The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today that hunters reported harvesting 4,175 wild turkeys during the 2017 regular spring and junior hunt turkey seasons.
This year’s harvest was 8 percent higher than 2016 (3,874) and marked the third consecutive record harvest in the state. It is also well above the 10-year average of 3,303.
“The high harvest can be attributed to a combination of factors, including growing turkey populations and expanded Sunday hunting opportunities,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said.
Garrett County reported the highest harvest this year with 429 turkeys, followed by Washington County with 426. Rounding out the top five counties were Frederick (332), Charles (320) and Dorchester (303). Wild turkey populations are at all-time highs in some areas, with record harvests reported in eight counties this year.
Hunters in 10 counties were able to hunt on Sundays this year, resulting in a harvest of 337 turkeys.
Youth hunters kicked-off the spring turkey season with the Junior Turkey Hunt April 15 statewide and April 16 in select counties, reporting 230 wild turkeys harvested. The turkey season ended May 23.