Spring Turkey Season Opens With Youth Day On April 14; Regular Season Begins April 18
ANNAPOLIS— Maryland’s statewide spring turkey hunting season will begin
on Saturday, April 14 with the 1-day Junior Turkey Hunt day. The 5-week regular
turkey season will open on Wednesday, April 18 and continue through May 23.
Adults are encouraged to take a young hunter afield on the Junior Turkey Hunt
day. This 1-day hunt allows hunters aged 16 or younger to hunt wild turkeys when
accompanied by an unarmed adult of at least 21 years of age. Both participants
must possess a valid hunting license or be exempt from Maryland hunting license
“This is a great opportunity for Maryland’s next generation of hunters and their
adult mentors,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and
Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “The Junior Turkey Hunt takes place
when gobbling activity is at its peak and hunting pressure is limited; the
chance to make life-long memories could not be better,” Peditto added.
Although wild turkey populations remain strong throughout most of Maryland,
hunters may have to work harder this spring to coax a gobbler into gun range.
DNR’s annual brood survey suggests that poult production was below-average the
last two summers. “This means that 1 and 2-year old birds will be less abundant
than in previous years,” noted Bob Long, DNR’s wild turkey biologist. “However
banner reproduction in 2004 should translate into relatively high numbers of
trophy 3-year-old toms available for spring hunters.”
Many public properties across Maryland boast excellent wild turkey populations.
Hunters may find heavy hunting pressure on some public lands, especially on
opening day and the first Saturday; however most public lands receive little
hunting pressure as the season progresses, making it an enjoyable time to hunt
this magnificent bird.
Although turkey hunting accidents are rare in Maryland, DNR urges all turkey
hunters to practice safe and ethical hunting this spring. Hunters are reminded
to positively identify their target as a bearded turkey and eliminate the colors
of a gobbler’s head -- red, blue and white -- from clothing. They are also
encouraged to wear a fluorescent orange cap while moving and tie an orange
ribbon around a nearby tree while calling.
Successful hunters must field tag the turkey, record the harvest on the Maryland
Big Game Harvest Record portion of their hunting license, and register their
turkey by calling 1-888-800-0121, or through the internet at
For detailed checking instructions and information about turkey hunting
regulations and public land opportunities, consult the 2006–2007 Guide to
Hunting & Trapping in Maryland or DNR’s website at
April 9, 2007
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and
living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and
18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic
and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and
cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the
Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov