Hunting hours begin at sunrise and end at sunset on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's) stocked with pheasant or quail, otherwise hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end ½ hour after sunset.
Required licenses and permits
To hunt quail in Massachusetts you must have the certain licenses and permits, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.
- Hunting or sporting license
- Small game or big game license
If you hunt exclusively on a licensed commercial shooting preserve, you need either a resident or non-resident license, or a special 1-day license valid exclusively on commercial shooting preserves.
- 4 per day
- 8 in possession
- 20 per season
Shotguns (including smoothbore muzzleloaders): No larger than #1 birdshot (pellet diameter equal to or less than 0.160 inches) can be used for quail hunting.
Archery equipment: Archery equipment is legal. Crossbows may only be used by permit. Poisoned arrows, explosive tips, bows drawn by mechanical means, or any device that propels an arrow, dart, or bolt by gunpowder, compressed air, or by any other means except by the flexing and release of a bowstring are prohibited.
When hunting quail on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail, only shotguns and archery equipment are allowed. Possession of handguns and rifles are prohibited.
Blaze orange requirements
Hunters must wear a hunter orange cap when hunting for quail 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 bobwhite quail.
Hunting season framework
The first Saturday after Columbus Day to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
You may submit an application to MassWildlife district offices to get a free 1 day permit that allows the private purchase, liberation, and hunting of ring-necked pheasants and/or bobwhite quail on selected WMAs from Jan. 1 – March 31.
You will need a separate importation permit to purchase birds from out of state.
Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Only one party can hunt on each WMA per day. There are no stocking limits, or bag limits.
Quail hunting regulations
This page is to be used as a reference, it is not the entire law and is subject to change. You can 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 for more information about quail hunting.
- 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.