Maryland Winter Turkey Season Harvest Up 25%

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that hunters took 84 wild turkeys during the 2023 winter turkey season, which was open statewide Jan. 19-21. This year’s harvest was 25% above the 2022 total of 67 turkeys.

Allegany, Frederick, Washington, Anne Arundel, and Charles counties reported the highest harvests. Adult males, or “toms”, comprised 70% of the harvest with the remainder being females and juveniles. About 77% were taken with a shotgun, but some hunters used a crossbow or vertical bow to harvest their turkeys.

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, the most popular time for turkey hunting, begins in April.