Maryland's Fall Turkey Season Opens Oct. 30th

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Maryland's fall turkey season will open Saturday, October 30 and will continue through November 6, 2010. Fall turkey hunting is only permitted in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties with a bag limit of one turkey per hunter.

The western region's turkey population has been strong for the past few years and hunters should expect similar turkey numbers this fall. Surveys conducted this past summer by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) documented high numbers of turkeys in the region, despite slightly below-average reproductive success.

DNR surveys also show that acorn production is well above-average this year, particularly in Garrett and Allegany counties. Natural food sources can greatly affect turkey behavior and movements.

"When acorns are abundant, turkeys may be more difficult to locate because they do not need to travel as much in search of food or use open fields as often," said DNR's Wild Turkey Biologist Bob Long. "Experienced hunters know that it pays to scout, looking for an area where turkeys forage regularly."

Turkey hunters that participate in both the fall and spring seasons should note that a bag limit change has been implemented. Hunters are still limited to one turkey of either sex in the fall. However, a turkey taken in the fall will not be counted towards the spring bag limit as it did in the past.

"With the number of fall turkey hunters we currently have, this change should have minimal impacts on the turkey population in the western counties," said Long.

Although fluorescent orange is not required for turkey hunters, DNR recommends that hunters wear a fluorescent orange hat while moving and tie an orange ribbon around a nearby tree at calling locations. Hunters are reminded to always be sure of your target and beyond and never stalk or sneak up on turkey sounds as it may be another hunter.

Successful hunters must immediately place a field tag on the turkey and complete the Maryland Big Game Harvest Record. Hunters registering a turkey will receive a confirmation number that must also be recorded on the hunter’s Big Game Harvest Record.

Successful hunters must register their turkey online at www.gamecheck.dnr.state.md.us or by calling 1-888-800-0121.

A more complete version of the turkey hunting regulations and registration procedures can be found in the 2010-2011 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping issued with each hunting license or online at www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide.