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Wild Turkey

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Licensing Requirements

A Regular Hunting License, Junior Hunting License, Senior Hunting License or Nonresident Hunting License is required to hunt turkeys. See Licenses, Stamps & Permits for descriptions, prices, and availability of licenses, stamps, and permits.

General Turkey Hunting Regulations

It is illegal to bait for spring and fall turkey hunting, use recorded or electronically amplified calls, or use motorized or electronic turkey decoys. An area is considered by law to be baited for 10 days after removal of the bait.

Note: Feed or bait placed for deer or other wildlife may be considered baiting if turkeys are being hunted.

Turkey Tagging and Checking Requirements

The complete instructions for deer and turkey tagging and checking are found on Tagging & Checking.


Spring Turkey Hunting

Hunting Hours

  • April 18 through May 9: one-half hour before sunrise to noon.
  • Junior Hunt and May 10 through May 23: one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Only bearded turkeys are legal in the spring season. Hunters may only use shotguns loaded with #4 shot or smaller, crossbows, or vertical bows. Dogs and organized drives may not be used.

Fall Turkey Hunting

Hunting Hours

One half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.

Fall turkey hunting is permitted in Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties only. Hunters may only use rifles, handguns, shotguns (loaded with #4 shot or smaller or a solid, single projectile), crossbows, or vertical bows.

Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Follow these suggestions to ensure a safe turkey hunting experience:

  • Leave the area if you suspect there’s another hunter already working the same bird.
  • Resist the urge to stalk turkey sounds. It is nearly impossible to sneak up on a turkey. It is also unethical and could lead to an accident.
  • Select a spot that is in open timber rather than thick brush: wearing camouflage clothing and eliminating movement is more critical to success than hiding in heavy cover.
  • Sit against a large stump, blow-down, tree trunk or rock that is wider than your shoulders and higher than your head when calling wild turkeys.
  • Never wear bright colors, especially not red, white, blue or black because these are the colors of a wild turkey gobbler. Watch out for red, white or blue on your socks, t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, hats, bandannas, etc. Wear dark undershirts and socks, and pants long enough to be tucked into boots.
  • Remain still and speak in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence to other hunters if necessary. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence.
  • Keep your hands and head camouflaged when calling.
  • Maintain a clear field of view when using a camouflage blind or netting.
  • Ensure your decoy is not visible when you are transporting it. Stash the decoy in your vest and make sure the head is not sticking out. If you harvest a wild turkey during your hunting trip, you also should cover the bird’s head and body when carrying it out from your hunting spot.
  • Put your gun’s safety on and approach the downed bird with your firearm pointed in a safe direction after firing. Never run with a firearm.

2013–2014 Wild Turkey Seasons & Limits




Bag Limit


Fall Season

Oct. 26–Nov. 2

Allegany, Garrett, & Washington counties

1 per day, 1 per season, either sex

Spring Season:

Junior Hunt Days

April 12

All counties

1 per day, 2 per season, bearded turkeys only

Turkeys taken during the Junior Hunt Days count toward the entire Spring Season Bag Limit.

Junior Hunt for hunters aged 16 or younger only. Must be accompanied by a licensed (or exempt) unarmed adult age 21 or older.

Sunday turkey hunting:

  • On private lands in Calvert, Caroline, Charles, and St. Mary’s county, junior hunters may hunt on Sunday, April 13.
  • On private and public lands in Dorchester county, junior hunters may hunt on Sunday, April 13.

April 13

Sunday hunting in certain locations ONLY (see NOTES)

Spring Season

April 18–May 23

All counties

1 per day, 2 per season, bearded turkeys only

Sunday turkey hunting:

  • On private lands in Calvert, Caroline, Charles, and St. Mary’s county, turkey season is open on all Sundays during the spring season.
  • On private and public lands in Dorchester county, turkey season is open on all Sundays during the spring season.
  • On private and public lands in Allegany and Garrett counties, turkey season is open on April 27 and May 4.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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