Delaware turkey hunting stands out from much of the northeast for several reasons. For starters, they’ve had good production over the last several years and their turkey population is still growing. In fact, hunters experienced record harvests the last two springs and biologists anticipate that trend could continue this year. Delaware is also small enough that there’s no great disparity in the distribution of birds. It’s often easier to find birds than places to hunt them.
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In fact, a quick perusal of state lands and the number of permits allotted to each is a good indicator of where to focus your effort. In New Castle County the state issues a grand total of 15 permits for five areas. Kent County offers 29 permits for its seven public parcels while Sussex leads the state with 68 permits for its 11 public areas, the largest being Redden State Forest.
Private land offers the best option as hunters may hunt all 25 days of the season. Lottery-drawn public land permits are property- and date-specific, and applications must have been received by January 10 to be processed for the drawing.
Delaware’s 2014 spring wild turkey hunting season runs from April 12 to May 10, and spring hunters get an extra hour – from ½ hour before sunrise to 1 pm – to take their one bearded bird season limit. Private land turkey hunters must carry proof of having completed a turkey hunting safety course. All hunters should be aware that not only is it unwise, it is illegal to wear any visible garment having the colors red, white or blue.
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