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Deer & Turkey Harvest Reporting

Deer and Turkey Harvest Report Cards, Possession Tags, and Harvest Reporting

Deer and Turkey Harvest Report Cards

New this year: The procedures after harvesting a turkey are new this year. Hunters will follow the same procedures that they have the last several years after harvesting a deer. Hunters will no longer receive tags that must be attached to a deer before the animal is moved from the place of kill. Instead, all hunters legally allowed to hunt deer and/or turkeys, will receive a Deer and/or Turkey Harvest Report Card which will show all of the “tags” available to the hunter based on what they are eligible for and/or have purchased.

Upon successfully harvesting a deer or turkey, and before the animal is moved from the place of kill or field dressed, the hunter must complete the appropriate section of their Harvest Report Card that represents the type of animal they harvested. This section must be punched, and the date of harvest must be recorded in permanent ink. See example below.

Once the deer or turkey is registered (no more than 24 hours following harvest) the 12-digit registration number is to be recorded in permanent ink on the card. IMPORTANT: Hunters shall not remove the “tags” from their Harvest Report Cards for any reason, including being attached to a deer or turkey and the card should be kept as a complete document.

Your applicable Harvest Report Card and Delaware Hunting License or LEN card must be in a hunter’s possession while a hunter is hunting deer or turkeys. If a hunter purchases additional deer tags, they will receive an updated Deer Harvest Report Card that will reflect their original tags as well as the new tag(s). Additionally, if a hunter had already harvested deer or turkey and recorded their harvest information on their card, the harvest information will automatically be printed on the newly issued card. The most recently issued Harvest Report Card is the version that the hunter must keep in their possession moving forward, and all previously issued cards will no longer be valid.

If a harvested deer or turkey is no longer in a hunter’s immediate possession, a Deer/Turkey Possession Tag must be affixed to the animal. See the Deer/Turkey Possession Tags section on this page for more information.

Deer/Turkey Possession Tags

Hunters that successfully harvest a deer are no longer required to attach a tag to their deer at the place of kill before the deer is moved, however they must complete the appropriate section on the Deer Harvest Report Card. See Deer Harvest Report Card section on this page for more information. Turkey hunters will also receive a Turkey Harvest Report Card and they too will need to complete the appropriate section on their Turkey Harvest Report Card. The only time a physical tag is required to be affixed to a deer or turkey is if the animal is no longer in the hunter’s immediate possession, at which time the successful hunter must affix a Deer/Turkey Possession Tag. These tags can be found as in insert in the middle of the printed paper version of this guide, within your Digital DNREC account (, on the FW website, at or a hunter may make their own Deer/Turkey Possession Tags provided they include the hunters’ name, license number, harvest date, and registration number once the deer or turkey has been registered.

Examples of what constitutes a deer or turkey leaving a hunter’s immediate possession include dropping it off at a meat processor or taxidermist, donating a deer at one of the Division’s maintained Delaware Hunters Against Hunger coolers, or hanging the deer or turkey to cool and the hunter leaving the area to go somewhere else. A good rule of thumb to determine if a possession tag is needed is; if a Natural Resource Police Officer encountered a hunter’s deer or turkey and the hunter wasn’t available to talk with the Officer, then the animal needs to have a Deer/Turkey Possession Tag affixed to the animal. For questions, please call 302-735-3600.

Deer and Turkey Harvest Reporting Procedures

New this year: Successful turkey hunters will not have to take their turkey to a check station to have it registered. Instead, successful turkey hunters will follow the same harvest reporting procedures that deer hunters have followed.

All successful deer AND turkey hunters must register their deer or turkeys within 24 hours of harvest. Prior to registering a deer or turkey, hunters may not cut the meat or remove any part of the animal except the internal organs (known as the viscera). Hunters can register their deer or turkey by visiting or by calling the toll-free number 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868). Hunters will answer a series of questions regarding where the deer or turkey was harvested (county, wildlife management zone, land type, public land name if applicable, the weapon used, the harvest date, and information about the animal.

Illustrations showing how to properly measure a antler point height and antler spread width.

DEER HUNTER REMINDER: Hunters that harvest an antlered deer will be required to report the antler spread and number of points. A ruler can be found on the bottom edge of Wildlife Management Zones. Spread will be reported as, “15 inches or greater” or “less than 15 inches”, as measured across the outside of the main beams (antler spread) at their widest point; this measurement’s path must be perpendicular to the center line of the skull and parallel to the top of the skull plate. See picture to the right for example where to measure. When reporting the number of points, hunters shall report the number of points that are equal to or greater than one inch in length. If a point is broken off and less than one inch or a point is shorter than one inch than it should NOT be counted.

TURKEY HUNTER REMINDER: Hunters that harvest a turkey will be required to report the beard and spur length, as well as voluntarily provide the turkey’s weight if that information is available. Measurements for beard and spur length are needed to the nearest 1/16 inch. A ruler can be found on the bottom edge of Wildlife Management Zones. Beard length will be measured from where the beard protrudes from the skin on the turkey’s breast to the tip of the longest strand. See picture to the below (courtesy of Turkey Talk) for an example. If a turkey has more than one beard, each beard will be measured and reported independently. Each spur will be measured from where the spur protrudes from the leg to the tip along the outer curvature. See picture below for an example. If a hunter has weighed their turkey, they will be asked to voluntarily provide their bird’s weight, but this is not a required entry. While not required, turkey weights are an important source of data to help biologists manage turkeys so if a hunter is able to weigh their turkey and report that information, they are encouraged to do so.

At the end of the questions, hunters will be given a 12-digit harvest registration number. This number will serve as proof the animal was checked and should be kept for your records and written in ink in the appropriate section on a hunter’s Deer or Turkey Harvest Report Card.

If you have problems with this system, call 302-735-3600. Hunters that take their deer or turkey to a butcher shop or taxidermist will need to supply their registration number to the shop owner as proof the animal was registered.