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News 2020 spring turkey season

​​​​​​​The 2020 spring turkey hunting season in Massachusetts is April 27–May 23. Review new regulations, safety information, and impacts of COVID-19.
4/03/2020
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Media Contact for 2020 spring turkey season

Marion Larson, MassWildlife

turkey

The 2020 Massachusetts spring turkey hunting season opens on April 27 and runs through May 23. The 2020 Youth Turkey Hunt is April 25. Get ready for the start of season by purchasing your license and turkey permit, reviewing regulations, and taking note of the impacts of the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

COVID-19 and the 2020 Massachusetts spring turkey season

Spending time outdoors is a great way to remain active during the COVID-19 Stay at Home Advisory, and the 2020 spring turkey season is right around the corner. However, there will be some disruptions to the usual in-person services that some hunters utilize before and during the season. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, MassWildlife will post new information to Mass.gov/turkey2020 and will send updates to hunters through email. The current guidelines are as follows:

  • Buy hunting licenses and permits ONLINE
    MassWildlife offices are currently closed until at least May 4, but hunters can purchase licenses and permits online through MassFishHunt, or through any license vendors that remain open.
  • NEW online purchasing option for 15–17 year-olds. Under normal circumstances, minors aged 15–17 must purchase a license in person and provide written parental consent. During the COVID-19 State of Emergency, parents and guardians can use an electronic form to provide consent and then purchase licenses online. Click here to complete the form. Please email mass.wildlife@mass.gov if you have any questions.
  • Report your turkey harvest ONLINE
    MassWildlife urges all hunters to use MassFishHunt to report harvested birds. Get details about the temporary phone reporting option.
  • Practice social distancing while turkey hunting
    All hunters should practice social distancing while participating in outdoor activities. Given the current public health situation, MassWildlife recommends that mentors should only hunt with immediate family members (within their residence) this year. Follow the latest official state guidance and recommendations regarding COVID-19.
  • Regulation requires that all hunters place an official green safety sticker on your firearm positioned so you can see it when sighting down the barrel. If you need a new or replacement sticker for your firearm, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: MassWildlife, Attn; Turkey Safety Sticker, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581. PLEASE SUBMIT REQUESTS BY APRIL 17 to ensure enough time to process and return mail safety stickers prior to opening day. Requests received after the above date may not be fulfilled before opening day.
  • Stay informed and help spread the word
    MassWildlife will post any new information to Mass.gov/turkey2020. Individuals with an email address associated with their MassFishHunt account will also receive email updates. You can easily add or update your email address by logging into your account at any time.  Please help spread the word to other hunters, especially those who may not have access to email or a computer. Remember to maintain appropriate social distancing when contacting others.

    Although our offices are currently closed to the public, you can contact us at 508-389-6300 or mass.wildlife@mass.gov.  Please be patient as we do our best to respond in a timely manner.

Youth Turkey Hunt

Following Governor Baker’s State of Emergency Declaration, all Youth Turkey Hunt seminars have been canceled. Past participants who have completed Basic Hunter Education and a previous Youth Turkey Hunting seminar will be able to participate in the Youth Turkey Hunt on April 25 this year. Hunters who previously completed a Youth Hunt seminar can obtain the required permit/authorization through MassFishHunt. Instructions can be found on the Youth Turkey Hunt page. Given the current public health situation, MassWildlife recommends that youth should only hunt with mentors that are immediate family members (within their residence) this year.

Joint Base Cape Cod/Camp Edwards controlled turkey hunt canceled

Due to changes in the Camp Edwards training schedule as well as the COVID-19 situation, the youth turkey hunt and the May controlled turkey hunt have been canceled.

New regulations for the 2020 spring turkey season

Several changes to wild turkey hunting regulations were approved by the Fisheries and Wildlife Board in 2019.  The summary below provides an overview of the changes affecting the spring 2020 turkey hunting season. Click here for a full list of turkey hunting regulations.

  • Annual limit to three birds—2 bearded turkeys in the spring and 1 of either sex in the fall.
    Prior to the regulation change, turkey hunters were only permitted to harvest either two bearded birds on the same day in the spring with no fall birds or one bearded bird in the spring and one bird of either sex in the fall, for an annual limit of two birds.
  • Increase the daily bag limit to two per day during the spring season.
    Prior to the regulation change, turkey hunters were only permitted to harvest one turkey per day during the spring season. Now hunters have the ability to fill their spring season limit in a single day
  • Shot size no larger than #4 shot size.
    Prior to the regulation change, turkey hunters were only permitted to use #4–#7 size shot for turkey hunting. With this change, hunters may now take advantage of advanced ammunition that will allow for greater flexibility with different shotguns, including #9 TSS shot produced by several manufacturers.
  • Expand Youth Day turkey hunting hours to ½ hour before sunrise until 5 p.m.  
    Hunting hours were expanded for the Youth Day (April 25, 2020) only to provide young hunters with additional turkey hunting opportunity. Only youth day hours have been changed, during the regular season ALL HUNTERS INCLUDING YOUTHS must follow the standard ½ hour before sunrise to 12 noon.

Turkey hunting safety information

  • Practice social distancing while turkey hunting. During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) state of emergency, outdoor activities including hunting are still permitted. Given the current public health situation, MassWildlife recommends that mentors should only hunt with immediate family members (within their residence) this year. All residents should practice social distancing while participating in outdoor activities. Follow the latest guidance and recommendations regarding COVID-19.
  • Many more people are enjoying the outdoors as a result of the COVID-19 situation. While hunting this year, be aware that more hunters and non-hunters may be out and about in the woods and fields.
  • Always follow the 10 basic rules of firearm safety.
  • Be completely sure of your target and what is beyond it before you shoot. Always practice firearm safety.
  • Don't stalk turkey sounds; it could be another hunter. Sit or stand and call the birds to you.
  • Do not wear red, white, blue, or black; these colors are associated with male turkeys.
  • Protect your back. Set up against a large tree or rock and make sure your view isn't obstructed. Don't hide in a place with an obstructed view.
  • Do not place decoys too close to where you set up. Never carry an exposed decoy or tail fan while hunting; put them in a bag when carrying them in or out of hunting locations.
  • Consider wearing hunter orange when entering or leaving your hunting area.

Media Contact for 2020 spring turkey season

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MASSWILDLIFE OFFICES AND HATCHERIES ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

FISHING IS OPEN AND SPRING TROUT STOCKING WILL CONTINUE.

WMAs ARE OPEN.

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.
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