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Turkey Hunting in Maryland

Back to All State Reports
  • C
  • 33,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 118,000

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $24.50

    Annual hunting license.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $130

    Annual hunting license

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Sure enough, I've known a few of my turkey hunting buds to visit Maryland due to its proximity to the neighboring states of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Maryland has some birds. Still, our Turkey Hunting Nation grade falls right there at a C, and just satisfactory at that. If anything, we might nudge it up to a C-plus.

And let's just remind everybody right now of Maryland's stellar waterfowl tradition. 

As trending kill numbers go, hunters took 3,123 Maryland turkeys in 2012. In 2015, it was 3,334 birds. In 2016, a total of 3,874 came home.

Pretty steady, and increasing ever slightly. 

Yes, Maryland’s turkey population (33,000 birds by 2017 estimates) is stable, but still low compared to surrounding states.

Historically, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources survey data indicates good production across the board in the summer of 2012, coupled with decent hatch estimates in 2011, and average growth the year before that.

In the handful of years since 2012, hatch estimates have been similar.

The downside: Public land is at a premium here, with the state agency holding title to but 111,000 acres spread throughout 47 Wildlife Management Areas.

There are several state forests, however, scattered across the state, and ranging in size from 1,800 to 66,000 acres. 

And cost for the visiting, out-of-town turkey hunter is pretty reasonable, comparatively speaking. Turkey hunting pressure is low compared to surrounding states. 

It's a place that's hard to figure out for a turkey hunter. If you know somebody who has birds, that's usually the ticket (true most anywhere, eh).

So where should you look?

The highest concentrations can be found on the east and west sides of the state, including the northern region near the Pennsylvania state line; populations in the central part of the state are said to be “stable,” while the southern third of Maryland is seeing varied, but overall increased production.

– M.D. Johnson and Steve Hickoff

Fun Fact: Maryland offered a short 3-day winter turkey season this past January

Turkey Hunting in Maryland (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Maryland Turkey Hunting Regulations

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.