2023 Massachusetts Hunting Season
Are you ready for the 2023 Massachusetts hunting season? Whether you are a seasoned hunter or a beginner, Massachusetts has a lot to offer you. You can hunt a variety of game animals, from deer and turkey to pheasant and grouse, in different types of terrain. You can also choose your preferred hunting method, such as archery, shotgun, or primitive firearms.
In this article, we will give you everything you need to know about the 2023 Massachusetts hunting season. We will cover the important dates, bag limits, and license requirements for each game species. We will also give you some tips on how to hunt successfully in Massachusetts.
MA Hunting Season 2023 | Important Dates
The 2023 Massachusetts hunting season has different dates for different game species and hunting methods.
Here are some of the key dates to remember: (Some dates are crossed out as they have already passed at the time of posting this article)
|October 2-November 25, 2023||Archery Deer Season (Zones 10-14)|
|October 16-November 25, 2023||Archery Deer Season (Zones 1-9)|
|November 27-December 9, 2023||Shotgun Deer Season|
|December 11-December 30, 2023||Primitive Firearms Deer Season|
Mass Hunting Season 2023 Bag Limits
The bag limits for each game species vary depending on the hunting method and the zone.
Here are the bag limits for some of the most popular game species in Massachusetts:
|Species||Daily Bag Limit||Possession Limit|
|Whitetail Deer||2 antlered deer per season + antlerless deer by permit||2 antlered deer per season + antlerless deer by permit|
|Wild Turkey||1 turkey per season||1 turkey per season|
|Black Bear||1 bear per season||1 bear per season|
|Pheasant||2 roosters per day||4 roosters in possession|
|Quail||4 birds per day||8 birds in possession|
|Ruffed Grouse||3 birds per day||6 birds in possession|
What do you need for the hunting season in MA 2023?
To hunt legally in Massachusetts, you need a valid hunting license. You can buy a hunting license online or at any authorized license vendor. The license fee depends on your age and residency status. In addition to a hunting license, you may also need a permit for certain game species, such as antlerless deer, wild turkey, and black bear. You can buy a permit online or at any authorized license vendor. The permit fee depends on the game species and the season.
Mass Hunting Season 2023 License and Fee’s
|License||Purpose||Price||Purchase Location||Online Link|
|Hunting License||Required for hunting any game species in Massachusetts. Includes 2 antlered deer tags valid statewide.||$29.50 for residents, $100 for non-residents (7-day), plus $5 Wildlands Conservation Stamp||MassFishHunt website, authorized license vendors, or MassWildlife offices||MassFishHunt|
|Minor Resident Hunting||For ages 15-17. Includes 2 antlered deer tags valid statewide.||$6.50 for residents||MassFishHunt website, authorized license vendors, or MassWildlife offices||MassFishHunt|
|Senior Resident Hunting||For ages 65-69. Includes 2 antlered deer tags valid statewide.||$14.75 for residents||MassFishHunt website, authorized license vendors, or MassWildlife offices||MassFishHunt|
|Paraplegic Resident/Non-resident Hunting||For Paraplegic hunters, Includes 2 antlered deer tags valid statewide.||FREE||MassFishHunt website, authorized license vendors, or MassWildlife offices||MassFishHunt|
|Non-resident (Big Game)||For ages 15 and over. Includes 2 antlered deer tags valid statewide.||$101.50 for non residents||MassFishHunt website or authorized license vendors||MassFishHunt|
|Non-resident (Small Game)||For ages 15 and over.||$67.50||MassFishHunt website or authorized license vendors||MassFishHunt|
|Resident/Non-Resident Commercial Shooting Preserve||1 day|
$7.00 – Resident
$11.00 – Non-Resident
|MassFishHunt website or authorized license vendors||MassFishHunt|
2023 Mass Hunting Season Game Specific Permit/Stamp Additional Fee’s
|Permit/Stamp||Purpose||Price||Purchase Location||Online Link|
|Antlerless Deer Permit||Required for hunting antlerless deer in designated zones.||$5 per permit. Application fee is $5.||MassFishHunt website or authorized license vendors||MassFishHunt|
|Wild Turkey Permit||Required for hunting wild turkey in any season.||$5 per permit, plus $5 Wild Turkey Stamp||MassFishHunt website or authorized license vendors||MassFishHunt|
|Black Bear Permit||Required for hunting black bear in any season.||$5 per permit||MassFishHunt website or authorized license vendors||MassFishHunt|
|Pheasant Stamp||Required for hunting pheasant in designated areas.||$5 per stamp||MassFishHunt website or authorized license vendors||MassFishHunt|
|Quail Stamp||Required for hunting quail in designated areas.||$5 per stamp||MassFishHunt website or authorized license vendors||MassFishHunt|
|Ruffed Grouse Stamp||Not required, but voluntary contribution to support ruffed grouse habitat management.||$5 per stamp||MassFishHunt website or authorized license vendors||MassFishHunt|
Mass Hunting Zones
Massachusetts is divided into 15 wildlife management zones for hunting purposes. These zones are used to manage the state’s wildlife populations and to provide hunters with a variety of hunting opportunities.
For in depth look of the Massachusetts Hunting Zones please check out our dedicated PAGE HERE
Highlight Reel of Game Species for the 2023 Massachusetts Hunting Season
Massachusetts has a diverse wildlife population that offers hunters many opportunities. Here are some of the most popular game species to hunt in Massachusetts:
Deer: Deer are the most sought-after game animal in Massachusetts. There are plenty of deer in every part of the state. You can hunt deer with archery, shotgun, or primitive firearms.
Wild Turkey: Wild turkey are another favorite game animal in Massachusetts. The wild turkey population has recovered remarkably in recent years, and now there are wild turkeys in every county in the state. You can hunt wild turkey with archery, shotgun, or primitive firearms.
Black Bear: Black bear are the largest game animal in Massachusetts. Black bear are mainly found in the western and central parts of the state. You can hunt black bear with archery, shotgun, or primitive firearms.
Pheasant: Pheasant are a non-native game animal that were introduced to Massachusetts in the early 1900s. Pheasant are found in the agricultural areas of the state. You can hunt pheasant with shotguns and dogs.
Quail: Quail are another non-native game animal that were introduced to Massachusetts in the early 1900s. Quail are found in the southern and southeastern parts of the state. You can hunt quail with shotguns and dogs.
Ruffed Grouse: Ruffed grouse are a native game animal that are found throughout Massachusetts. Ruffed grouse are also known as partridge or woodcock. You can hunt ruffed grouse with shotguns or flushing dogs. Tips for a Successful Hunt
Hunting is an exciting and rewarding activity, but it also requires preparation and skill.
A Few Tips to Make Your Hunt Smooth
- Knowledge is Power: Understand your prey – its habits, habitats, and patterns.
- Gear Up: Get your license, permits, and gear sorted. Dress for the weather and the terrain.
- Safety First: Know your gun safety rules. Always be sure of your target before you shoot.
- Respect is Key: Respect the land, the game, and other hunters. Follow regulations, be ethical, and leave no trace.
Are you reading for the 2023 MA Hunting Season?
PLEASE NOTE: For the most up to date information on the 2023 Massachusetts Hunting Season and future seasons please visit mass.gov/hunting