TURKEY HUNTING INFORMATION
- Wild Turkey Bag Limits: Annual limit of 2 wild turkeys total, only one turkey may be harvested per day; EITHER (a) 2 bearded birds in spring season (1 per day) with NO fall bird allowed, OR (b) 1 bearded bird in spring season, and 1 bird of either sex in fall season. No hunter may take 2 birds in the fall season.
ONLINE GAME CHECK AVAILABLE DURING SPRING TURKEY SEASON
CHECK YOUR TURKEY ONLINE -- Direct link to the MassFishHunt site where you must log in to start the online checking process.
Tutorials to Online Spring Turkey Check -- To preview the online checking process, turkey hunters have two options:
- Quick, text-only 12-step tutorial to the online spring turkey checking process.
- Detailed Online Spring Turkey Check Tutorial with screen shots that shows what you'll see online.
FAQs For Checking Your Turkey Online - This page will help answer questions you may have when checking your spring season turkey online and includes useful images for taking certain measurements required for online reporting.
How Old is That Turkey? -- A color poster showing how to tell an adult bird from a juvenile (jake) courtesy of the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS: Turkey hunters can check their turkey harvest online this spring season. Here are some important reminders regarding turkey tagging and online game checking:
- As in the past, you must tag your bird with your permit immediately after harvesting it.
- Within 48 hours of harvest and before the bird is processed for food or for taxidermy, you must check your bird on the MassFishHunt site.
- After submitting your report, turkey hunters must write the MassFishHunt assigned confirmation number on the turkey tag that is on the bird. (The confirmation number is the official seal.)
- The tag with confirmation number must remain on the bird until it is processed for food or for taxidermy.
Turkey hunters still have the option of bringing their bird to a
traditional game check station. Updated
list of game check stations.
TURKEY SEASON DATES
Spring turkey hunting season opens in Zones 1-13 from April 29 - May 25, 2013.
Youth Turkey Hunt Date - April 27, 2013 Only youths 12-17 years of age who successfully completed the Youth Turkey Hunt Program may hunt Wild Turkeys on the special Youth Hunt Day. The daily bag limit for this hunt is 1 bird/day and the bird must be checked in either on line or at a traditional check station. All other turkey hunting regulations apply to young turkey hunters. More information on the Youth Turkey Hunt.
Fall turkey hunting season opens in Zones 1-13 from October 21 - November 2, 2013.
Permissible shot sizes for wild turkey hunting have been expanded to include #7 shot. Formerly, shot sizes were limited to #4 - #6 for wild turkey hunting. Now it is #4-#7. More details.
Turkey Permit Required -- Hunters may purchase and print their turkey permit at the same time they buy and print their hunting license. If you already purchased your hunting/sporting license, go to MassFishHunt to purchase and print your permit either at your computer or visit a license vendor. Applications are no longer used.
Official Safety Stickers Required -- These stickers must be adhered to a firearm such that it is visible to the hunter when sighting down the barrel (typically placed on the tang). If new or replacement sticker is needed send a self-addressed stamped envelope to any District office or the Field Headquarters requesting a sticker. You can also pick one up at the offices. Several stickers are on one sheet, but you only need one on the gun. The others can be used when the first one falls off or share them with your hunting buddies.
More Turkey Hunting Regulations (External link)
Turkey Hunting on Cape Cod National Seashore -- The 2013 National Seashore turkey hunting season will run the first three weeks of the Massachusetts 4-week turkey season, from April 29 - May 18, 2013.
A National Seashore turkey hunting permit will be required at no cost in addition to a valid MA hunting/sporting license and MA turkey permit.
- National Seashore turkey hunting permits will be issued through a lottery system this year and each permit will be valid for one week. Hunters must obtain a valid 2013 Massachusetts hunting license and MA turkey permit prior to entering the National Seashore turkey hunting permit lottery.
- To enter the spring turkey hunt lottery, a National Seashore turkey hunting permit application may be obtained on the Cape Cod National Seashore website at www.nps.gov/caco.
- Applications are also available Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM at Cape Cod National Seashore Headquarters, located at 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet.
- National Seashore Turkey Hunt Permit applications must be received by March 29, 2013.
For more information about the Cape Cod National Seashore spring turkey
hunt call Craig Thatcher, North District Ranger at 508-487-2100, ext.
0910, or check the park's website at, www.nps.gov/caco.
Turkey Hunting in Massachusetts
Wild turkeys are prized gamebirds and have responded remarkably well to recent restoration and management programs. They have shown considerable adaptability to widely different habitat conditions, and, under responsible management programs, can provide high quality hunting without detriment to the overall population. Restoration efforts in Massachusetts have been directed toward the ultimate goal of a huntable population - a goal that was achieved in the spring of 1980 when the first Bay State spring gobbler season opened. The hunt is by permit only so that hunter density can be kept to an optimum low level - thus insuring a quality hunting experience.
Spring gobbler seasons are a challenging way to hunt these wary birds. Because toms can breed with several hens - and the season is timed to coincide with the period when the protected hens are already on their nests - gobblers can be taken without adversely affecting production. A well established turkey population can easily withstand a limited either-sex hunting season without adverse effects, however, and this is the case in western and central parts of the state where the first fall turkey season opened in 1990. Combined with the spring gobbler season, this either-sex fall season offers hunters greater opportunities to bag one of North America's premier game species. Spring or fall, turkey hunting requires a high degree of skill in imitating the calls of the birds to lure them within range. It is a challenge found in few other types of hunts, and with fewer than one in fifteen hunters being successful, the turkey is truly a bird of trophy status.
Turkeys are back in the Northeast, and they are here to stay thanks to the support of members of the National Wild Turkey Federation, sportsmen and other interested conservation minded citizens. Recently, the wild turkey was designated as the state's official game bird! Under careful management, the future looks bright for turkeys; sportsmen, naturalists and other wildlife enthusiasts welcome their return.