Expanded Opportunities For Maryland Spring Turkey Season
Maryland's statewide spring turkey season will begin April 16 with the one day Junior Turkey Hunt. The regular season will open April 18 and continue through May 23.
"This year, spring turkey hunting hours have been extended to provide more opportunity while minimizing any negative effects from additional hunting pressure," said Bob Long, a Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wild turkey biologist. "Our school-aged hunters will particularly benefit from this change as they will now have the ability to pursue turkeys after school."
Hunters should note that several regulations have changed for the upcoming season:
Hunting hours have been extended for the Junior Turkey Hunt and the last two weeks of the regular season. On April 16 and May 10 – 23, hunting begins a half-hour before sunrise and ends at sunset.
On May 1, Turkey hunting will be permitted on private and public lands in Allegany and Garrett counties. Turkey hunting on all other Sundays and in all other counties is still prohibited.
Shot size restrictions for turkey hunting have been changed to allow shotgun loads containing any shot sizes that are #4 or smaller.
Adults are encouraged to take a young hunter out on the Junior Turkey Hunt. This one day hunt allows licensed hunters aged 16 or younger to hunt wild turkeys when accompanied by an unarmed, licensed adult of at least 21 years of age. Gobbling activity is often higher before the regular season opens making this a great time to introduce a young person to the thrill of turkey hunting.
Turkey hunters are reminded to always take precautions to ensure a safe hunt. Make sure you positively identify your target as a bearded turkey and remove the colors of a gobbler's head (red, white, and blue) from your clothing. Hunters are also encouraged to wear a fluorescent orange cap while moving and tie an orange ribbon around a nearby tree while calling.
Complete regulations, turkey check-in procedures and information on public land hunting opportunities can be found at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide or in 2010-2011 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping, issued with each hunting license.