Gray squirrel hunting regulations

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

2017 season hunting dates

Zones 1-9: Sept. 11 – Jan. 2, 2018

Zones 10-14: October 14 – Jan 2, 2018

All dates are inclusive. There is no hunting on Sundays.


Hunting Hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end ½ hour after sunset. (Except 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 and permits, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.

Massachusetts Residents:

-Hunting or sporting license


-Small game or big game license

Bag Limits

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

Hunting Implements

Shotgun (including smoothbore muzzleloaders) and archery ONLY on WMA’s stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season. Stocked WMA’s are listed in 321 CMR 3.01(1)(o). Trapping or netting is prohibited.

Shotguns (including smoothbore muzzleloaders): No larger than #1 birdshot (pellet diameter equal to or less than 0.160 inches) can be used for gray squirrel hunting.

Archery equipment: All archery tackle is legal. Crossbows may only be used by permit. Poisoned arrows, explosive tips, bows drawn by mechanical means, or any device that propels an arrow, dart, or bolt by gunpowder, compressed air, or by any other means except by the flexing and release of a bowstring are prohibited.

Rifles and handguns (including rifled muzzleloaders): Rifles and handguns are prohibited for gray squirrel hunting in Zones 9-14, and cannot be used for gray squirrel hunting on WMA’s stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season. However any rifle or handgun could be used to hunt gray squirrel on any other property besides those WMA’s.

Hunter Orange Requirements

Hunters must wear a hunter orange cap when hunting for gray squirrel on WMA’s 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 January 2, in Zones 10 through 14, except during the shotgun deer season; and from the second Monday in September through January 2, in Zones 01 through 09, except during the shotgun deer season.

Gray Squirrel Hunting Regulations

This page is to be used as a reference, it is not the entire law and is subject to 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 information about gray squirrel hunting laws and regulations. 


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