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Wild Turkey Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Maryland Hunting

General Turkey Hunting Rules

  • A hunter must carry personal photo identification (such as a driver’s license) or a secondary form of positive identification while hunting.
  • Written permission is required to hunt on private land.
  • A hunting license is required to hunt wild turkeys (with exceptions). See Hunting Licenses, Stamps and Permits (Hunting Licenses) for Armed Forces information and hunting license costs, exceptions, purchasing, requirements and types.
  • There are tagging and checking requirements for all turkeys harvested. See Deer and Turkey Tagging and Checking for instructions (Deer & Turkey Tagging & Checking).
  • It is illegal to hunt turkeys with the aid of bait or over any baited area. Feed or bait placed for deer or other wildlife may be considered baiting if turkeys are being hunted. An area is considered by law to be baited for 10 days after the removal of the bait. Salt and mineral supplements are no longer considered as a source of bait for turkeys.
  • It is illegal to use recorded or electronically amplified calls, or use motorized or electronic turkey decoys.
  • Daylight fluorescent color clothing is not required for hunting turkeys. However, turkey hunters are encouraged to wear it as a precaution. Successful turkey hunters are also encouraged to put an orange ribbon on the turkey when carrying it out of the woods. See Hunting Safety Tips (Hunting Safety Tips) for a guide to courteous and safe turkey hunting.

Turkey Hunting Devices and Regulations

  • Shotguns cannot hold more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells must be plugged with a one-piece filler which cannot be removed from the loading end.
  • During the Junior Turkey Hunting Days, Spring Season and Winter Season, hunters may only use shotguns (loaded with #4 shot or smaller), crossbows, air guns that shoot arrows or bolts or vertical bows.
  • In the Fall Season, turkey hunters may only use air guns (that shoot arrows, bolts or bullets), crossbows, handguns, shotguns (loaded with #4 shot or smaller or a solid, single projectile), rifles or vertical bows.

Other Hunting Device Regulations

  • It is illegal to have a loaded air gun or firearm in, on or leaning against any vehicle. This includes ammunition in the magazine or a muzzleloader ready to fire.
  • It is unlawful to have a loaded crossbow in, on or leaning against a vehicle.
  • A cocked crossbow without a bolt or arrow in the firing position is considered to be unloaded.
  • It is against the law to shoot on, from or across any public road.