- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Media Contact for New hunting regulations for 2023
Media Contact, MassWildlife
The following changes to Massachusetts hunting regulations take effect in 2023:
- Extended Pheasant and Quail Seasons: The pheasant and quail hunting seasons now open on the Saturday after Columbus Day and close on December 31. Hunters can now pursue previously stocked pheasants statewide and quail in Wildlife Management Zones 11–14 from the Monday after shotgun deer season to the end of the year (no pheasant and quail hunting during the shotgun deer season). Pheasant and quail stocking occurs from the Saturday after Columbus Day to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
- Expanded hunting implement use on pheasant and quail-stocked Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) for certain game: Hunters can now use all legal methods to hunt game other than pheasant and quail on pheasant and quail-stocked WMAs. Previously, all hunters were restricted on WMAs to shotgun and archery equipment only. See each species’ page for details. In addition, legal hunting implements for pheasant and quail on all public and private land statewide are now shotgun and archery only.
- Expanded hunting hours on pheasant and quail-stocked WMAs for certain game: Hunters targeting game other than pheasant and quail on pheasant and quail stocked WMAs are no longer restricted to hunting from sunrise to sunset. See each species’ page for details. Pheasant and quail hunting hours on all public and private land statewide are now from sunrise to sunset.
- Simplification and expansion of small game seasons: Gray squirrel, cottontail rabbit, and snowshoe hare seasons have been simplified and expanded into single, statewide seasons for each species. There is now a single statewide season for gray squirrel (beginning the Tuesday after Labor Day and ending on the last day of February), and for cottontail rabbit and snowshoe hare (beginning the Saturday after Columbus Day and ending the last day of February). See each species’ page for specific season dates. The black-tailed jack rabbit season has been eliminated.
To view all regulations, check out the 2023 Guide to Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping Laws.