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Maryland Spring Hunters Harvest a Record 4,303 Wild Turkeys

Maryland hunters reported harvesting 4,303 wild turkeys during the 2020 regular spring and junior hunt turkey seasons, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced. This year’s harvest surpassed the previous high of 4,175, set in 2017, and was 8% higher than the 2019 harvest of 4,002 turkeys.

“This year’s harvest suggests that many hunters took advantage of abundant turkey populations in much of the state,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said.

The percentage of juvenile turkeys or “jakes” reported in the harvest (24%) was at its highest level since the 2012 spring season. This supports other survey data showing that the summer of 2019 was an excellent year for turkey production and boosted populations significantly.

Turkey numbers have also grown and expanded in many areas where they have not traditionally been abundant. Record-high harvests were reported in nine counties – Baltimore, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s.

Washington County reported the highest harvest this year with 439 turkeys, followed by Garrett County with 387 and Charles County with 369.

Youth hunters kicked off the spring turkey season statewide on April 11 with the Junior Turkey Hunt. An additional junior hunting opportunity occurred on April 12 in select counties. In total, junior hunters harvested 248 wild turkeys, a 22% increase from last year’s junior hunt weekend.

Record-high Harvests Reported in Nine Counties

Total harvests by county are below:

County

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Allegany

256

293

250

278

286

Anne Arundel

45

58

49

74

81

Baltimore

52

51

55

56

65

Calvert

73

59

76

68

82

Caroline

172

149

135

152

180

Carroll

76

103

103

73

93

Cecil

69

87

69

89

94

Charles

265

320

336

348

369

Dorchester

274

303

212

221

211

Frederick

299

332

313

304

348

Garrett

387

429

412

429

387

Harford

110

127

105

124

88

Howard

34

24

36

33

34

Kent

181

174

168

166

206

Montgomery

94

135

149

135

162

Prince George’s

87

91

76

105

109

Queen Anne’s

190

160

115

145

144

Somerset

150

163

145

129

171

St. Mary’s

188

202

191

188

226

Talbot

88

94

80

87

95

Washington

355

426

459

414

439

Wicomico

206

175

139

155

193

Worcester

223

220

188

229

240

Statewide

3,874

4,175

3,861

4,002

4,303

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