Hunting Information

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Hunting Regulations & Information

The Conservation Commission would like to advise hunters to obtain the appropriate licenses and adhere to all laws and regulations regarding hunting. There is no hunting permitted within 500 feet of any building or dwelling or within 150 feet of any bikeway or paved road. Hunters should follow posted signs regarding hunting as well. Tree stands may not be built on town-owned land. According to the town by-laws:

ARTICLE XXVI – Hunting

SECTION 1. Hunting of any type, possession of or discharge of any destructive weapon or firearm, or setting of traps or snares is to be prohibited in the Veteran’s Memorial Town Forest located on School Street in the Town of Pembroke.

SECTION 2. Hunting of any type, possession of or discharge of any destructive weapon or firearm, or setting of traps or snares is to be prohibited in the J.J. Shepherd Memorial Town Forest located on Mattakeeset Street in the Town of Pembroke.

In addition to these properties, there are several properties controlled by land trusts and other nonprofits who may prohibit hunting on lands they control. They may impose their own rules and restrictions. You should contact the group for information about their particular hunting policies.

Members of the public utilizing conservation lands or any wooded area in town for other forms of recreation should be aware that hunters may be sharing the woods with you and your pets. Please schedule your walks, dress accordingly, and always be aware of your surroundings.

Hunting laws and regulations, licensing locations, schedule of the hunting seasons and other related information can be found on the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife website.

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Illegal hunting activity shall be reported to the Massachusetts Environmental Police at 800-632-8075.

Hunting Prohibitions

  • Report all violations to the Massachusetts Environmental Police (800) 632-8075.
  • Hunting, trapping or fishing for any birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, or amphibians not listed in the Guide to Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping, or in the Massachusetts Migratory Game Bird Regulations.
  • Airbows, arrow guns or any firearms or other devices which project or propel an arrow, dart or bolt by gunpowder, compressed air, or by any other means except by the flexing and release of a bow string.
  • Poisoned arrows, or explosive tips, including firearms cartridges affixed to the end of arrows in such a way as they discharge upon impact with the target, or bows drawn by mechanical means, except for permitted crossbows.
  • Artificial lights for hunting any bird or mammal except raccoon and opossum.
  • Baiting migratory game birds, wild turkey, bear, or deer during or within 10 days of the start of their specific hunting seasons. See the Guide to Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping for more details.
  • Careless or negligent use of firearms.
  • Choke traps, leghold traps, or nets for taking any bird or mammal.
  • Discharge of any firearm or release of any arrow upon or across any state or hard-surfaced highway, or within 150 feet of any such highway.
  • Possession of a loaded firearm, discharge of a firearm, or hunting on the land of another within 500 feet of any dwelling or building in use, unless permitted by the owner or occupant. Click here for additional gun laws.
  • Electronic calls for hunting migratory game birds, wild turkey, or deer.
  • Hunting with a ferret or possessing a non-vaccinated/unneutered ferrets/ fitches without a permit.
  • Possession of rifles and handguns on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant and quail season.
  • Hunter harassment is illegal.
  • Hunting on posted land without permission.
  • Hunting on Sunday.
  • Importation, transportation, liberation or possession of any live wild vertebrate protected under MGL Ch. 131 without a permit.
  • Hunting, target shooting, or possession of a firearm, bow and arrow or other weapon when under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
  • Loaded shotgun or rifle in or on any motor vehicle, recreational vehicle (including snowmobiles), aircraft or motor boat, except as stated in the Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations.
  • Machine guns, fully-automatic firearms, any tracer or incendiary ammunition.
  • Motor vehicles, off-highway vehicles (including snowmobiles), and/or aircraft for hunting any bird or mammal.
  • Possession of any Massachusetts Endangered Species Act-listed and/or wildlife, dead or alive, except by permit.
  • During the shotgun deer season, possession of rifles, handguns, or dogs in any woodland or field, or use of same on any game, is prohibited. The use of dogs is lawful for hunting waterfowl on coastal waters.
  • Hunting bear, deer, bobcat, or turkey with dogs, or training dogs on those species.
  • Power or sailboats for hunting birds except when beached or tied to a blind or for retrieving injured birds.
  • Removal of any mammal from walls, or holes in trees, ground, or logs.
  • Rifles chambered to take ammunition larger than .22 caliber long rifle, and pistols and revolvers chambered to take ammunition larger than .38 caliber, between the hours of 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise.
  • Sale of all species of mammals and birds or parts thereof, except unprocessed heads & hides to a licensed fur buyer or taxidermist, and shinbones & hooves of deer to anyone.
  • No species other than deer, coyote, and waterfowl/coot may be hunted with shot larger than #1 birdshot (.16” pellet diameter).
  • No possession of a shotgun shell loaded with a slug, sabot, single ball, buckshot (any size), except during the open seasons when deer may be hunted with a shotgun, or on a skeet, trap, or target range between sunrise and sunset.
  • Lettered bird shot may only be used for coyote hunting (.17 to .23” pellet diameter) and waterfowl/coot hunting (.17 to .19” pellet diameter); otherwise any lettered bird shot may only be possessed on a skeet, trap, or target range between sunrise and sunset. See migratory game bird hunting regulations and coyote hunting webpage for details.
  • Swivel or pivot guns for hunting any bird.
  • Taking nests, destroying, or disturbing eggs or nests of birds.
  • Target shooting on Sunday except on one’s own property or on a recognized shooting range.
  • Traps for taking birds except under permit. All traps except cage or box traps and common mouse or rat traps are unlawful for the taking of fur-bearing mammals.
  • Vandalism or damage to property or livestock.
  • Furbearer Contests: Contests where participants are awarded prizes for harvesting coyote, bobcat, red fox, gray fox, weasels, mink, skunk, river otter, muskrat, beaver, fisher, raccoon, and opossum.
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Penalties: License revoked for one year in addition to other penalties; fines of up to $1,000, restitutions, and/or 1 year in jail. Careless and negligent use of firearms; fines of up to $500 and/or 6 months imprisonment and loss of license for 5 years.

For more information, please explore these links:

The 2022 Massachusetts Fishing & Hunting Guide is available to download here.

https://www.mass.gov/orgs/division-of-fisheries-and-wildlife

https://www.mass.gov/service-details/hunting-on-municipal-lands-in-massachusetts

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/general-hunting-regulations

https://wildlandstrust.org/pembroke

https://www.mass.gov/topics/hunting

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>