Turkey Hunting in Delaware

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  • C
  • 6,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 16,291

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

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 first wild turkey trap-and-transfer effort.

On the upside, the estimated Delaware turkey populations are up 2,000 from several years ago (6,000 as of this writing).

A total of 643 birds were taken during the 2020 season, but no kill data is currently available for last year.

However, recent nesting results have been less than productive. 

Public land access is limited, but satisfactory if you can find it. And there’s the lottery process for those public land tags.

Also, all first-time turkey hunters in Delaware are required by law to attend and successfully complete an agency-sponsored turkey hunting safety class. Tricky for the traveling turkey hunter from afar, but doable.

Hunters choosing to hunt public or private lands must complete the safety course before applying for their prospective hunt.

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

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in Delaware. Image by Tes Randle Jolly

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.