Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and ends at midnight. Click here for a sunrise/sunset table.
Required licenses and permits
To hunt cottontail rabbit in Massachusetts you must have the appropriate license, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.
- Hunting or sporting license
- Small game or big game license
- Cottontail rabbit: 5 per day, 10 in possession, no annual bag limit
- Snowshoe hare: 2 per day, 4 in possession, no annual bag limit
Shotguns (including smoothbore 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.
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.
Blaze orange requirements
Hunters must wear a hunter orange cap when hunting on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season.
Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements
You do not have to report harvest for cottontail rabbit.
Hunting season framework
Cottontail rabbits and snowshoe hares may be hunted in Zones 1–14 from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to the last day of February in the following calendar year. You may not hunt rabbit or hare during the 2-week shotgun deer season.
Open M–F, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (closed noon–12:30 for lunch)