CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — April 26 marked the first day of wild turkey hunting season in Massachusetts. Before you go hunting, here’s what you need to know.
The wild turkey hunting season runs from April 26 to May 22 this year. Hunting is allowed across the state except for in Nantucket. Hours for hunting begin a half-hour before sunrise and end at noon each day. The bag limit is one turkey of any sex.
If you are a Massachusetts resident, you are required to have a hunting or sporting license, a turkey permit, and if you are using a shotgun or muzzleloader you must have a safety sticker visible on the gun when you are sighting down the barrel. If you are in need of a safety sticker you can send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
ATTN: Turkey safety sticker
1 Rabbit Hill Road
Westborough, MA 01581
Non-residents are required to have a big game license, a turkey permit, and a safety sticker on their shotgun or muzzleloader. During the spring season, blaze orange clothing is not required for residents and non-residents.
Types of equipment allowed in spring hunting season
- Shotgun: No larger than 10 gauge. No larger than No. 4 size shot.
- Muzzleloader: No larger than .775 caliber smoothbore muzzleloading shotgun. No larger than No. 4 shot.
- Archery equipment: All bows must have a draw weight of at least 40 pounds at 28 inches or at peak draw. Arrows must have well-sharpened steel broadhead blades not less than 7/8 inches in width. Expanding broadheads and mechanical releases are legal. Crossbows may be used by certain permitted disabled hunters. Airbows are prohibited.
A turkey hunter can call turkeys for another hunter but are not allowed to carry a firearm or archery equipment. Callers must have the same requirements as a hunter. In Massachusetts, it is illegal to hunt turkeys with electronic calls, dogs, bait, drive/herd turkeys or live decoys.
It is illegal to intentionally leave a wounded or dead turkey without making a reasonable effort to retrieve it. Game must be reported within 48 hours of harvest.