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Bobcat hunting regulations

Before you go hunting for bobcat, be sure you know the rules. This page contains regulations for hunting bobcat in Massachusetts.

2019 hunting season dates

Jan. 1 - March 8
Dec. 20 - March 7, 2020

All dates inclusive. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays.

bobcat hunting


Hunting hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end ½ hour after sunset.

Click here for a sunrise/sunset table.

Required licenses and permits

To hunt bobcats in Massachusetts you must have certain licenses and permits, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.

Massachusetts residents

  • Hunting or sporting license
  • No additional permits


  • Small game or big game license
  • No additional permits

Bag limits


Hunting zones

Wildlife Management Zones 1-8

Hunting implements

Shotguns: Only shot size up to #1 birdshot (pellet diameter equal to or less than 0.160 inches) can be used.

Archery equipment: Archery tackle is legal, with no minimum pull. Crossbows may only be used by permit. Poisoned arrows, explosive tips, and bows drawn by mechanical means are prohibited.

Rifles and handguns: There are no restrictions on caliber size for rifles or handguns.

Muzzleloaders: Smooth bore muzzleloaders: Only shot size up to #1 birdshot (pellet diameter equal to or less than 0.160 inches) can be used. Rifled bore muzzleloaders: no restrictions on caliber size.

Hunting methods


  • Electronic & manual calls
  • Decoys
  • Bait


  • Use of dogs


Learn more about bobcat trapping.

Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements

  • You must report your bobcat harvest within 4 working days of the end of the season.
  • Report at an official furbearer check station. Bobcats cannot be reported online.
  • Seals must remain attached to the pelt/carcass until the pelt/carcass is prepared for mounting by a taxidermist or the pelt is sold or tanned.

Hunting season framework

December 20 – March 8 of the following year.

Bobcat 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 Fox, Coyote, and Bobcat hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(3) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131 for information about bobcat hunting laws and regulations.