- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Media Contact for Turkey hunting underway across Massachusetts
Marion Larson, MassWildlife
The 2020 Spring Turkey Hunting Season kicked off with the Youth Hunt Day on Saturday, April 25. The regular spring season opened Monday, April 27 and will run through Saturday, May 23. During the regular spring season, hunting hours begin a half hour before sunrise and end at noon.
“This year marks the 40th spring turkey hunting season in Massachusetts. Although the wild turkey population is currently thriving throughout the state, this was not always the case,” said David Scarpitti, MassWildilfe Turkey Biologist. The turkey population declined after colonial settlement, and the last known native bird was killed in 1851. In the 1970s, MassWildlife biologists and other conservation partners reintroduced wild turkeys to the state. By the fall of 1978, the estimated population was about 1,000 birds. “Today, wild turkeys are common throughout Massachusetts, and citizens can enjoy seeing and hearing males display during the breeding season from March through May.”
Getting out into nature is a great way to support your mental and physical health year-round. MassWildlife is encouraging everyone to enjoy the outdoors responsibly during the COVID-19 Emergency. All outdoor users should remain at least 6 feet away from others, avoid gathering in groups, and stay home if they’re feeling sick. All MassWildlife Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) remain open to the public to enjoy for fishing, hunting, walking, birding, and other nature-based activities. MassWildlife advises that more hunters and non-hunters may be out in the woods and fields as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Outdoor users are encouraged to wear blaze orange for increased visibility and practice common-sense safety measures during the turkey hunting season.
Turkey hunters are reminded about the following precautions:
- Always treat your firearm as if it is loaded. Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Keep the safety “on” and your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it before you shoot.
- Avoid wearing red, white, blue, or black clothing—these colors are associated with male turkeys.
- Be respectful and courteous to other outdoor users.
Other outdoor users are advised to take these precautions during the hunting season:
- Know when and where hunting is allowed.
- Be safe, be seen. A brightly colored orange vest or hat will help you stay visible.
- Keep pets leashed and visible.
- Stay on marked trails.
- Make your presence known. Talk or whistle to identify yourself as a person.
- Be respectful and courteous—hunter harassment is unlawful.
Due to COVID-19, MassWildlife offices are closed until further notice, and many license vendors are closed as well. Hunters and anglers can purchase licenses and permits online with a computer or smartphone through MassFishHunt. No check stations will operate during the spring 2020 turkey season. Hunters are strongly encouraged to use MassFishHunt to report harvested turkeys online using a computer or smartphone. Hunters without internet access can call MassWildlife to report a harvest over the phone. For additional information regarding the spring turkey season, visit mass.gov/turkey2020.