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Gray squirrel hunting regulations

Before you go hunting for gray squirrel, be sure you know the rules.

2020 season hunting dates

Zones 1-9: Sept. 14 – Jan. 2, 2021

Zones 10-14: Oct. 17 – Jan. 2, 2021

All dates are inclusive. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays. Click here for wildlife management zone map.


Hunting hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end ½ hour after sunset. (Exception: on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season, hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.)

Click here for a sunrise/sunset table.

Required License and Permits

To hunt gray squirrel in Massachusetts you must have certain licenses, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.

Massachusetts residents:

  • Hunting or sporting license
  • No additional permits


  • Small game or big game license
  • No additional permits

You can buy the license you need through MassFishHunt.

Bag Limits

  • 5 per day
  • 10 in possession
  • no annual bag limit

Hunting Implements

When hunting gray squirrel on WMA’s stocked with pheasant or quail, only shotguns and archery equipment are allowed during the pheasant or quail season. Stocked WMAs are listed in 321 CMR 3.01(1)(o). Trapping or netting is prohibited.

Shotguns (including smoothbore muzzleloaders): Do not use birdshot larger than #1 (pellet diameter equal to or less than 0.160 inches) for hunting gray squirrel.

Archery equipment: Archery tackle 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. You may only use a crossbows if you have a permit.

Rifles and handguns (including rifled muzzleloaders): Rifles and handguns are prohibited in zones 10-14. Rifles and handguns are legal in zones 1-9 except on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season. 

Hunter Orange Requirements

Hunters must wear a hunter orange cap when hunting for gray squirrel on WMAs where pheasant or quail are stocked during the pheasant or quail season.

Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting Requirements

Harvest reporting is not required for gray squirrels.

Hunting Season Framework

Gray squirrel may be taken from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to Jan. 2 in Zones 10-14 (except during the shotgun deer season), and from the second Monday in September through Jan. 2 in Zones 01-09 (except during the shotgun deer season). 

Wildlife Management Zone Map

Gray Squirrel Hunting Regulations

This page is to be used as a reference. It doesn't lay out the entire law, and it may change. Refer to the gray squirrel hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(7) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131 for more information about gray squirrel hunting laws and regulations.