The Department of Mental Retardation (DMR), Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) are continuing the bowhunting-only program for the fall seasons only at DMR's Templeton Developmental Center (TDC). 

Through legislation and a Memorandum of Agreement between DMR and DCR, a Cooperative Management Plan for TDC property has been developed delegating certain land management responsibilities to DCR while ensuring the well-being and rights of TDC residents. Property beyond the TDC campus and agricultural fields, and otherwise not utilized by TDC residents, is being managed cooperatively to benefit both natural resources and the public. To date, a hiking trail has been established adjacent to TDC's main entrance at Route 202 and bowhunting allowed beginning in 2004.

Further under the agreement, specific non-residential, wooded sections of the 2,600 acre TDC will be open to bowhunting only during the deer and fall turkey seasons. Regulations specific to the later seasons, such as the required 500 square inches of hunter orange clothing will be in effect for bowhunters.

Bowhunting is viewed as a compatible means to lessen deer-related damage to TDC's extensive croplands, particularly corn, pumpkins and apple orchards, while at the same time providing expanded recreational opportunities for licensed bowhunters. Bowhunting for wild turkey will be included as the season is open within the framework of the archery deer season and turkeys regularly damage TDC agricultural plantings. Bowhunting for deer and turkey will be the only hunting opportunities available under the program. Firearms are prohibited on TDC property at all times.

Bowhunting will be prohibited within open fields, access roads, trails, posted "Safety Zones" and within 500 feet of a TDC building. Bowhunter access is prohibited through open fields, the TDC campus, or other non-hunting areas. Vehicular travel through the TDC campus is discouraged and speed limits are strictly enforced. Stand hunting only. Driving of deer (on TDC property) and turkeys prohibited. ATVs are prohibited.

Licensed bowhunters will be allowed to scout the areas open to bowhunting only two weeks prior to the archery deer season. Parking, access and rules for bowhunting also apply to scouting with the fields and campus off limits. Scouting and bowhunting are permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. All other state laws and regulations for bowhunting apply.

The pilot program, initiated in 2004, was reviewed by TDC, DMR, DCR and MassWildlife staff. The group agreed that the pilot season had been successful and without incident and agreed to continue and expand the bowhunting only opportunities on the property in subsequent years.

NOTE: Fields may not be hunted. Hunters may not walk or hunt in the areas designated on the TDC map as Open Fields. See rules below for more details.


Templeton Development Center (TDC)
Archery Hunting Rules

  • ARCHERY HUNTING ONLY! FIREARMS OF ANY KIND ARE PROHIBITED ON TDC PROPERTY.
  • ARCHERY HUNTING ALLOWED FOR DEER AND TURKEY ONLY.
  • SCOUTING WILL BE ALLOWED TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO START OF ARCHERY DEER SEASON.
  • ARCHERY HUNTING ALLOWED FROM ½ HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE TO ½ HOUR AFTER SUNSET.
  • HUNTING IS PROHIBITED WITHIN OPEN FIELDS, ACCESS ROADS, TRAILS, "SAFETY ZONES", AND WITHIN 500 FEET OF A TDC BUILDING.
  • STAND HUNTING ONLY. DRIVING DEER AND TURKEY PROHIBITED.
  • DO NOT BLOCK GATES. REFER TO THE TDC ARCHERY HUNTING AREAS MAP pdf format of    tdc_map.pdf  file size 1MB FOR APPROPRIATE PARKING AREAS.
  • HUNTERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO WALK ON OR ACROSS TDC OPEN FIELDS, PAVED ROADS, OR NON-HUNTING AREAS. VIOLATIONS SUBJECT TO TRESPASS LAWS.
  • IF DEER OR TURKEY IS WOUNDED AND ENTERS A PROHIBITED AREA, YOU MUST CONTACT CAMPUS POLICE AT (978) 939-2161, EXTENSION 0.
  • POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL OR ILLEGAL DRUGS IS PROHIBITED ON TDC PROPERTY.
  • NO ATV'S ALLOWED ON TDC PROPERTY.
  • NO LITTERING.
  • NO CAMPING OR CAMPFIRES.
  • PLEASE LIMIT TRAFFIC THROUGH TDC CAMPUS. SPEED LIMITS ON GROUNDS ARE STRICTLY ENFORCED!
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    ALL STATE HUNTING LAWS AND REGULATIONS, AS WELL AS TDC RULES, WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED