Last year, 7,160 wild turkeys were reported by 684 people, showing that turkey hunting in Maryland is a beloved and popular sport and is still going strong! Want to go on an exciting adventure in Maryland and hunt some turkeys in the new 2024? This post has got you covered with everything about the Maryland Turkey Season!
We give you all the important information you need to know about the upcoming turkey season in Maryland, including dates, rules, and licensing requirements.
Maryland Turkey Seasons Summary
There are 4 turkey seasons for 2024 in Maryland. Here are the details of each of them:
Junior Turkey Hunt Season
|1 bearded turkey per day
|in certain counties, see chart
- This Junior Turkey Hunt is only for young hunters who are 16 or younger.
- To hunt, you'll need a hunting license or be exempt from the license requirement. You'll also need to be with an adult who's 21 or older and doesn't have a hunting license.
- Only male turkeys with feathers can be caught during these days, and you can only catch one turkey per day.
- You can hunt between dawn and dusk, but make sure to check the Sunday hunting hours in certain counties.
- You can use shotguns, crossbows, vertical bows, or air guns to hunt.
- Baitsor dogs are not
Spring Turkey Season
|April 18–May 23
|1 bearded turkey per day, 2 bearded turkeys per season
- Only turkeys with beards can be hunted during the Spring Season.
- You can have one bearded turkey per day or two for the whole season.
- The daily hunting hours are from before sunrise to noon from April 18 to May 9, and from before sunrise to sunset from May 10 to May 23.
- You can only use shotguns(loaded with #4 shot or smaller), crossbows, vertical bows, or air guns that shoot arrows or bolts to hunt turkeys.
- It's illegal to use bait to hunt turkeys or to place bait for them during any turkey season.
- You can't use dogs or organized drives to hunt turkeys either.
Winter Turkey Season
|1 turkey of either sex
- During the winter turkey season, you can hunt turkeys from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
- You can use shotguns loaded with #4 shot or smaller, crossbows, vertical bows, or air guns that shoot arrows or bolts to hunt turkeys.
- It is illegal to hunt turkeys while using bait or to place bait for turkeys during any turkey season.
Sunday Turkey Season
|April 14, and all Sunday during the open Turkey seasons
|Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Dorchester, Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s, and Washington
|Shooting hours are the same as Monday through Saturday
|Talbot, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester
|Legal shooting hours on Sundays are from ½ hour before sunrise until 10:30 am
Maryland Turkey Season Regulations
When hunting turkey in Maryland, there are some basic rules all hunters need to follow:
- It's important to bring proper identification like a driver's license or another form of ID. If you're hunting on private land, you'll need written permission from the landowner.
- You'll also need a hunting license to hunt wild turkeys, unless you're in the military.
- All hunters must complete the tagging and checking procedure for any turkeys they catch.
- It's illegal to hunt turkeys with bait or near baited areas. Feed or bait that is for other wildlife, like deer, can still be considered baiting if you're hunting turkeys near there.
- It's illegal to use things like recorded or amplified calls, or motorized turkey decoys when hunting turkeys.
- You're good to go without any special clothing during the day, but it's a good idea to wear something bright color just in case.
- When you catch a turkey, be sure to put an orange ribbon on it before carrying it out of the woods.
- Check out the hunting safety tips for more info on how to be safe and respectful while hunting.
- Don't forget that shotguns can only hold three shells at a time, so make sure to plug them if they can hold more than that.
- Lastly, during certain seasons, you can only use shotguns, crossbows, air guns, or bows and arrows to hunt turkeys.
In general, it's important to follow the rules and regulations when hunting to make sure you're hunting safely and legally.
Maryland Hunting Licenses
These are the types of licenses that you can purchase for turkey hunting in Maryland.
|Resident Apprentice Hunting License (age 16 or younger)
|Nonresident Apprentice Hunting License (age 16 or younger)
|Resident Regular Hunting License (age 16-64)
|Resident Junior Hunting License (age 16 or younger)
|Resident Senior Hunting License (age 65 or above)
- Hunting licenses are valid from August 1st to July 31st of the next year.
- It's important to have a physical or digital copy of your license with you while hunting.
- First-time hunters need to show a certificate of firearms safety and hunting skills. Young hunters (under 16) can get a free annual license, stamps, archery or muzzleloader stamps after completing a hunter education course.
- Non-residents and residents can get an apprentice hunting license.
- If you're a Maryland resident who owns property and only hunts on that land, you don't need a license.
- To get a hunting or trapping license, stamps, or permits, you'll need a DNRid number, which you can get for free by connecting to the DNR portal here: https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/.
- If you lose or damage your license, you can reprint it for free.
Turkey Tagging & Checking
Before you move a deer or turkey from the place where you killed it, make sure to do the following first:
- Fill out a Turkey Field Tag at the place of kill and attach it to the animal.
- Or check in the animal at the place of kill and get a confirmation number. This is important, so don't forget to do it!
- When required, the field tag must be attached to the leg of the turkey.
Within 24 hours after harvesting a turkey, you must:
- Register it with the Department of Natural Resources. You can do this through their website (dnr.maryland.gov), their phone line (888-800-0121), or their official mobile app (AccessDNR).
- Remember to keep a permanent record of your registration either by writing down the confirmation number on a form or saving it to your mobile device.
When you check in your turkey after hunting, make sure to tell the folks at the check station what kind of hunting gear you used to catch it.
You'll need to give them your DNRid number, which is on your hunting license.
Each turkey you check in will have its own special number, so make sure to write it down before you leave it with a processor or butcher.
Here is all the basic information that hunters should know about the Maryland Turkey Season. We hope you're ready to get out there and give it a try!
Last season was a real success, with a whopping 7,160 wild turkeys spotted by dedicated hunters. Just remember to follow the rules and regulations, be kind to the wildlife, and appreciate the natural beauty of Maryland. Good luck and have fun!