Maryland Wild Turkey Hunting

​A hunting license is required to hunt wild turkeys in Maryland (with exceptions). See Hunting Licenses and Who May Hunt Without a License.

The use of a Maryland Big Game Harvest Record​ is required of all Maryland deer and turkey hunters.  It is issued with the hunting license. Those who may hunt deer and turkeys without a license must obtain a Big Game Harvest Record, at no charge, from DNR Licensing and Registration Offices, a Maryland Sport License agent, or online at http://gamecheck.dnr.state.md.us/.

There are different wild turkey hunting seasons in Maryland. Click here to view Turkey Hunting Seasons & Bag Limits for hunting dates, bag limits, hours, and areas.

Turkeys taken in Maryland must be checked in with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Click here for Deer & Turkey Tagging and Checking Requirements.

Attention Junior Hunters
Commemorate your Turkey Harvest
with a Junior Hunter Certificate

Junior Turkey hunter with mentor and large male harvested turkey

Fluorescent Orange and Pink

Fluorescent orange and/or pink is not required for hunting turkeys. However, turkey hunters are encouraged to wear it as a precaution while turkey hunting. Successful turkey hunters are also encouraged to put an orange ribbon on the turkey when carrying it out of the woods.

The colors black, red, white, and blue should be avoided on turkey hunting clothing. These colors are predominant in the male turkey's plumage and can cause a hunter to be mistaken for game.

Turkey Hunter's Code of Conduct

The department encourages all turkey hunters to follow the National Wild Turkey Federation's Turkey Hunter's Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct states that a responsible turkey hunter should:

  • Not let peer pressure or the excitement of the hunt cloud his/her judgment.
  • Learn and practice safe hunting techniques.
  • Hunt the wild turkey fairly.
  • Know the capabilities and limitations of his/her hunting devices and use them safely.
  • Obey and support all wildlife laws and report all violations.
  • Respect the land and landowner and always obtain permission before hunting.
  • Avoid knowingly interfering with another hunter and respect the right of others to lawfully share the outdoors.
  • Value the hunting experience and appreciate the beauty of the wild turkey.
  • Positively identify his/her target as a legal bird and insist on a good shot.
  • Share responsible turkey hunting with others and work for turkey conservation.

Spring Turkey Hunting Season regulations include:

  • Only bearded turkeys are legal in the Spring Season.
  • Hunters may only use shotguns (loaded with #4 shot or smaller), crossbows, or vertical bows in the Spring Season.
  • Dogs and organized drives may not be used.

Fall Turkey Hunting Season regulations include:

  • Turkey hunting is permitted in Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties only, during the Fall Season.
  • Fall turkey hunters may use rifles, handguns, shotguns (loaded with #4 shot or smaller or a solid, single projectile), crossbows, or vertical bows.
  • Either sex may be taken in the Fall Season.

Winter Turkey Hunting Seasons regulations include:

  • Hunters may only use shotguns (loaded with #4 shot or smaller), crossbows, or vertical bows, in the Winter Season.
  • Either sex may be taken in the Winter Season.

It is illegal to hunt turkeys with the aid of bait or over any baited area. Feed or bait placed for deer or other wildlife may be considered baiting if turkeys are being hunted. An area is considered by law to be baited for 10 days after the removal of the bait.

It is illegal to use recorded or electronically amplified calls, or use motorized or electronic turkey decoys.

Fluorescent orange is not required for hunting turkeys. However, turkey hunters are encouraged to wear it as a precaution while turkey hunting. Successful turkey hunters are also encouraged to put an orange ribbon on the turkey when carrying it out of the woods. Click here for Turkey Hunting Safety Tips, a guide to courteous and safe turkey hunting.​