Maryland spring turkey hunters harvest 4,959 birds

Maryland hunters harvested 4,959 wild turkeys during the 2024 spring regular and junior turkey seasons. This year’s harvest was 7% lower than the record amount set last spring, but surpassed the harvest totals from previous seasons.

“Hunters took advantage of favorable weather and abundant turkey populations with another high harvest,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Karina Stonesifer said. “A slight decrease was not unexpected after the record-breaking harvest in the spring of 2023.”

DNR surveys documented average to excellent reproductive success in many regions during the summers of 2021 and 2022, resulting in a good number of 2-3 year-old gobblers available this spring. Adult gobblers comprised 87% of the total harvest.

Garrett County reported the highest harvest with 546 turkeys, followed by Charles County (472) and Washington County (442). Four counties produced record harvests: Charles, Queen Anne’s, Wicomico and Worcester.

Hunters in Washington County harvested 445 turkeys, down from 515 last year but up from the last three years of hunting 2020-2022.

Youth hunters started the spring turkey season statewide on April 13-14 with the Junior Turkey Hunt. Despite poor weather, junior hunters harvested 333 wild turkeys during that weekend, accounting for about 6% of the total. A total of 603 birds were taken on Sundays, comprising 12% of the total take.