Raccoon and opossum hunting regulations

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

2017 season hunting dates

Oct. 2–Jan. 31, 2018
All dates are inclusive. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays.

Regulations

Hunting Hours

Raccoon and opossum may be hunted 24 hours per day. Except on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season, the hunting hours for raccoon and opossum are from 9:00 P.M. to 3:00 A.M.

Required License and Permits

To hunt raccoon and opossum 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

Bag Limits

You can use up to 3 bags per day for raccoons from sunset to sunset. Two or more persons hunting in the same party can use up to 6 bags.

There are no bag limits for opossum.

Hunting Zones:

All wildlife management zones

Hunting Implements

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

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*:

-Daytime hunting: During the period from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset there are no restrictions on size or caliber of rifles or handguns.

-Nighttime hunting: During the period from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise, rifles are restricted to those chambered not larger than .22 long rifle and handguns are restricted to those chambered not larger than .38 caliber.

*Prohibited on wildlife management areas stocked with pheasant or quail, during the pheasant and quail seasons except from 9pm to 3am.

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

Hunting Methods

Here are the legal ways to hunt raccoon and opossum:

  • Dogs 
  • Manual Calls
  • Electronic Calls
  • Bait
  • Artificial light

Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting Requirements

You do not have to report raccoon or opossum.

Hunting Season Framework

October 1 to the last day of January of the following year.

Raccoon and opossum 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 hunting and trapping of certain mammals regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(5) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131 for more information about raccoon and opossum hunting.

Additional Resources

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