Check out the Maryland State YouTube Channel Follow us  on Twitter Folllow us on Facebook Email Us DNR Home

Spring Turkey Hunts To Open In April

Turkey in a feild

Annapolis, Md. (April 3, 2012) — Maryland’s statewide spring turkey season will begin April 14 with a one day Junior Turkey Hunt. The regular season will open April 18 and continue through May 23.

“Gobbling activity is often higher before the regular season opens, making this a great time to introduce a young hunter to the thrill of turkey hunting,” said Bob Long, a Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wild turkey biologist.

Adults are encouraged to take a young hunter out on the Junior Turkey Hunt. This one day hunt allows licensed hunters aged 16 or younger to hunt wild turkeys when accompanied by an unarmed, licensed adult of at least 21 years of age.

Regionally, turkey numbers are stable or increasing in southern Maryland and the upper part of the Eastern Shore. Although turkey populations remain abundant in the traditional turkey strongholds of the western mountains and lower Eastern Shore, a general decline is apparent in both regions. Turkey numbers in the central part of the State are holding steady.

Hunters are reminded that the hunting hours are as listed:

  • April 14 (Junior Turkey Hunt): Half-hour before sunrise through to sunset
  • April 18 - May 9: Half-hour before sunrise through to noon
  • May 10 - May 23: Half-hour before sunrise through to sunset

Sunday turkey hunting is currently permitted in Allegany and Garrett Counties on April 29 and May 6 on both private and public lands. Turkey hunting is currently prohibited on all other Sundays and in all other counties. However, legislation pending before the 2012 Session of the General Assembly may allow Sunday hunting on private lands in certain counties in time for the 2012 season. Watch for additional information on this legislation.

DNR reminds turkey hunters to always take precaution to ensure a safe hunt. They should make sure to positively identify their target as a bearded turkey and eliminate the colors of a gobbler’s head (red, white, and blue) from their clothing.

Complete regulations, turkey check-in procedures, safety tips and information on public land hunting opportunities can be found at or in 2011-2012 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping, issued with each hunting license.

   April 3, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

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 one-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. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at