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Wild Turkey Hunting



The 2021 spring wild turkey hunting season will run from April 10 through May 8, 2021. A special one-day hunt for youth and non-ambulatory hunters is set for April 3, 2021.

Resident and non-resident hunters age 13 and older must have a valid Delaware Hunting License and pass a turkey hunting course approved by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife before they can legally hunt turkeys in Delaware.

There is no Sunday hunting of turkeys. The bag limit is one turkey per year. Bearded turkeys only.

Turkey hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise until 1:00 p.m.

All turkeys must be checked at an authorized turkey check station by 2:30 p.m. on the day the bird is harvested.

The 2020 Wild Turkey Hunting Season

A total of 643 wild turkeys were harvested during the 2020 season — up nearly 14% from the 2019 harvest (565 turkeys).

The season ran from April 11 to May 9, with a special hunt day on April 4 for youth and non-ambulatory persons.

Public Land vs Private

More than 80 percent of wild turkeys harvested in 2020 (536) were taken from private lands.

Those hunting on private land were allowed to hunt on all 25 days of the season. Those hunting on public land were selected through a preseason lottery to hunt during one of four week-long season segments.

The harvest of 106 turkeys (16% of the total) taken from public lands, was up 29% from the 2019 public lands harvest and tied the 2017 season for record harvest on public lands.

The top four public lands areas for harvesting a wild turkey in 2020 were Redden State Forest, the C & D Canal Wildlife Area, Blackiston Wildlife Area, and Blackbird State Forest.

Wild Turkey Management Regions

Harvest by Turkey Management Region

Delaware is divided into four wild turkey management regions, made up of 18 wildlife management zones.

Nearly half (47%) of harvested wild turkeys in 2020 (303) were taken in the interior region, which runs along the western side of the state from the C & D Canal south to the Seaford area.

The Southern region, most of interior Sussex County, yielded 230 birds (36%).

Ninety wild turkeys, (14% of the harvest) were taken from the Bayshore region.

The northern region, above the canal, saw a harvest of 17 birds (less than 3%).

2020 Youth and Non-ambulatory Person Hunt

Thirty wild turkeys were harvested during Delaware’s annual hunt day for youth and non-ambulatory persons, on April 4.

It was an increase of almost 58% from the 2019 harvest (19 birds). It was the largest harvest ever for that one-day event.

 

 




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