Hunters break hun­dred mark dur­ing record turkey sea­son

Record Observer - - Sports -

Hunters re­ported tak­ing 109 wild tur­keys dur­ing Mary­land’s third-an­nual win­ter turkey hunt­ing sea­son, which was open statewide Jan. 19-21.

The har­vest was sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the 61 birds taken last win­ter, which was ham­pered by se­vere weather, and one more than the in­au­gu­ral 2015 sea­son.

“We are glad to see hunters tak­ing ad­van­tage of this new op­por­tu­nity,” said Wildlife and Her­itage Ser­vice Direc­tor Paul Peditto. “Our goal is to give more hunters the chance to ben­e­fit from the great wildlife man­age­ment suc­cess story that led to the restora­tion of this re­mark­able species.”

The win­ter turkey sea­son was es­tab­lished in 2015 to pro­vide hunters an ad­di­tional hunt­ing op­por­tu­nity while min­i­miz­ing con­flicts with other sea­sons.

Turkey pop­u­la­tions were min­i­mal in the state un­til an ex­ten­sive Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources pro­gram, which trapped and re­lo­cated wild flocks of tur­keys, suc­ceeded in es­tab­lish­ing pop­u­la­tions in ev­ery county.

Tur­keys were har­vested in 22 coun­ties this win­ter with Dorch­ester (14), Wash­ing­ton (11), and Charles (10) coun­ties re­port­ing the high­est fig­ures. Two tur­keys were dis­patched in Caro­line County, three in Kent, five in Queen Anne’s, and one in Tal­bot.

Adult males com­prised about 49 per­cent of the har­vest with the rest a com­bi­na­tion of fe­male and ju­ve­nile birds. Ninety per­cent were taken with a shot­gun with oth­ers har vested with a cross­bow or ver­ti­cal bow.

*** Hunter safety A five-ses­sion Hunter Safety Ed­u­ca­tion Class is sched­uled for the fol­low­ing dates: Feb. 27, March 1, 6, 8 (6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and Satur­day, March 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All ses­sions will be held at the Then­dara 4-H Cen­ter, 6275 Lord’s Cross­ing Road near Hur­lock. Ages 12 and un­der must be ac­com­pa­nied by an adult par­ent or guardian. The class is open to ev­ery­one and there is no fee to take the course. If you have a dis­abil­ity that re­quires spe­cial as­sis­tance, please con­tact Con­rad Arnold at 410-330-5967 prior to the be­gin­ning date.

The class will meet re­quire­ments of the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice for an in­di­vid­ual to be el­i­gi­ble to ob­tain a Mary­land Hunt­ing Li­cense. To suc­cess­fully com­plete the course, par­tic­i­pants must at­tend all five class ses­sions, pass a writ­ten and prac­ti­cal exam, and com­plete live-fir­ing ex­er­cises. Class con­tent will in­clude wildlife man­age­ment, hunter ethics, ba­sic firearms safety, first aid and sur­vival, and more. Pr­ereg­is­tra­tion is re­quired on­line at http://reg­is­ter-ed.com/events/ view/96078 *** Flea mar­ket prices This year’s Mary­land Salt­wa­ter Sport­fish­er­men As­so­ci­a­tion Dorch­ester Chap­ter flea mar­ket is sched­uled for Satur­day, Feb.

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