Hunters break hundred mark during record turkey season
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.