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Montague Plains WMA

Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) are open to the public for fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Town: Montague
Acreage: 1,575
Wildlife Management Zone: 5

Description

This property contains the state’s largest inland occurrence of a pitch pine - scrub oak natural community, a fire-adapted community which supports a diversity of rare plants and wildlife and other species of conservation concern. This habitat type occurs on large glacial outwash sandplains of dry, poor soils.

Location, access, & parking

The property can be accessed from Hillside Road, Turnpike Road, Turners Falls Road, Plains Road, Lake Pleasant Road, and Old Northfield Road. Multiple pull-offs exist off of Old Northfield Road and Plains Road. See WMA map.

Note: WMAs are intentionally wild, visitors will find natural landscapes rather than maintained trails.

Habitat management

Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area  contains the largest inland fire-influenced pine barrens habitat in Massachusetts. The deep coarse glacial sands that underlay the area gives rise to its unique features. Barrens are home to a collection of specialized plants and animals and are characterized by an open tree canopy and lots of shrubby undergrowth. This kind of habitat is both regionally and globally imperiled. Over the past two decades, several phases of tree cutting, shrub mowing, invasive plant control, and grassland planting have been completed. The open canopy and dense understory you see today is maintained by a combination of mowing and prescribed burning.

Learn more about MassWildlife's habitat management activities.

Hunting opportunities

This is a pheasant stocked area. Other opportunities exist to hunt for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, cottontail rabbit, raccoon, fox, and eastern coyote.

Hunting regulations 

Wildlife viewing & other features

Due to the extensive pitch pine-scrub oak restoration efforts, this WMA provides great opportunities for wildlife watching. Birders may observe species including prairie warbler, eastern whip-poor-will, and brown thrasher. The WMA also supports a wide variety of lepidoptera (butterflies & moths).

Get wildlife viewing tips.

Regulations

During pheasant season, a blaze orange hat must be worn by all hunters except while night-hunting raccoons or opossums or while hunting waterfowl from within a blind or boat. No person shall hunt before sunrise or after sunset during the open season on pheasant, except for the hunting of raccoons or opossums between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Read Wildlife Management Area regulations.

About Wildlife Management Areas

MassWildlife owns and manages over 220,000 acres of land to conserve fish and wildlife habitats and provide access for outdoor recreation. All WMAs are open to hunting, fishing, trapping, and other outdoor recreation activities. Visit the MassWildlife Lands Viewer for an interactive map of MassWildlife properties.

You can support land protection in Massachusetts. Contributions to the Wildlands Fund help pay for the cost of acquiring wildlife habitat. Learn more about the Wildlands Fund

Contact   for Montague Plains WMA

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