The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces that the statewide spring turkey season will kick off on April 16 with Junior Turkey Hunt Day. All hunters can try to bag a bird during the regular statewide spring turkey season, April 18 through May 23.
Maryland hunters can generally expect to see more turkeys this year, especially in the state’s western and central regions. The 2021 DNR Summer Wild Turkey Observation Survey documented high reproductive success in areas where the Brood X cicada emergence provided abundant food resources for newly hatched turkeys. However, adult gobblers may be more limited due to poor reproduction in previous summers.
“The spring turkey season provides a great chance to get outdoors and enjoy the sights and sounds of the spring woods,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Turkeys can be found in every county in the state, giving hunters ample opportunity to bag a gobbler.”
Junior Hunt Days allow licensed youths, age 16 years and younger, to hunt if they are accompanied by an unarmed adult, age 21 and older, who holds a valid Maryland hunting license. The Junior Turkey Hunt is on April 16 statewide; youth hunting is allowed on April 17 in select counties.
For the first part of the regular hunting season, April 18 through May 9, hunting is allowed from one half-hour before sunrise until noon. Throughout the rest of the season, May 10 through May 23, and during the Junior Turkey Hunt, April 16-17, hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise until sunset.
The daily bag limit for the spring season is one bearded turkey, with a season bag limit of two bearded turkeys. Hunting is permitted on Sundays in certain counties. Complete regulations, including Sunday hunting dates and check-in procedures, can be found online.
Hunters are also urged to keep safety in mind when turkey hunting. DNR advises hunters to keep decoys out of sight until ready to use at a safe location with good visibility from all directions, and also not to hide directly behind decoys nor use them to stalk closer to birds. More turkey hunting safety tips can be found on the department’s website.