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Maryland Natural Resources Police Remind Hunters To Hunt Safe And Legal
ANNAPOLIS, MD– The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) suggest the following tips for a safer and more enjoyable spring bearded turkey hunting experience.
- Fluorescent orange is not required for hunting turkeys; however, turkey hunters are strongly encouraged to use it while hunting.
- Remember the rules for safe gun handling: Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, and always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
- Positively identify your target. The primary cause of turkey hunting accidents is hunters not identifying their targets properly.
- Never wear any red, white or blue clothes. These are the colors of the gobbler's head - the primary target of the turkey hunter.
- Anytime you use a turkey decoy, you are increasing the chance of an accident. If you use a decoy, place it so that you are not in danger of being shot.
- Do not attempt to stalk a turkey – the gobbler you’re stalking may actually be another hunter.
- If another hunter is working a bird, don’t spoil it by trying to call the bird to you or spooking the bird. This is considered unethical and good turkey hunters just don't do it.
In an effort to minimize violations, the NRP reminds hunters to be aware of the following regulations:
- Hunting hours are from one half-hour before sunrise to noon.
- Hunters must use shotguns and shot shells loaded with shot in sizes #4, 5 or 6.
- A person may not hunt or attempt to hunt wild turkey by the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area. Baiting involves placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed that would lure, attract or entice wild turkeys to, on or over any areas where hunters are attempting to hunt them.
- A person may not use recorded or electronically amplified calls or motorized decoys operated by batteries or any source of electricity.
- Turkeys must be field tagged with the tag attached to a leg before removing from place of kill. Also, hunters must fill in the harvest portion of their hunting license.
- After field tagging, a turkey kill must be reported using the internet check-in site, www.gamecheck.dnr.state.md.us, or calling the Maryland Big Game Registration phone line at 1-888-800-0121.
Maryland’s statewide spring turkey hunting season opened on Saturday, April 12 with a one-day Junior Turkey Hunt. The five-week regular turkey season will open on Friday, April 18 and continue through May 23.
NRP remind people that they can report illegal activity 24 hours a day by calling the Catch a Poacher Hotline at 1-800-635-6124. The anonymity of the caller is guaranteed.
Note: If you choose to use an acronym, please refer to the Maryland Natural Resources Police as “NRP”. Thank you.
April 16, 2008
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 280 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov