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Wild Turkey Hunting



The 2023 spring wild turkey hunting season will run from April 8 through May 6, 2023. A special one-day hunt for youth and non-ambulatory hunters is set for April 1, 2023.

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 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 2022 Wild Turkey Hunting Season

A total of 567 wild turkeys were harvested during the 2022 season, down slightly from the previous year.

The season ran from April 9 to May 7, 2022, with a special hunt day on April 2 for youth and non-ambulatory persons.

Public Land vs Private

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.

Most wild turkeys harvested in 2022 (469 – 82.9%) were taken from private lands, while the remaining birds were harvested on public lands.

The harvest of 98 turkeys (17.1% of the total) taken from public lands was less than the previous year by 14 turkeys but remains historically high.

The top four public lands areas for harvesting a wild turkey in 2022 were Redden State Forest, Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area, Midlands Wildlife Area, and Blackiston Wildlife Area respectively.

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 (48.4%) of harvested wild turkeys in 2022 (273) 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 208 birds (36.9%).

Seventy-six wild turkeys, (13.5% of the harvest) were taken from the Bayshore region.

The northern region, above the canal, saw a harvest of 7 birds (1.2%).

2022 Youth and Non-ambulatory Person Hunt

On April 2, 28 wild turkeys were harvested during Delaware’s annual hunt day for youth and non-ambulatory persons. This one-day harvest event was up slightly from last year’s 25 birds, and just shy of the record high of 30 birds.

 

 




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