Maryland’s Spring 2022 Turkey Harvest Sees 8 Percent Increase

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posted on June 1, 2022
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Maryland hunters harvested 4,208 wild turkeys during the spring 2022 regular and junior turkey seasons, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported. This year’s harvest was eight percent higher than the 2021 harvest, and just two percent below the record harvest of 4,303 set in 2020.

“Although certain areas have experienced declines in turkey populations, some regions of the state now hold record-high numbers of turkeys,” Wildlife and Heritage Service director Paul Peditto said. “The growth of turkey populations in areas such as the Baltimore-Washington corridor provides hunters with exciting new opportunities to get afield where they might not have had success in the past.”

The percentage of juvenile turkeys or “jakes” reported in the harvest was 24 percent, the highest level since 2011. The increase can be attributed to the Brood X cicada emergence in the summer of 2021 that provided abundant food for newly-hatched turkeys and increased survival of the young birds.

Turkey populations in the central region of the state especially benefited from last summer’s high reproduction. Five counties in the region posted record harvests: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s. But counties further 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.

Youth hunters kicked off the spring turkey season statewide on April 16 with the Junior Turkey Hunt. An additional junior hunting opportunity occurred on April 17 in select counties. In total, junior hunters harvested 286 wild turkeys, accounting for about seven percent of the total spring harvest.

Total harvests by county are below:

County

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Allegany

250

278

286

266

282

Anne Arundel

49

74

81

64

85

Baltimore

55

56

65

53

82

Calvert

76

68

82

58

72

Caroline

135

152

180

149

168

Carroll

103

73

93

104

94

Cecil

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’s

76

105

109

99

115

Queen Anne’s

115

145

144

120

144

Somerset

145

129

171

180

176

St. Mary’s

191

188

226

187

204

Talbot

80

87

95

80

84

Washington

459

414

439

345

400

Wicomico

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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