Turkey hunters reminded no bait is allowed

Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police this week reminded turkey hunters that while in pursuit of wild turkeys it is unlawful to use bait as an attractant. Some common bait that is illegally used includes wheat, corn, sunflower seeds and various birdseed blends. Hunters are responsible for ensuring that no bait is present in an area where they are hunting turkeys, officials noted.

Delaware offers hunting opportunities for wild turkeys on several state wildlife areas and state forests by permit only. Turkey hunters are drawn via the lottery and issued a permit that enables them to hunt a specified public land area during a specified one-week segment. Hunters selected for a public land permit must carry their permit, as well as their turkey education card and hunting license at all times while hunting.

For hunters who harvest a spring gobbler, the Division of Fish & Wildlife requires that the turkey be checked at an authorized check station by 2:30 p.m. on the same day the turkey was harvested. Information obtained through the check stations is used by the Division of Fish & Wildlife to help manage Delaware’s wild turkey population.

The 2018 turkey check station hours (available online at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Documents/DELAWARE%20TURKEY%20H...) may vary, so hunters are being 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 also are being 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 be directed to another station to have the turkey re-weighed.

Delaware hunting licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Services/Pages/Lic-Perm-Reg.aspx. For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call (302) 739-9918.

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between April 2 and 8 made 1,398 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, issuing 13 citations. Officers responded to 32 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public.

Citations issued during the week included: failure to check antlered deer within 24 hours, removing antlered deer parts prior to checking, three citations for unlicensed fishing, use of illegal non-circle hook during striped bass spawning season, illegal method of take, no trout stamp, following too closely in a motor vehicle and four citations for trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area.