Maryland Hunters Report Record Spring Turkey Harvest

May 30, 2015
Strutting

Strutting by Lori R. Bramble

Hunters reported harvesting a total of 3,767 wild turkeys during the 2015 regular spring and junior hunt turkey seasons that ended on May 23. This year’s harvest is 13 percent higher than the 2013 record-setting harvest of 3,344, and well above the 10-year average of 3,045.

The sharp increase in harvest can be attributed to a combination of factors, including growing turkey populations, excellent weather and more Sunday hunting opportunities.

Wild turkey populations are at all-time highs in some areas, with record numbers reported in Carroll, Cecil, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s and St. Mary’s counties. Additionally, ideal weather during most of the season likely increased hunter participation, and helped them locate and call in cooperative gobblers.

Garrett County reported the highest harvest again this year with 421 turkeys, followed by Washington with 392. Rounding out the top five counties were Allegany (298), Frederick (256) and Charles (253).

Turkey hunters in eight counties were able to hunt on Sundays this year, which lead to a harvest total of 332 turkeys.

Youth hunters kicked-off the spring turkey season with the Junior Turkey Hunt on April 11 statewide, and continued on Sunday, April 12 in select counties. They took advantage of the pleasant weather, harvesting a total of 209 wild turkeys. Washington and Garrett counties topped the list with 36 and 24 turkeys, respectively.

The table below shows the overall reported spring turkey season harvest by county for 2009-2015.

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Reported Spring Turkey Harvest, 2009-2015
County 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Allegany 342 327 287 257 269 258 298
Anne Arundel 39 56 38 58 82 54 62
Baltimore 19 39 25 29 37 32 35
Calvert 49 35 40 50 57 59 69
Caroline 105 118 132 164 142 141 159
Carroll 27 20 22 30 33 45 62
Cecil 29 30 34 43 55 57 67
Charles 186 215 222 303 270 254 253
Dorchester 236 213 210 219 245 239 252
Frederick 115 113 122 140 215 193 256
Garrett 364 345 339 368 386 383 421
Harford 68 67 69 98 110 97 102
Howard 5 10 16 16 16 10 16
Kent 85 88 97 103 118 150 164
Montgomery 53 42 47 51 82 68 97
Prince George’s 73 79 79 92 78 79 87
Queen Anne’s 124 125 114 152 159 165 183
Somerset 142 106 114 122 124 120 169
St. Mary’s 84 67 83 99 127 173 193
Talbot 105 110 98 102 103 83 68
Washington 308 303 285 292 309 343 392
Wicomico 150 148 162 152 124 146 138
Worcester 202 191 191 192 203 176 224
     Total 2910 2847 2826 3132 3344 3325 3767

KPeterson