News from the DNR Office of Communications

Spring Turkey Hunters Harvest 2,826 Wild Turkeys

Annapolis, Md. (June 2, 2011) — Hunters reported taking a total of 2,826 wild turkeys during the 2011 spring turkey season, nearly unchanged from the 2010 harvest of 2,847.

The 2011 harvest is similar to the 10-year average of 2,902 birds, indicating Maryland’s turkey population remains healthy. Some counties noticed slight declines in harvest while others observed increases — these normal variations are likely due to local differences in reproductive success rates. Young gobblers, called jakes, comprised 29 percent of the harvest this spring. This is very close to the long-term average and in agreement with data from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) turkey brood surveys conducted last summer.

Two notable regulation changes took effect this spring. Hunting was permitted until sunset during the last two weeks of the season to increase hunter opportunity and minimize the potential impacts of additional hunting pressure. Hunting was also allowed on one Sunday in May in Alleghany and Garrett counties only, which resulted in a harvest of 16 turkeys.

“The addition of all-day turkey hunting seems to have met our expectations,” said Bob Long, DNR’s Upland Game Bird Biologist. “Some hunters took advantage of the extended hours and were successful, but all-day hunting did not result in a significantly higher harvest.”

Reports indicate that 24 percent of the harvest occurred during the period in which all-day hunting was permitted. This is nearly identical to the percentage of turkeys (23 percent) taken during the last two weeks of the season over the past five years when shooting hours ended at noon. Additional surveys will be conducted in the future to improve estimates of hunter participation and success in the afternoon.

The highest harvest once again came from Western Maryland. Garrett County reported 339 turkeys, followed by Allegany (287) and Washington (285). In the remainder of the State, Charles (222), Dorchester (210) and Worcester (191) also reported good harvests.

Reported Spring Turkey Harvest, 2005-2011

County

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Allegany

328

331

259

345

342

327

287

Anne Arundel

70

65

47

61

39

56

38

Baltimore

24

28

27

34

19

39

25

Calvert

53

59

40

53

49

35

40

Caroline

66

75

79

107

105

118

132

Carroll

28

24

15

20

27

20

22

Cecil

17

10

24

27

29

30

34

Charles

213

227

209

193

186

215

222

Dorchester

332

265

205

242

236

213

210

Frederick

163

148

115

152

115

113

122

Garrett

365

342

303

327

364

345

339

Harford

47

59

37

61

68

67

69

Howard

3

7

1

2

5

10

16

Kent

44

50

47

62

85

88

97

Montgomery

56

56

50

37

53

42

47

Prince George's

83

95

55

70

73

79

79

Queen Anne's

80

82

73

127

124

125

114

Somerset

215

204

137

132

142

106

114

St. Mary's

96

62

59

59

84

67

83

Talbot

49

80

74

102

105

110

98

Washington

340

322

269

281

308

303

285

Wicomico

180

164

134

133

150

148

162

Worcester

284

253

196

206

202

191

191

    Total

3136

3008

2455

2833

2910

2847

2826

 

 


   June 2, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov