Check out the Maryland State YouTube Channel Follow us  on Twitter Folllow us on Facebook Email Us DNR Home

Spring Turkey Harvest Increases 11 percent in 2012

Wild Turkey

Annapolis, Md. (June 4, 2012) — Hunters reported harvesting a total of 3,132 wild turkeys during the 2012 spring turkey season, an 11 percent increase from last year’s harvest of 2,826. The 2012 numbers nearly surpassed the record harvest of 3,136 set in 2005 and was well above the 10-year average of 2,903. The results indicate that Maryland’s turkey population remains healthy.

“The abnormally warm and dry spring may have encouraged some hens to begin nesting early, leaving gobblers more receptive to hunters’ calling,” said Bob Long, Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) upland game bird biologist. “The pleasant weather early in the season also encouraged hunter participation and aided in locating gobbling birds.”

Hunters in some regions benefitted from an abundance of two-year-old gobblers. DNR turkey brood surveys showed good reproduction in the summer of 2010 in areas where large harvest increases occurred this year, such as in Southern Maryland. One-year-old toms (male turkeys), called jakes, comprised 24 percent of the harvest, below the long-term average and in agreement with surveys conducted last summer that indicated lower than normal reproduction.

The highest harvests traditionally have come from the three western counties. Garrett County reported the highest harvest (368), but a 37 percent increase pushed Charles County to the second slot with 303 turkeys. Washington (292), Allegany (257) and Dorchester (219) rounded out the top five counties.

Hunters were able to pursue turkeys on Sundays in seven counties this spring. Sunday turkey hunting was limited to April 29 and May 6 in Allegany and Garrett counties, but was allowed throughout the season in Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester and St. Mary’s counties. A total of 102 turkeys were harvested on Sundays.

Reported Spring Turkey Harvest, 2006-2012

County

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Allegany

331

259

345

342

327

287

257

Anne Arundel

65

47

61

39

56

38

58

Baltimore

28

27

34

19

39

25

29

Calvert

59

40

53

49

35

40

50

Caroline

75

79

107

105

118

132

164

Carroll

24

15

20

27

20

22

30

Cecil

10

24

27

29

30

34

43

Charles

227

209

193

186

215

222

303

Dorchester

265

205

242

236

213

210

219

Frederick

148

115

152

115

113

122

140

Garrett

342

303

327

364

345

339

368

Harford

59

37

61

68

67

69

98

Howard

7

1

2

5

10

16

16

Kent

50

47

62

85

88

97

103

Montgomery

56

50

37

53

42

47

51

Prince George's

95

55

70

73

79

79

92

Queen Anne's

82

73

127

124

125

114

152

Somerset

204

137

132

142

106

114

122

St. Mary's

62

59

59

84

67

83

99

Talbot

80

74

102

105

110

98

102

Washington

322

269

281

308

303

285

292

Wicomico

164

134

133

150

148

162

152

Worcester

253

196

206

202

191

191

192

    Total

3008

2455

2833

2910

2847

2826

3132

 

 


   June 4, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 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. 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