has completed a Delaware-approved turkey hunter safety class and who has a Delaware hunting license or is license-exempt. The Hunter Education/Turkey Education card certifying successful completion of the mandatory turkey course must be carried when turkey hunting.
A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt. More information on hunting license requirements is available at Delaware Licenses. To register for a LEN number, hunters can go to Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration or call toll free 1-855-335-4868.
To purchase a hunting license, either in person or online, hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, must present a basic hunter education safety course card/number. Hunters who took a Delaware hunter safety course starting in 2008 can print their hunter safety card by going to http://de.gov/huntersafety. Hunters who took their Delaware hunter safety course before 2008 should call the Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1 to obtain a hunter safety card.
Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish & 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 free CAP, or to purchase an additional pass, hunters will need the registration card for the vehicle to which the pass will be assigned.
Delaware hunting licenses and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at Delaware Licenses, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or from hunting license agents statewide.
For more information on hunting, click 2018-2019 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of guide and newly-updated hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting licenses, season details, and conservation access passes is also available by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.