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Maryland Spring Turkey Hunting Season Set to Open for 2023

Junior Hunt begins April 15; regular season starts April 18

Photo of turkey in flowered field

Photo by by Erik Yetter, submitted to a previous Maryland Department of Natural Resources Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces that the statewide spring wild turkey season will kick off April 15 with Junior Turkey Hunt Day. All hunters can try to bag a bird during the regular spring turkey season, April 18 through May 23.

“Wild turkeys can be found in all counties and populations are at all-time highs in some areas,” Acting Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Karina Stonesifer said. “Hunters should have ample opportunity to encounter a gobbler wherever they choose to spend time in the spring woods.”

The annual Department of Natural Resources Summer Wild Turkey Observation Survey documented moderate to high reproductive success the past two summers, particularly in the central and western parts of the state. This should translate into more turkeys and higher hunter success.

Junior Hunt Days allow licensed youths, age 16 years and younger, to hunt if they are accompanied by an unarmed adult, age 21 or older, who holds a valid Maryland hunting license. The Junior Turkey Hunt is April 15 statewide and continues April 16 in select counties

For the first part of the regular hunting season, April 18 through May 9, hunting is allowed from one half-hour before sunrise until noon. Throughout the rest of the season, May 10 through May 23, and during the Junior Turkey Hunt, April 15-16, 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.

Hunters are also urged to keep safety in mind when turkey hunting. The Department of Natural Resources advises hunters to keep decoys out of sight until ready to use at a safe location with good visibility from all directions; and also not to hide directly behind decoys nor use them to stalk closer to birds. More turkey hunting safety tips can be found on the department’s website.