Turkey Hunting in Delaware

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  • D
  • 6,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 16,786

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $25

    Resident hunting license

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • Reciprocal

    Whatever your state charges for a non-resident hunting license is what you'll be charged when coming out of state to hunt in Delaware (minimum of $130).

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

On the upside, the estimated Delaware turkey populations are up 2,000 from last year (6,000 as of this writing). So there's that.

All in all though, turkey hunting opportunities are less than stellar.

It's not always easy finding a place to work a turkey. Public land access is limited. 

Then, if that wasn't enough, there’s the lottery process for those public land tags.

Our call? If you live in Delaware and can access private land, or know of a public parcel that might pay off, outstanding; if not, maybe look elsewhere. 

Some brief history. In 1984, wild turkeys were first released in Delaware, with an initial planting of 34 Easterns originating from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont.

Subsequent stockings throughout the 1990s, along with 33 additional birds in 2002 from South Carolina and Virginia, have helped increase the state’s overall population.

A limited spring hunting season was first offered in 1991, just seven years after the wild turkey trap-and-transfer to Delaware.

All first-time turkey hunters in Delaware are required by law to attend and successfully complete an agency-sponsored turkey hunting safety class.

This applies to those hunting either public or private lands. Hunters choosing to hunt public lands must complete the safety course before applying for their prospective hunt.

It's also important to note for traveling turkey hunters: no Sunday hunting is permitted.

Delware Turkey Hunting Fact: To be legal in Delaware, a decoy cannot use any parts from a formerly live turkey. That means taxidermied decoys, or that real fan you use for your strutter deke, are illegal here.

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in Delaware (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Delaware turkey hunting regulations.

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.