Deer, turkey hunting season begins in western Massachusetts

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Video turkey season massachusetts

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Monday is the official start to the fall deer and turkey hunting season.

Deer Season – Archery: October 16 – November 25 in Zones 1-9

To hunt white-tailed deer in Massachusetts, hunters must have the appropriate license, permits, and stamps through the MassFishHunt.

This season is specifically archery only, however, archery equipment can be used during all deer hunting seasons. Bows must have a draw weight of at least 40 pounds at 28 inches or at peak draw. Crossbows can be used by certain disabled hunters with a permit only. Arrows must have a sharpened steel blade no less than 7/8 inches and width. Poisoned arrows, explosive tips, hairbows, and bows drawn by mechanical means are not allowed.

Hunters are limited to two antlered deer but there is no limit on antlerless deer. However, hunters are required to have an antlerless deer permit. MassWildlife says Zones 3, 7, 9, and 12 are already sold out for the season. You can learn how to acquire a doe deer permit on the Mass.gov website.

Hunters are not allowed to use the following while hunting:

  • Rifles and handguns
  • Electronic calls, dogs, and decoys
  • Baiting an area to attract deer to a specific location where hunters are attempting to take them. Areas baited up to 10 days before the season opening are considered prohibited.
  • It is unlawful to leave wounded or dead game animals in the field intentionally or knowingly. Hunters must retrieve and use all game unless the animal is unfit for consumption.

The shotgun season runs from November 27 to December 9 and the primitive firearm season runs from December 11 to December 30.

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Wild Turkey Season: October 16 – November 25 in Zones 1-9

To hunt wild turkeys in Massachusetts, you must have the appropriate license and permits. Massachusetts residents must have a hunting license, a turkey permit, and safety stickers. Non-residents must have a big game license, a turkey permit, and safety stickers.

Hunters are limited to one turkey of either sex during the fall season. Hunters can use shotguns, muzzleloading shotguns, and archery equipment from October 16 to October 28. From October 30 to November 25, archery is only permitted.

A blaze orange cap is required when hunting for wild turkeys during the fall season in Wildlife Management Zones stocked with pheasants or quail.

A licensed turkey hunter is allowed to call turkeys for another hunter, however, the caller cannot carry a firearm or archery equipment if they have already met their hunting limit for the season.

It is illegal to hunt with the following:

  • Electronic calls
  • Dogs
  • Bait
  • Drive/herd turkeys
  • Live decoys
  • It is unlawful to leave wounded or dead game animals in the field intentionally or knowingly. Hunters must retrieve and use all game unless the animal is unfit for consumption.

In both deer and turkey hunting seasons, hunting is not allowed on Sundays.

Wildlife Management Zone (WMZ) Map

hunting zones Masswildlife Deer, turkey hunting season begins in western Massachusetts
Credit: Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

There are also several other hunting seasons that have already begin this month in western Massachusetts:

  • Pheasant: October 14 – December 30 in Zones 1-14
  • Ruffed Grouse: October 14 – November 25 in Zones 1-14
  • Cottontail Rabbit: October 14 – February 29 in Zones 1-12
  • Snowshoe Hare: October 14 – February 29 in Zones 1-14
  • Gray Squirrel: September 5 – February 29 in Zones 1-14
  • Coyote: October 14 – March 8 in Zones 1-14
  • Opossum: October 2 – January 31 in Zones 1-14
  • Raccoon: October 2 – January 31 in Zones 1-14
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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 >>