John Lewis

A Guide to Massachusetts Turkey Hunting Regulations

Embarking on a wild turkey hunting expedition in Massachusetts demands a nuanced understanding of the regulatory landscape. This comprehensive guide offers an in-depth breakdown of crucial information, from season dates to licensing requirements, ensuring hunters are well-prepared for a successful and compliant experience.

Important Regulations

General Rules



MA Hunting Season Schedule

Season Chronicles and Hunting Hours

Youth Turkey:

  • Zones 1–13: Apr. 22, 2023 (with special restrictions)


  • Zones 1–13: Apr. 24 – May 20, 2023
  • Hunting Hours:
  • Youth Day: From 1/2 hour before sunrise until 5:00 p.m.
  • Spring General: Starting 1/2 hour before sunrise and concluding at noon.


  • Zones 10–13: Oct. 2 – Nov. 25, 2023
  • Zones 1–9: Oct. 16 – Nov. 25, 2023
  • Hunting Hours (Fall): Beginning 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset.

Note: Sundays are off-limits.

Licenses, Permits, and Safety Stickers

Before setting out, secure the necessary licenses and permits, conveniently available through MassFishHunt:

Massachusetts Residents:

  • Hunting or Sporting License
  • Turkey Permit
  • Safety Sticker*


  • Big Game License
  • Turkey Permit
  • Safety Sticker*

*For shotgun or muzzleloader hunters, a visible safety sticker is mandatory. Obtain a new or replacement sticker from MassWildlife offices or via email at [email protected].

Bag Limits

  • Spring: A maximum of 2 bearded birds, harvestable on the same day.
  • Fall: One bird of either sex.

Hunting Arsenal


  • Shotgun: Up to 10 gauge, with shot no larger than #4.
  • Muzzleloader: .775 caliber smoothbore with shot no larger than #4.
  • Archery Equipment: Bows with a minimum 40lbs draw weight, arrows with steel broadhead blades of at least 7/8 inches in width.

Fall (WMZ 1–13):

  • Shotgun, muzzleloading shotgun, and archery equipment from Oct. 16 – Oct. 28, 2023.
  • Exclusive use of archery equipment during specified periods.

Blaze Orange Mandate

Hunting Etiquette

  • Licensed turkey hunters can act as callers for others but should not carry any equipment after reaching the yearly limit.
  • Prohibited methods include electronic calls, dogs, bait, and driving/herding turkeys.
  • The wanton waste clause emphasizes responsible retrieval of wounded or dead game animals.

Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting Rituals

  • Report harvested game within 48 hours.
  • Immediate attachment of the paper tag to the carcass is mandatory.
  • Game must remain intact until reported.
  • Reporting can be done at official check stations or conveniently online through MassFishHunt.

Note: For a comprehensive understanding, consult the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(9), and Chapter 131 for the latest regulations.

John Lewis
Bookmark & Share it for Future Reference!

Leave a Comment