1. Season Dates:

(a) the cottontail rabbit season in Massachusetts (except in Wildlife Management Zones 13 and 14) begins on the first Saturday after Columbus Day and continues until the following last day of February;

(b) the cottontail rabbit season in Wildlife Management Zones 13 and 14 begins on November 15 and continues until the following last day of February;

(c) the snowshoe hare season in Wildlife Management Zones 01 through 04N and 04S begins on the first Saturday after Columbus Day and continues until the following last day of February;

(d) the snowshoe hare season in Wildlife Management Zones 05 through 12 begins on the first Saturday after Columbus Day and continues until the following February 5;

(e) the snowshoe hare season in Wildlife Management Zones 13 and 14 begins on November 15 and continues until the following February 5;

(f) the black-tailed jackrabbit season begins on November 15 and continues until December 31.

(g) the season for hunting of cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, and black-tailed jackrabbit is CLOSED statewide during the 2-week "shotgun" deer season.

2. Zones:

(a) the cottontail rabbit season is open statewide;

(b) the snowshoe hare season is open statewide;

(c) the black-tailed jackrabbit season is open only in Wildlife Management Zone 14.

3. Falconry: Licensed falconers possessing a hunting or sporting license and hunting by means of a falcon or other raptor may hunt:

(a) cottontail rabbits in zones 01 through 12 from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to the following March 15;

(b) cottontail rabbits in zones 13 and 14 from November 15 to the following March 15;

(c) snowshoe hare in zones 01 through 12 from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to the following March 15; and

(d) snowshoe hare in zones 13 and 14 from November 15 to the following March 15.

4. Hunting Hours: The hunting hours for cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, and black-tailed jackrabbit begin at ½ hour before sunrise and end at midnight. However, on wildlife management areas stocked with pheasant or quail, during the pheasant or quail seasons, hunting hours are from sunrise to sunset.

5. Bag Limits:

(a) cottontail rabbit: the bag limit is 5 daily, the possession limit is 10;

(b) snowshoe hare: the bag limit is 2 daily, the possession limit is 4;

(c) black-tailed jackrabbit: the bag limit is 1 daily, the possession limit is 2.

6. 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 (a big game license includes small game also). No special permit is required.

7. Hunting Implements: Cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, and black-tailed jackrabbit may be hunted with rifle, shotgun (shot not larger than #1), handgun, or archery except:

(a) on wildlife management areas stocked with pheasant or quail, during the pheasant or quail season, only shotgun 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.

This is not the entire law, and is subject to change. Refer to the Hare and Rabbit Hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(10) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131.

Last Revised: 10-05-07