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Gray squirrel hunting regulations

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

2024 hunting season dates
Zones 1–14:
Jan. 1, 2024 – Feb. 29, 2024
Sept. 3, 2024 – Feb. 28, 2025

All dates are inclusive. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays. Gray squirrel hunting season may coincide with the Youth Deer Hunt, special restrictions apply. Squirrel hunting is closed during the 2-week shotgun deer season.

Table of Contents

Hunting hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end ½ hour after 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

Shotguns (including muzzleloaders): No larger than #1 birdshot.

Archery: 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. Crossbows may be used only by hunters with a crossbow permit.

Rifles and handguns (including rifled muzzleloaders): Rifles and handguns are legal, except in Wildlife Management Zones 10–14.

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 Tuesday after Labor Day to the last day of February in the following calendar year in Zones 1 – 14. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays. Gray squirrel hunting is closed during the 2-week shotgun deer season.

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 prohibited: 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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