Hunting of Fox, Coyote, and Bobcat
1. SEASON DATES:
(a) the fox (both red and gray) season opens on November 1st and closes on the following last day of February.
(b) the coyote season opens on the first Saturday after Columbus Day and closes on the following March 8th.
(c) the bobcat season opens on December 20 and closes on the following March 8th.
(d) the fox season is CLOSED during the "shotgun" deer season (1 week in Zone 12; 2 weeks elsewhere).
(a) the fox and coyote seasons are open statewide.
(b) the bobcat season is open only in wildlife management zones 01 through 08.
3. HUNTING HOURS:
(a) the hunting hours for bobcat run from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.
(b) the hunting hours for fox run from ½ hour before sunrise to midnight.
(c) the hunting hours for coyote run from ½ hour before sunrise to midnight, except during the shotgun deer season when the hunting hours close at ½ hour after sunset.
(d) NOTE: on wildlife management areas stocked with pheasant or quail, during the pheasant and quail seasons, the hunting hours for all species are from sunrise to sunset.
4. BAG LIMITS: There are no daily, possession, or seasonal bag limits for fox, coyote, and bobcat.
5. LICENSES: Resident Massachusetts hunters require a resident hunting or sporting license. Non-residents hunters require either a non-resident small game license or a non-resident big game license (big game license includes small game also). No special permit is required.
6. PELT TAGGING and SALE OF PELTS: All fox, coyote, and bobcat taken or salvaged must be brought to an official check station prior to sale, exchange, disposal, or retention. Fox, bobcat and coyote must be checked no later than 4 working days (Monday-Friday, except legal holidays) after the close of the season. Lawfully taken animals will be tagged with a locking seal at the check station. The seal must remain attached to the pelt until it is tanned, dressed, or prepared for mounting by a taxidermist. Seals are not transferable. No fox, coyote, or bobcat may be sold in Massachusetts unless tagged or sealed by the state of origin, or another state which has been authorized to do so.
7. HUNTING IMPLEMENTS: It is lawful to hunt fox, coyote, and bobcat with rifles, shotguns, handguns, or archery, provided that:
(a) on wildlife management areas stocked with pheasant or quail, during the pheasant and quail season, only shotguns and archery may be used;
(b) during the hours from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise, handguns are restricted to those chambered not larger than .38 caliber, and rifles to those chambered not larger than .22 long rifle;
(c) coyote may be hunted with shotgun cartridges loaded with shot not larger than FF, provided that when coyote are hunted during the shotgun deer season, they may additionally be hunted with those shotgun cartridges that are lawful for the hunting of deer (i.e., including buckshot and slugs);
(d) fox and bobcat may be hunted with shotgun cartridges loaded with shot not larger than #1 birdshot.
8. PROHIBITED: It is unlawful to hunt or pursue bobcat with dogs, or to train bobcat hounds on bobcat during the closed hunting season, except by special permit for bona-fide research or damage situations.
9. OTHER HUNTING METHODS: It is lawful to hunt fox and coyote with hounds and bait. It is lawful to hunt fox, coyote, and bobcat with electronic or manually operated calls.
10. DEFINITIONS: There are technical definitions of certain terms, including "fox", "green pelt". "raw fur or pelt", and "state". These terms are formally defined in 321 CMR 3.02(3)(a).
This is not the entire law, and is subject to change. Refer to the Fox, Coyote, and Bobcat hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(3) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131.
Last Revised: 2-19-10.