Delaware Turkey Hunter Courses Available

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The Hunter Education Office is reminding hunters planning to hunt turkeys on state-owned lands during the 2009 turkey season that new regulations require successful completion of Delaware's mandatory turkey education course before applying for their 2009 season permits.

Since the deadline for application for a 2009 turkey hunting permit is Dec. 12, 2008, hunters who have not yet taken the course will need to take it in February or March of 2008 - and this year's course dates are now just around the corner.

"Early settlers hunted Delaware's wild turkey to virtual extinction by the turn of the last century. However, through the combined efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife, and with an infusion of thousands of hunter dollars, a healthy population of turkeys was restored to the woods of the First State in the late 1980s. To maintain our turkey population, our state has become one of the few places in North America that requires hunters to successfully complete a turkey education course before attempting to hunt these alert and elusive birds," explained Hunter Education Coordinator Bill Dugent.

Delaware's turkey education courses, which have been taught since 1991, promote conservation and teach hunters to carefully nurture, protect and wisely use the now reestablished species. The courses also stress safety and provide tips and techniques for successful hunting.

Each one-day course will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all locations. Course dates and locations for 2008 are as follows:

  • • Saturday Feb. 2 and Sunday, Feb. 3 – University of Delaware's Paradee Center, Transportation Circle on the DelDOT Campus off Route 113, Dover
  • • Saturday Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10 - Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center, 1205 River Road, off Route 9 near New Castle
  • • Saturday, Feb. 23 - University of Delaware Research & Education Center (Old Agricultural Substation) on Route 9 near Georgetown
  • • Sunday, Feb. 24 - Delmar Fire Hall, Bi-State Boulevard and Grove Street, Delmar
  • • Saturday, March 8 - Hartly Fire Hall, 2898 Arthursville Road, Hartly

Call the Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600 to pre-register and reserve a seat for the course date and location of your choice. Courses are offered free of charge.