1. Season Dates:
(a) ring-necked pheasant may be hunted from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to the Saturday after Thanksgiving;
(b) ruffed grouse may be hunted from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to the Saturday after Thanksgiving;
(c) bobwhite quail may be hunted from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
(a) the cock pheasant and ruffed grouse seasons are open statewide;
(b) the hen pheasant season is open statewide except that the season is closed in Dukes and Nantucket counties and in the Town of Hull in Plymouth County, and in that area eastward of a line running from the New Hampshire border southerly on Rte. I-95 to the junction with Rte. I-495, southerly on I-495 to the junction with I-95, northerly on Rte. 95 to the junction with I-93/Rte. 128, easterly on Rtes. I-93/128 to the junction with Rte. 3, southerly on Rte. 3 to the junction with Rte. 228, and northerly on Rte. 228 to the Hull town line. However, on any wildlife management area within the above zone which is stocked with pheasant, the taking of hen pheasants is lawful;
(c) the bobwhite quail season is open only in Wildlife Management Zones 11 through 14.
3. Youth Hunter Training Program: For the purpose of a youth hunter training programs for minors aged 12-17 who qualify and are properly enrolled with the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, there may be held a youth hunter program for the hunting of pheasant and quail only, on the first six Saturdays preceding Columbus Day. Contact MassWildlife's District supervisors for details.
4. Falconry: Licensed falconers holding a hunting or sporting license may hunt pheasant, quail, and ruffed grouse by means of a falcon or other raptor from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to the following March 15.
5. Hunting Hours: Hunting hours for pheasant, quail, and ruffed grouse begin at ½ hour before sunrise and end at ½ hour after sunset, except on wildlife management areas stocked with pheasant or quail where the hunting hours are from sunrise to sunset.
6. Bag Limits:
(a) pheasant: the bag limit is 2 daily, 4 in possession, and 6 per season, except as provided below;
(b) ruffed grouse: the bag limit is 3 daily, 6 in possession, and 15 per season;
(c) bobwhite quail: the bag limit is 4 daily, 8 in possession, and 20 per season, except as provided below;
(d) Youth Hunter Training Program: the daily bag limit is 1 pheasant and/or 2 quail.
7. Licenses: Resident Massachusetts hunters require either a resident hunting or sporting license. Non-resident 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. Hunters who hunt exclusively on a licensed commercial shooting preserve require either a resident or non-resident license, or a special 1-day license valid exclusively on commercial shooting preserves.
This is not the entire law, and is subject to change. Refer to the Pheasant, Quail, and Ruffed Grouse Hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(6) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131.
Last Revised: 10-21-05.