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Wild Turkey Hunting

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Turkey Season

Delaware’s 2012 spring wild turkey hunting season will run from April 14, 2012 to May 12, 2012. Private land hunters may hunt all 25 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 13, 2012 to be processed for the lottery drawing.

Season segments A-D for Public Land Permits are:

(A) April 14 – 20

(B) April 21 – 27

(C) April 28 – May 4

(D) May 5 – May 12

Youth Day April 7

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.

Legal Birds and Bag Limit

Bearded birds only. Bag limit is one turkey per year.

Calls

All non-electric calls will be legal. For safety reasons, hunters should not imitate the male gobbling call.

Legal Firearms, Bows, and Shot Sizes

  1. Shotguns – 20, 16, 12, 10 gauge – legal shot sizes: #4, #5, #6 lead or steel. No duplex loads containing shot other than #4, #5, #6 are allowed.
  2. Muzzleloaders – smoothbore muzzleloading shotguns only; #4, #5, #6 shot only.
  3. Longbow/compound – Minimum broadhead width of 7/8 inches.

Clothing

For safety reasons, it will be illegal to wear any visible garment having the colors red, white or blue.

Blinds/Decoys

Temporary blinds of vegetation or camouflage material are legal. Artificial turkey decoys are legal. Decoys may have no parts from a formerly live turkey.

Restrictions

Dogs or bait may not be used. Hunters may not drive turkeys or shoot them while they are at roost.

Public Land Permits

A permit is needed to hunt public lands. See page 33 for the permit application form. The number of permits issued for each public hunting area by season segments A, B, C & D is as follows:

Sussex County

Assawoman WA – 2, Marshy Hope WA – 3, Midlands WA – 6, Nanticoke WA – 8, Old Furnace WA – 6, Industrial Forest (Whitesville, Edwin Bell, Ralph’s Corner) – 6, Prime Hook State WA – 1, Redden State Forest –30, Taber SF – 2

Kent County

Blackiston WA – 3, Little Creek WA – 5, Milford Neck WA – 7, Woodland Beach WA – 3, Norman G. Wilder WA – 7, Ted Harvey WA – 2, Urban/Fortney WA – 2

New Castle County

Blackbird SF –6, Cedar Swamp WA – 3, Blackbird Reserve WA – 2, C&D Canal -1

Youth/Non-Ambulatory Disabled Turkey Hunt, April 7, 2012:

Open statewide on private land only. Any youth from 10 years to 15 years and non-ambulatory disabled individuals may hunt. Young hunters must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. Thirteen, fourteen and fifteen-year-old hunters must have a valid Delaware junior hunting license. All hunters 13 -15 years of age must have taken a hunter education course and a Delaware approved turkey hunter safety class.

The normal bag limits and regulations apply.

Adult companions must be licensed to hunt in Delaware 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.
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