Hunters reported taking 82 wild turkeys during Maryland’s 2020 winter turkey season, which was open statewide Jan. 23-25.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reports turkeys were harvested in 22 of the state’s 23 counties, with St. Mary’s and Garrett counties reporting the highest numbers.
The harvest was higher than the 73 turkeys taken last year. Adult males, or gobblers, comprised 42% of the harvest with the remainder being adult females and juveniles. Seventy-three percent were taken with a shotgun, but some hunters harvested their bird with a crossbow or vertical bow.
The winter turkey season was established in 2015 to provide hunters an additional hunting opportunity while minimizing conflicts with other hunting seasons. Turkey populations at one time were limited in Maryland. In the 1980s and 1990s, an extensive program to trap and relocate wild flocks successfully established populations in every county.