Maryland’s 2022 Spring Turkey Harvest Sees 8% Increase

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Maryland Hunters harvested 4,208 wild turkeys during the 2022 spring regular and junior turkey seasons, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported. This year’s harvest was 8% higher than the 2021 harvest and just 2% lower than the record harvest of 4,303 set in 2020.

“Although some areas have seen a decline in turkey populations, some areas of the state now hold record numbers of turkeys,” Wildlife and Heritage Service said director Paul Peditto. “Growing turkey populations in areas such as the Baltimore-Washington corridor provide hunters with exciting new opportunities to get where they may not have had success in the past.”

The percentage of juvenile turkeys or ‘jakes’ reported in the harvest was 24%, the highest level since 2011. The increase can be attributed to the emergence of the Brood X cicada in the summer of 2021 which provided a abundant food to newly hatched turkeys and increased the survival of young birds.

The Turkish populations of the central region of the state have particularly benefited from the strong breeding of last summer. Five counties in the region recorded record harvests: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s. But counties farther west lead the state in total turkey harvest, with Garrett County reporting 436 turkeys, followed by Washington County with 400 and Frederick County with 343.

Young Hunters kicked off the statewide spring turkey season on April 16 with the Junior Turkey Hunt. Another junior hunting opportunity took place on April 17 in select counties. In total, the young hunters harvested 286 wild turkeys, which represents approximately 7% of the total spring harvest.

The total harvests by county are below:

County 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
allegania 250 278 286 266 282
Anne Arundel 49 74 81 64 85
Baltimore 55 56 65 53 82
Calvert 76 68 82 58 72
carolina 135 152 180 149 168
Carroll 103 73 93 104 94
Cecile 69 89 94 80 67
Charles 336 348 369 353 334
Dorchester 212 221 211 197 170
Frederick 313 304 348 281 343
Garrett 412 429 387 374 436
Harford 105 124 88 104 91
Howard 36 33 34 35 51
Kent 168 166 206 151 160
Montgomery 149 135 162 154 164
Prince George 76 105 109 99 115
of Queen Anne 115 145 144 120 144
Somerset 145 129 171 180 176
Sainte Marie 191 188 226 187 204
Talbot 80 87 95 80 84
Washington 459 414 439 345 400
WicomicoComment 139 155 193 181 193
worcester 188 229 240 295 293
Statewide 3,861 4,002 4,303 3,910 4,208

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