If you're planning to hunt wild turkeys this season, here is some guidance from DNREC.
To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware's fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents between April 9 and April 16 made 669 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, including 26 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 38 complaints and issued 24 citations.
With eight arrests on the opening day of Delaware's 2013 turkey season, hunters are reminded they should review Delaware's turkey regulations before heading out into the field. The season runs through Saturday, May 11. Regulations include:
- Hunters must carry their hunter education card certifying completion of Delaware's mandatory one-day turkey hunter education class.
- Hunting on public lands is by preseason lottery permit only.
- Hunters must carry their public lands permit while hunting on public lands and may only hunt the designated area and season segment/dates specified in the permit.
- Bag limit is one bearded bird per year.
- Birds without beards (hens) may not be taken.
- Hunting wild turkey over bait is prohibited.
- Hunting wild turkey with dogs is prohibited.
- Temporary blinds of vegetation or camouflage are permitted.
- Artificial turkey decoys are permitted.
- Non-electric calls are permitted.
- For safety reasons, hunters should not imitate the male gobbling call.
- Shotguns in 20, 16, 12 and 10-gauge and smoothbore muzzle loading shotguns may be used with No. 4, 5, or 6 steel or lead shot.
- A longbow, compound bow or crossbow with a minimum broad head width of 7/8 inches may be used.
- For safety reasons, wearing any visible garment having red, white or blue is prohibited.
- Hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
- All birds taken must be checked by 2:30 p.m. on the day of the hunt at an authorized turkey check station.
For more information, pick up a copy of the 2012-2013 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide at your local hunting license dealer, or find it online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/hunting/Pages/Wildlife.aspx.