Hunting on private property in Massachusetts

Finding a place to hunt on private lands involves research and planning, but can be well worth the effort. Learn about resources, best practices, and more.

Getting started

Get started by identifying several areas where you’re interested in hunting. Then, get familiar with town bylaws on hunting in the communities where you want to hunt. To help you get started, here is a link to websites of all the towns in Massachusetts.

Some town bylaws require you to get written permission from the landowner to hunt on private property. Barring a town regulation, in Massachusetts you don’t need permission to hunt on private land that is not posted against trespass. However, it’s strongly recommended that you ask the landowner and get written permission well in advance.

How to find out who owns land

To find out who owns a parcel of land, you can use OLIVER, an online geographical data viewer for Massachusetts. By zooming into an area of interest, you can:

  • View property boundaries
  • Identify names and contact information of landowners
  • Learn about habitat features and housing density, which can be helpful when looking for a place to hunt

Etiquette for hunting on private lands

  • Ask permission, and make sure everyone in your party has permission. 
  • Respect special requests by the landowner.
  • Understand where you can and cannot drive or park.
  • Provide the landowner with your name, address, phone number, and vehicle description.
  • Know the property boundaries of the land you have permission to hunt and stay within those boundaries.
  • Show your appreciation.

Additional Resources

More info

  • Landowners who allow the use of their property for recreation without charging a fee are NOT liable for injuries to recreational users of the property, except in cases of willful, wanton, or reckless conduct by the owner. 
  • You must get written permission to hunt on posted property. 
  • Railroad and utility corridors aren’t public rights-of-way. Permission is required to access this property.

Feedback

Tell us what you think