Though Massachusetts is the 3rd most densely populated state in the country, it is a state where quality deer can be found anywhere.
There are 85,000 to 95,000 deer statewide. Densities range from about 10 per square mile in northwestern Massachusetts to 45 to 55 per square mile on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Islands.
2015 Hunting Season
Youth Deer Hunt Day*
Oct. 19 - Nov. 28
Nov. 30 - Dec. 12
Primitive Firearms Season
Dec. 14 - Dec 31
2 antlered deer per year and as many antlerless deer as the hunter has valid antlerless deer permits. (*Youth Deer Hunt Day permits allow for the take of one deer. Click to read more.)
Antlerless Permit Process
There is a new 2-step process for obtaining an antlerless deer permit. Hunters who have purchased a license and wish to hunt antlerless deer in any deer season must apply for an antlerless deer permit through the MassFishHunt system by July 16th. After August 1, hunters must go back into the MassFishHunt system to participate in the Instant Award process to see if they were selected for a permit. More details.
New Unchecked Deer Possession Limits: Zone 13 & 14
The possession limit of unchecked deer in Wildlife Management Zones 13 and 14 (Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and the Elizabeth Islands) has been increased from 2 to 4 deer.
All deer harvested on the islands must be reported prior to being transported off the island either through online reporting or at a physical check station. Hunters who are deer hunting on the islands (WMZs 13 and 14) are also reminded that they may purchase up to four antlerless deer permits per zone per day for Zones 13 and 14 available online and at any license agent location. Hunters are encouraged to purchase their permits well ahead of their planned hunting activities.
Antlerless deer permit allocations in Wildlife Management Zones 13 and 14 are very high, due to high deer population densities. These permits have never sold out. Allowing possession of a greater number of unchecked deer in this situation may increase harvest potential by allowing deer hunters more time to spend in the field.