Quail hunting regulations

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

2017 hunting season dates

Oct. 14 - Nov. 25
All dates are inclusive. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays.

quail hunting
Game Bird Hunting Season Log

Game bird hunters in Massachusetts keep a daily log of their hunting activities and observations of game birds while hunting bobwhite quail, pheasant, woodcock, and grouse. These observations will provide MassWildlife biologists with information on game bird populations across the state.

Regulations

Hunting hours

Hunting hours begin at sunrise and end at sunset on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's) stocked with pheasant or quail, otherwise 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 quail in Massachusetts you must have certain licenses and permits, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.

Massachusetts residents:

  • Hunting or sporting license

Non-residents:

  • Small game or big game license

If you hunt exclusively on a licensed commercial shooting preserve, you need either a resident or non-resident license, or a special 1-day license valid exclusively on commercial shooting preserves.

Bag limits

  • 4 per day
  • 8 in possession
  • 20 per season

Hunting zones

Wildlife management zones 11 - 14

Hunting implements

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

Archery equipment: 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.

When hunting quail on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail, only shotguns and archery equipment are allowed. Possession of handguns and rifles are prohibited.

Hunter orange requirements

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

Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements

You are not required to report your harvest for bobwhite quail.

Hunting season framework

The first Saturday after Columbus Day to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Special options

You may submit an application to MassWildlife district offices to get a free 1 day permit that allows the private purchase, liberation, and hunting of ring-necked pheasants and/or bobwhite quail on selected WMAs from Jan. 1 – March 31.

You will need a separate importation permit to purchase birds from out of state. 

Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Only one party can hunt on each WMA per day. There are no stocking limits, or bag limits.

Quail 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 Pheasant, Quail, and Ruffed Grouse Hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(6) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131 for more information about quail hunting.

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