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Statewide Spring Turkey Season Set to Open

Junior Hunt Precedes Full Season in April and May

Photo of wild turkey in a field during sprintime

Photo by Doug Wolfe

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the statewide spring turkey season will kick off April 17 with Junior Turkey Hunt Day. All hunters can try to bag a bird during the regular statewide spring turkey season, April 19-May 24.

“Wild turkey populations are at or near all-time highs in many parts of the state,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Turkey hunting is a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of spring in the outdoors, and perhaps be fortunate enough to take home some excellent table fare.”

Junior Hunt Days allow licensed youths, age 16 years and younger, to hunt if they are accompanied by an unarmed adult, age 21 and older, who holds a valid Maryland hunting license. The Junior Turkey Hunt is April 17 statewide; youth hunting is allowed April 18 in select counties. 

For the first part of the regular hunting season, April 19 through May 10, hunting is allowed from one half-hour before sunrise until noon. Throughout the rest of the season, May 11-24, and during the Junior Turkey Hunt, April 17-18, hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise until sunset.

The daily bag limit for the spring season is one bearded turkey, with a season bag limit of two bearded turkeys. Hunting is permitted on Sundays in certain counties. Complete regulations, including Sunday hunting dates and check-in procedures can be found online.

Although turkey hunting is typically done alone or in pairs, hunters are reminded to use precautions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Maintain social distancing with anyone not residing with you and wear a facial covering when necessary.

Hunters are also urged to keep safety in mind when turkey hunting. Do not hide directly behind decoys or use them to stalk closer to birds. Keep decoys out of sight until ready to use at a safe location with good visibility from all directions. More turkey hunting safety tips can be found on the department’s website.