Delaware’s 2017 spring wild turkey hunting season will run from April 8, 2017 – May 6, 2017. Private land hunters may hunt all 24 days of the season. Public land permits can only be used on the property for which they are issued. Applications must be received by January 8, 2017 to be processed for the lottery drawing.
Season segments A-D for Public Land
(A) April 8 – April 14
(B) April 15 – April 21
(C) April 22 – April 28
(D) April 29 – May 6
Youth Day: April 1, 2017
No Sunday Hunting
Turkey Hunting Hours
1/2 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 killed.
TURKEY CHECK STATIONS
Locations and hours will be posted on the Division’s website www.fw.delaware.gov. just prior to the season. Information can also be obtained by calling 735-3600 or 739-9912. See below for the list of tentative 2016 Turkey Checking Stations.
Legal Birds and Bag Limit
Bearded birds only. Bag limit is one turkey per year.
All non-electric calls will be legal. For safety reasons, hunters should not imitate the male gobbling call.
- Shotguns – 20, 16, 12, 10 gauge – legal shot sizes: #4, #5, #6 lead or steel. 7 or 7 ½ shot may be used if it is part of a duplex or triplex load containing 4, 5, or 6 shot.
- Muzzleloaders – smoothbore muzzleloading shotguns only; #4, #5, #6 shot only.
- Longbow/compound/crossbow – Minimum broadhead width of 7/8 inches.
- Crossbows may be used for turkey hunting. Crossbows must meet the same standards as for deer hunting.
For safety reasons, it will be illegal to wear any visible garment having the colors red, white or blue.
Temporary blinds of vegetation or camouflage material are legal. Artificial turkey decoys are legal. Decoys may have no parts from a formerly live turkey.
Dogs or bait may not be used. Hunters may not drive turkeys or shoot them while they are at roost.
HUNTING PRIVATE AND PUBLIC LANDS
Both public and private land turkey hunters must carry proof of turkey hunting safety course completion. In addition, public land hunters must have an annual permit from the Division.
A permit is needed to hunt turkey on public lands. See Public Land Turkey & Deer Application for the permit application form.
Turkey Hunt, April 1, 2017
Open statewide. Any youth from 10 years through 15 years and non-ambulatory disabled individuals may hunt. Young hunters must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. Hunters 13-15 years old must have a valid Delaware junior hunting license and must have taken a Basic Hunter Safety course as well as a Delaware approved turkey hunter safety course.
The normal bag limits and regulations apply.
Adult companions must be licensed to hunt in Delaware (or exempt) and must have taken a Delaware approved turkey hunter safety class. Adult companions may not possess a firearm during the hunt. Young hunters must be of sufficient size and physical strength to safely handle a firearm.
- All turkeys taken must be registered.
- All state wildlife areas and state forests open for turkey hunting will be open for the Youth/Non-Ambulatory Disabled Turkey Hunt. Hunters may go to any areas they choose. If overcrowding occurs, the Division may add this hunt to its pre-season lottery system in future seasons.
WILD TURKEY SIGHTING SURVEY
During the months of July and August, the Division asks hunters and the general public to submit their observations of turkeys as part of an annual survey of the population. Survey forms may be found in June on the Division’s website at www.fw.delaware.gov or may be obtained by calling (302) 735-3600.
McKay Wildlife and Hunter Education Field Office
6180 Hay Point Landing Road, Smyrna
(Intersection of Route 9/Shorts Landing Road)
Little Creek Wildlife Area Check Station
Route 9, Bayside Drive, Little Creek
(Just south of the Town of Little Creek)
3544 Williamsville Road, Houston
(Intersection of Deep Grass Lane and Williamsville Road)
First State Sporting Goods
825 Halltown Road, Marydel
Miller’s Butcher Shop
577 Morgan’s Choice Road, Wyoming
Delmarva Speed & Sport
689 Warner Road, Milford
New Castle County
Ommelanden Hunter Education and Training Center
1205 River Road, New Castle, DE 19720
9641 Tharp Road, Seaford
Hook ‘Em and Cook ‘Em
3 York Beach Mall, Route 1, South Bethany
B&D Sports Center
14882 Hardscrabble Road, Seaford
29920 John H, Williams Hwy., Millsboro, DE 19966
*NOTE: List of check stations subject to change without notice. Visit www.fw.delaware.gov after April 1 for any changes. Hours may vary. Call the station where you will check a bird to confirm hours of operation.
Check station hours may vary, so hunters are advised to call the station where they are likely to check a bird to confirm the 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 live weight recorded on a certified scale. If the check station does not have a certified scale, hunters will have to go to another shop to have the turkey re-weighed.