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Gray squirrel hunting regulations

Before you go hunting for gray squirrel, be sure you know the rules.

2022 hunting season dates

Zones 1–9: Sept. 12, 2022 – Jan. 2, 2023
Zones 10–14: Oct. 14, 2022 – Jan. 2, 2023

All dates are inclusive. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays. Squirrel hunting is also closed during the shotgun deer season. Click here for wildlife management zone map.

Table of Contents

Hunting hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end ½ hour after sunset. (Exception: on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season, hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.)

Click here for a sunrise/sunset table.

Required licenses

To hunt gray squirrel in Massachusetts you must have the certain licenses, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.

Massachusetts residents:

  • Hunting or sporting license


  • Small game or big game license

You can buy the license you need through MassFishHunt.

Bag limits

  • 5 per day
  • 10 in possession
  • No annual bag limit

Hunting implements

When hunting gray squirrel on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail, only shotguns and archery equipment are allowed during the pheasant or quail season. Stocked WMAs are listed in 321 CMR 3.01(1)(o). Trapping or netting is prohibited.

Shotguns (including smoothbore muzzleloaders): Do not use birdshot larger than #1 (pellet diameter equal to or less than 0.160 inches) for hunting gray squirrel.

Archery equipment: Archery equipment is legal. You must use a device that works by flexing and releasing a bowstring. You may not use poisoned arrows, explosive tips, bows drawn by mechanical means, or any device that propels an arrow, dart, or bolt by gunpowder, compressed air, or any other means. You may only use a crossbows if you have a permit.

Rifles and handguns (including rifled muzzleloaders): Rifles and handguns are prohibited in zones 10–14. Rifles and handguns are legal in zones 1–9 except on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season.

Trapping or netting is prohibited.

Blaze orange requirements

Hunters must wear a hunter orange cap when hunting for gray squirrel on WMAs where pheasant or quail are stocked during the pheasant or quail season.

Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements

You do not have to report harvest for gray squirrels.

Hunting season framework

Gray squirrel may be taken from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to Jan. 2 in Zones 10–14 (except during the shotgun deer season), and from the second Monday in September through Jan. 2 in Zones 1–9 (except during the shotgun deer season). 

Wildlife Management Zone Map

Gray squirrel hunting regulations

This page is to be used as a reference. It doesn't lay out the entire law, and it may change. Refer to the gray squirrel hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(7) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131 for more information about gray squirrel hunting laws and regulations. 

Hunting methods


  • Wanton waste (as of 7/20): It is unlawful for hunters to intentionally or knowingly leave a wounded or dead game animal in the field or the forest without making a reasonable effort to retrieve and use it. Each retrieved animal shall be retained or transferred to another until processed or used for food, pelt, feathers, or taxidermy. This does not apply to animals unfit for consumption or use—animals and their parts that are damaged, destroyed, decayed, rotting, diseased, or infected.



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