The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported taking 67 wild turkeys during the 2022 winter turkey season, which was open statewide Jan. 20-22. This year’s harvest was 24% lower than the 2021 winter total of 89 turkeys.
St. Mary’s, Baltimore, and Caroline counties reported the highest harvests respectively, although turkeys were reported from most counties across the state. Adult males, or “toms,” comprised 30% of the harvest with the remainder being females and juveniles. Eighty-one 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 established populations in every county.
Maryland’s spring turkey season, which provides the largest annual harvest, begins in April.