2016 Season Dates:
Spring Season: April 25 – May 21
Fall Season: Oct. 24 – Nov. 5
Youth Hunt: April 23 (Special restrictions apply, click here to learn more. )
All dates inclusive. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays.
Zones1-13 (Click here for wildlife management zone map)
Regulations & Requirements
- Find complete wild turkey regulations at http://www.eregulations.com/massachusetts/huntingandfishing/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.
- Shotgun or archery only
- Permissible shot sizes for wild turkey hunting include #4 - #7 shot.
- Spring hunting hours: ½ hour before sunrise to 12:00 noon. Fall hunting hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset except as noted in WMA Reg #10
- Permit required - In order to legally hunt wild turkeys, a current hunting or sporting license and wild turkey hunting permit is required. Licenses and turkey permits are available via the MassFishHunt system, they are also available at license vendors or DFW offices.
- Official safety stickers must be adhered to 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. 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 give them to your hunting buddies.
Turkey Hunting in Massachusetts
Wild turkeys are prized game birds and have responded remarkably well to 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.