DOVER, Del. - The 2014 Delaware spring turkey hunting season reportedly opens on Saturday, April 12th and runs through Saturday, May 10th.
According to reports, hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 PM, Monday through Saturday. DNREC is reminding hunters that all birds taken must be checked at an authorized turkey check station by 2:30 PM on the day of the hunt. DNREC officials say Delaware hunters must have successfully completed a mandatory turkey hunter safety and education class before they can legally hunt wild turkeys in Delaware. Turkey hunters also are reportedly required to carry their Hunter Education Card certifying successful completion of the course.
DNREC officials say hunting on public lands, including state forest lands, is by preseason lottery permit only. Hunters must carry their public lands permit while hunting and may only hunt the designated area and season segment/dates specified in the permit.
DNREC's Hunter Education Coordinator is noting that hunters also should remember these important safety practices:
The wild turkey remains one of Delaware's top restoration successes after being on the verge of extinction by the early 20th century. In the early 1980s, the Division of Fish and Wildlife partnered with the Delaware chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation to reestablish a wild turkey population in the state. By 1991, the population had grown large enough to permit opening a wild turkey hunting season, and the big birds continue to thrive and multiply.
Authorized turkey check stations for 2014 will be available at the following locations:
New Castle County
Ommelanden Hunter Education Center
Route 9, River Road, just north of Federal Lane, New Castle
Woodland Beach Wildlife Check Station
Route 9, 4876 Hay Point Landing Road, just north of intersection with Route 6
Little Creek Wildlife Area Check Station
Route 9, Bayside Drive just south of the town of Little Creek
3544 Williamsville Road, at intersection of Deep Grass Lane, Houston
Miller's Butcher Shop
577 Morgan's Choice Road, Wyoming
LP Sports Center
1 East Street, Spartan Plaza, Harrington
9641 Tharp Road, Seaford
Bucks & Ducks Sports Center/Messick Supply
14882 Hardscrabble Road, Seaford
Hook'em & Cook'em
3 York Beach Mall, Route 1, South Bethany Beach
30618 Millsboro Highway, Millsboro
DNREC officials say 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.
The required Delaware hunting licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC's Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses.
For more information on turkey hunting in Delaware, consult the Wild Turkey Hunting Section on pages 22-23 of the 2013-2014 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide. Hard copies of the guide also are available at the license desk in DNREC's Dover licensing office, or from license dealers statewide. For more information about hunting on public lands, click Wildlife Area Hunting Maps or State Forest Maps.