Whether you're an experienced hunter or just starting out, Massachusetts is a good place for big game hunting, and it has a variety of hunting seasons to explore. In this comprehensive guide, we'll provide you with all the information you need to know about the hunting seasons in Massachusetts, including the dates, fees, and regulations in 2024.

We'll guide you through the essential details, so you can plan your next adventure and make the most of your time in the great outdoors. With the right knowledge and preparation, you'll be able to well prepare yourself for tracking game through the changing Massachusetts hunting seasons.

So, grab your hunting boots, check your gear, and let's get started on your hunting journey!

Mass Deer Hunting Season

Massachusetts wildlife hunting zones map

Seasons Dates Bag Limit Possession Limit Annual Limit
Youth Deer Hunt Day Sept. 28, 2024 1 deer (antlered or antlerless) 1 deer (antlered or antlerless)
Archery Zones 1–14: Oct. 7 – Nov. 30, 2024 / Zone 1-12: up to 2 deer

Zone 13-14: up to 4 deer

Paraplegic Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, 2024 /
Shotgun Dec. 2 – Dec. 14, 2024 /
Primitive Firearms Dec. 16 – Dec. 31, 2024 /

Mass Bear Hunting Season

Zones Dates Bag Limit Possession Limit Annual Limit
Zones 1–14 First season: Sept. 3 – Sept. 21, 2024 1 1 1
Second season: Nov. 4 – Nov. 23, 2024 1 1 1
Shotgun season: Dec. 2 – Dec. 14, 2024 1 1 1

Mass Turkey Hunting Season

Species Zones Dates Bag Limit
Wild Turkey Youth Hunt: Zones 1- 13 Apr.27, 2024 2
Spring: Zones 1-13 Apr.29 - May.25, 2024 2
Fall: Zones 1- -13 Oct.7 - NOV. 30, 2024 1

Mass Bird Hunting Season

Species Zones Dates Bag Limit Possession Limit Annual Limit
Crow Zones 1–14 Jan. 1 - April 10, 2024

July 1, 2024 - April 10, 2025 (M, F, Sat only)

/ / /
Pheasant Youth Hunt Sept.7 14, 21, and Oct.5,12,2024 2 4 No limit
Zones 1-14 Oct.19 - Dec.31, 2024 2 4 No limit
Quail Zones 11-14 Oct.19 - Dec.31, 2024 4 8 No limit
Ruffed Grouse Zones 1-14 Oct.19 - Nov.30, 2024 3 6 15

Mass Duck Hunting Season

Zones Dates Bag Limit Possession Limit
Berkshire Oct. 9 – Nov. 25 6 18
Dec. 11 – Dec. 30
Central Oct. 14 – Nov. 25 6 18
Dec. 12 – Jan. 6
Coastal Oct. 14 – Oct. 21 6 18
Nov. 28 – Jan. 27

Mass Furbearer Hunting Season

Species Zones Dates Bag Limit Possession Limit Annual Limit
Bobcat Zones 1-8 Jan. 1-Mar.8, 2024 and Dec.20, 2024- Mar.8, 2025 / / /
Coyote Zones 1-14 Jan.1-Mar.8, 2024 and Oct. 19, 2024- Mar.8, 2025 / / /
Fox (red or gray) Zones 1-14 Jan. 1-Feb.29, 2024 and Nov.1, 2024-Feb.28, 2025 / / /
Opossum Zones 1-14 Jan.1-Jan.31, 2024 and Oct.1, 2024 -Jan.31, 2025 / / /
Raccoon Zones 1-14 Jan.1-Jan.31, 2024 and Oct.1, 2024- Jan.31, 2025 3 / /

Furbearer Trapping Seasons

Beaver Jan. 1 – April 15, 2024 and Nov. 1, 2024 – April 15, 2025
Bobcat, Coyote1, Fox1, Weasel Nov. 1 – Nov. 30, 2024
Fisher Nov. 1 – Nov. 22, 2024
Mink, River Otter Nov. 1 – Dec. 15, 2024
Muskrat, Opossum, Raccoon, Skunk Jan. 1 – Feb. 29, 2024 and Nov. 1, 2024 – Feb. 28, 2025

Mass Small Games Hunting Season

Species Zones   Dates Bag Limit Possession Limit Annual Limit
Cottontail Rabbit Zones 1-14 Jan. 1, 2024- Feb.29, 2024 5 10 No Limit
Oct.19, 2024-Feb.28, 2025
Snowshoe Hare Zones 1-14 Jan. 1, 2024-Feb.29, 2024 2 4 No Limit
Oct.19, 2024- Feb.28, 2025
Gray Squirrel Zones 1-14 Jan.1, 2024 -Feb.29, 2024 5 10 No Limit
Sept.3, 2024- Feb.28, 2025

Massachusetts Hunting License

Who will need a license to hunt in Massachusetts?

If you're 15 or older, you'll need a hunting license in Massachusetts. The minimum age for hunting is 12, and if you're between 12 and 14, you can hunt with a licensed hunter who's at least 18 years old. You can only hunt with one minor per adult.

how to buy a license?

To get a license, you can either show proof of completing a government-issued Basic Hunter Education course or prove that you had a hunting or sporting license in another state before January 1, 2007.

License Type Price
Resident Hunting $33.00
Resident Minor Hunting (Age 15–17) $6.50
Resident Hunting (Age 65–69) $16.50
Resident/Non-resident Hunting, Paraplegic FREE
Non-resident (age 15 and over) Hunting, Big Game $105.00
Non-resident (age 15 and over) Hunting, Small Game $71.00
Resident Commercial Shooting Preserve (1-day) $8.00
Non-resident Commercial Shooting Preserve (1-day) $14.00

Massachusetts Hunting Regulations

If you are going to hunt in Massachusetts, there are some common rules that you should know to ensure a legal hunt.

  1. No hunting on Sunday.
  2. You need to have a specific permit to hunt games such as deer, bear, pheasant, or turkey. Permits are not transferable. You can only use the one you are issued.
  3. You need hunting stamps with your state hunting license, depending on the type of animal you want to hunt and the season, such as an Archery Stamp for deer hunting during archery deer season.
  4. For hunting deer, bears, and turkeys with archery bows (excluding crossbows), the minimum draw weight must be 40 pounds at 28 inches or at peak draw. Arrows used should have steel blades at least 7/8 inches wide, and expanding broadheads are allowed.
  5. Blaze orange clothing is required to enhance visibility for hunters during certain seasons: pheasant or quail, and waterfowl hunters on coastal waters.
  6. During the Primitive Firearms Season, all deer hunters must meet the 500 square inch blaze orange requirement.
  7. Dogs can be used to hunt waterfowl during the shotgun deer season and Youth Deer Hunt Day. However, they must be trained off-leash using pistols or revolvers with blank cartridges.
  8. You need to ensure you attach the paper tag from your permit or license to the animal you hunt immediately. The animal should remain intact (with basic preparation) until reporting.
  9. Non-Massachusetts residents require a special hunting license.
  10. Obtain written permission from the landowner first to use a tree stand.
  11. Rifles and handguns are prohibited during the youth deer hunt.
  12. It is illegal to abandon a wounded or dead animal without attempting retrieval and utilization.
  13. Electronic calls for hunting migratory game birds, wild turkeys, or deeris prohibited.

Conclusion

Massachusetts offers a diverse and thrilling experience for every hunter. We hope this guide has provided you with the knowledge and excitement to embark on your next adventure in mass hunting seasons.

Each season may have its requirements, remember to respect the land, honor the game, and follow the rules made for the Mass hunting seasons.

May your shots be true, your experiences unforgettable, and your connection to the wild continue to deepen.

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