Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service (WHS) reminds hunters that Marylands fall turkey season will open Saturday, Oct 29 through Saturday, Nov 5. The fall season is open in Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties with a bag limit of 1 turkey.
Fall turkey hunting has a rich tradition in western Maryland, said WHS Director Paul A. Peditto. Whether hunters are hoping to take home a Thanksgiving bird or simply want to spend time with friends and family, the fall turkey season is a great opportunity for Marylands sportsmen and women.
Wild turkeys are abundant in the western counties and hunters should have plenty of opportunity to harvest a turkey. Field surveys conducted by DNR field staff suggest that wild turkey reproductive success was near average this past summer. Mast surveys conducted in August and September by DNR personnel show that acorn production in the western counties was generally spotty and white oak mast production was particularly poor. Typically, fall harvest varies greatly from year to year depending on reproduction, weather, mast crops, and hunter participation. Reproductive success is probably the most important; it influences the number of turkeys in the field, which in turn affects hunter success and total fall harvests. Last fall, following a record level of poult production, 207 turkeys were harvested during the one-week season.
Although florescent orange is not required for turkey hunters, hunters should always take safety precautions. Wearing an orange hat while moving and tying an orange ribbon around a nearby tree at calling locations are highly recommended. Also, always positively identify your target and never stalk or sneak up on turkey sounds; it may be another hunter.
Hunters should note that western Maryland provides excellent public land opportunities for fall turkey hunters. The region hosts more than 150,000 acres of State Forests and Wildlife Management Areas, giving public land hunters plenty of room to explore while pursuing this magnificent game bird.
Interested hunters should consult DNRs website, http://www.dnr.state.md.us, or the Guide to Hunting and Trapping in Maryland, 2005-2006 (http://www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide/index.asp) for more information on public lands opportunities and fall turkey regulations.