ANNAPOLIS — Spring turkey season success continues to grow in Maryland and Cecil County according to the Department of Natural Resources.
In fact, DNR pointed to Cecil County as a growth area for the sport, with its harvest considered record-breaking due to its previously low populations.
Hunters in Cecil County harvested 94 of the 4,303 turkeys bagged in April. That’s an increase from 89 the previous spring. Washington, Garrett, Charles and Frederick counties posted the highest numbers with Washington leading at 439 birds.
A three-day winter hunt, only added in 2015, saw 3 turkeys harvested locally of the 82 taken statewide in January.
Turkey hunting only returned to Cecil County after wild turkeys were relocated here from southern Maryland in 2005 in an effort to re-establish the population. Back then the Free State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation labeled Cecil County as having the lowest turkey population in Maryland.
“This year’s harvest suggests that many hunters took advantage of abundant turkey populations in much of the state,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said.
The percentage of juvenile turkeys or “jakes” reported in the harvest was at its highest level since the 2012 spring season, representing 24% of the hunt. This supports other DNR survey data showing that the summer of 2019 was an excellent year for turkey production and boosted populations significantly.