Maryland’s Spring Turkey Season Set to Open

Junior Hunt begins April 13; regular season starts April 18

Photo of wild turkey in the woods

Photo by Leonardo Pecora, submitted to the 2021 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces that the statewide spring wild turkey season will kick off April 13 with Junior Turkey Hunt Day. All hunters can hunt during the regular spring turkey season, which begins April 18 and continues through May 23.

“Wild turkeys remain abundant throughout most of Maryland,”

 Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Karina Stonesifer said. “Turkey hunting is an enjoyable way to enjoy the sights and sounds of spring, and perhaps be fortunate to bag a nice gobbler.”

Hunters should have a good chance of encountering adult gobblers this spring, while the number of jakes (one-year-old turkeys) may be limited. The annual Department of Natural Resources Summer Wild Turkey Observation Survey documented average or above-average reproductive success during the 2021 and 2022 nesting seasons in most regions. However, reproduction was below average last summer.

Junior Hunt Days allow licensed youths, age 16 years and younger, to hunt if they are accompanied by an unarmed adult, age 21 or older, who holds a valid Maryland hunting license. The Junior Turkey Hunt is April 13 statewide and continues Sunday, April 14 in select counties

For the first part of the regular hunting season, April 18 through May 9, hunting is allowed from one half-hour before sunrise until noon. Throughout the rest of the season, May 10 through May 23, and during the Junior Turkey Hunt, hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise until sunset.

The daily bag limit for the spring season is one bearded turkey, with a season bag limit of two bearded turkeys. Hunting is permitted on Sundays in certain counties. Complete regulations, including Sunday hunting dates and check-in procedures can be found online.

Hunters are also reminded to always consider safety when turkey hunting. The Department of Natural Resources advises hunters to keep decoys out of sight until ready to use at a safe location with good visibility from all directions. Do not hide directly behind decoys nor use them to stalk closer to birds. More turkey hunting safety tips can be found on the department’s website. 

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