2006 Spring Turkey Harvest

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Maryland’s turkey hunters reported taking 3,008 wild turkeys during the 2006 spring turkey season according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service (WHS). The total harvest fell 4 percent below the 2005 record-high harvest of 3,136.

"Turkey populations are in excellent shape and continue to provide quality hunting opportunities across the State," said Paul Peditto, Director, Wildlife and Heritage Service. "This year’s harvest is consistent with the average harvest for the last seven years."

Annual surveys conducted by WHS indicated that reproductive success was below average across Maryland in the summer of 2005. Over 83 percent of this year’s harvest included adult gobblers. In a typical year, adults make up about 70 percent of the kill.

According to WHS Biologist Bob Long, "While there are fewer young turkeys (jakes) in the current population, 2-year-old turkeys produced during the record-high reproduction of 2004 are plentiful. These likely comprised a large portion of the harvest."

Maryland’s junior hunters experienced good weather during the youth hunt that took place on April 15, resulting in a harvest of 168 turkeys. This 1-day hunt allows hunters ages 16 and younger to hunt with an unarmed adult before the regular season opens when hunter pressure is minimal and gobbling activity is at its peak.

As in the past, a large portion of the harvest (44 percent) occurred during the first week. While most hunters took their birds on private land, 18 percent were taken on Maryland’s public hunting areas.

The western mountain counties of Garrett (342), Washington (340), and Allegany (331) led the state in harvest this spring. Dorchester (265), Worcester (253), Charles (227), and Somerset (204) counties also supported respectable harvests, demonstrating that high-quality turkey hunting can be found in most regions of the State. All-time high harvests in counties such as Talbot, Harford, Baltimore, Caroline, and Kent suggest that populations continue to grow and expand in some areas, providing additional recreational opportunities for Maryland’s sportsmen and women.

Maryland’s reported wild turkey harvest, 2000-2006.

County

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Allegany

331

364

336

332

337

328

331

Anne Arundel

29

51

67

59

75

70

65

Baltimore

10

11

14

20

21

24

28

Calvert

105

120

94

110

64

53

59

Caroline

29

44

42

50

47

66

75

Carroll

5

19

17

13

10

28

24

Cecil

17

25

13

8

10

17

10

Charles

138

190

223

198

183

213

227

Dorchester

297

334

322

325

289

332

265

Frederick

134

156

159

171

136

163

148

Garrett

533

567

490

431

325

365

342

Harford

26

27

26

37

44

47

59

Howard

1

3

3

2

5

3

7

Kent

20

29

41

39

36

44

50

Montgomery

52

45

44

40

31

56

56

Prince George's

68

84

102

92

78

83

95

Queen Anne's

39

51

68

60

59

80

82

St. Mary's

21

36

45

43

61

96

62

Somerset

164

165

201

230

169

215

204

Talbot

38

42

46

62

42

49

80

Washington

240

278

296

325

305

340

322

Wicomico

184

168

192

169

164

180

164

Worcester

225

266

286

304

269

284

253

     State

2706

3075

3127

3120

2760

3136

3008