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Winter Turkey Hunting Season to Open in Maryland

Strutting by Lori R. Bramble

Strutting by Lori R. Bramble

Maryland’s winter turkey hunting season will be open Jan. 21-23 statewide. This season was established in 2015 to increase hunting opportunities. Hunters reported taking 108 turkeys in the first-ever winter season last year.

“Our state’s turkey population is healthy and we were confident that it could support a short winter hunting season,” Wild Turkey and Upland Game Bird Project Leader Bob Long said. “We heard many positive comments following the first winter season, so we fully anticipate and expect even more hunters this year.”

The bag limit is one turkey of either sex. Hunters who took a turkey in the 2015 fall season may not harvest any in the winter. Hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Weapons are limited to shotguns loaded with a number 4 shot or smaller. Crossbows or vertical bows are also permitted. Harvest reporting requirements are the same as other turkey seasons. Hunters may check in their harvests via phone at 888-800-0121, online or with a mobile device via the department‘s app.

Winter turkey hunting may require different techniques than those used in the spring. For example, hen calls and decoys will be less attractive. Hunters should consider using traditional fall season tactics to attract winter turkeys, such as locating food sources, scattering a flock once found and using “assembly” or “lost” calls.

Complete regulations, check-in procedures and information on public land hunting opportunities can be found online at or in the 2015-2016 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping. Citizens with questions may call the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service at 410-260-8540.