Here is where you can find information on hunting, freshwater fishing and trapping season dates, laws and other related information. Please note there are several versions of the Guide to Hunting, Freshwater Fishing and Trapping and a Quick Reference document that lists season dates in one place.
Annual Hunting, Freshwater Fishing, & Trapping Regulation Publications
- Guide to 2014 Hunting, Freshwater Fishing & Trapping -- The complete guide in HTML format and includes the full content of the printed guide available at license vendor locations. (This is an external link to the Guide's publisher.)
- 2013-2014 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations - This publication contains the hunting seasons and bag limits for migratory game birds (woodcock, ducks, geese, and other migratory game birds). These regulations are set annually by the Fisheries and Wildlife Board in late August and are posted by the end of that month.
- New Regulations as of (2013)
- Expanded statewide fall turkey hunting season, fall turkey zones and ammunition size – See the following link for details on this regulation change.
- Possession Limit of Unchecked Deer in Possession increased from 2-4 deer only in Zones 13 & 14 – See the following link for more information.
- New Baitfish Regulations in Effect – See the following link to General Fishing Regulations in the Guide to Hunting, Freshwater Fishing and Trapping. This is an external link.
- Take of broodstock Atlantic salmon in the Merrimack River -- Only Atlantic salmon marked with a floy tag below the dorsal fin may be harvested in the Merrimack River upstream of the Essex Dam in Lawrence, MA and all of its tributaries upstream of the Essex Dam. The possession of Atlantic salmon (including broodstock salmon) without a floy tag below the dorsal fin while fishing in the Merrimack River upstream of the Essex Dam in Lawrence, MA is prohibited.
- New Falconry Regulations – See the link to the regulatory language on Falconry.
Other Regulations & Laws of Interest to Hunters, Anglers & Trappers
- Who Needs a License to Fish, Hunt, and Trap in Massachusetts? – Link to an FAQ on who needs a license and how to purchase one.
- Certain Lead Jigs and Sinkers Prohibited in Fresh Water - The use of any lead fishing sinkers and lead jigs weighing less than 1 ounce is now prohibited in all inland waters of the Commonwealth.
- Plain Language Summaries - A series of clearly written summaries of the hunting and trapping laws, outlining season dates, bag limits, legal implements, hunting hours, restrictions and other important information.
- Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) – These state wildlife lands are owned and managed by MassWildlife and are open to public recreation including fishing, hunting and trapping. Hunters should note that in WMAs there are differences in hunting hours, blaze orange, and hunting implement requirements in these locations. For other outdoor users, note restrictions certain activities on these properties.
- Landowner Liability - Any landowner permitting use of his or her property for recreation without charging a fee is not liable for injuries to recreational users or their property except in cases of willful, wanton or reckless conduct by the owner. (M.G.L. Ch. 21,S 17C.) This is an external link to the actual statute language.
- Saltwater Anglers - As of 2011, recreational saltwater anglers must purchase a MA Saltwater fishing permit from the Division of Marine Fisheries. More information on this law and other marine fisheries regulations can be found at the Division of Marine Fisheries website .