The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported taking 89 wild turkeys during the 2021 winter turkey season, which was open statewide Jan. 21-23. This year’s harvest was slightly higher than the 2020 total of 82 turkeys.
Frederick, Charles, Garrett, and Prince George’s counties posted the highest numbers, although turkeys were reported from most counties across the state. Adult males, or “toms”, comprised 58% of the harvest with the remainder being females and juveniles. Eighty-four percent were taken with a shotgun, but some hunters harvested their bird with a crossbow or vertical bow.
The winter turkey season was established in 2015 to provide hunters with an additional hunting opportunity while minimizing conflicts with other hunting seasons. Turkey populations at one time were limited in Maryland. In the 1980s and 1990s, an extensive program to trap and relocate wild flocks successfully re-established populations in every county.