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|