Deer Hunting in Massachusetts

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  • C
  • 100,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 84,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $32.60 and Up

    Resident hunting license is $27.50 plus $5.10 archery stamp and $5.10 primitive firearms stamp.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $99.50 and Up

    Nonresident big game license is $99.50 plus archery and primitive weapons stamps.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 193 3/8"

    Taken by Kajetan Sovinski in Franklin County in 2002, ranked No. 75 of all time.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 19

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 201”

    Picked up by Jeff Draper in Norfolk Co. in 2004

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 7

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Jon Petryk and his big Massachusetts buck. (Photo courtesy of Jon Petryk)

Season Dates (2019):

Youth season falls on September 28. Archery season varies by zone, but runs October 7 or 21 to November 30. Shotgun season runs December 2 to 14. Primitive firearms season is December 16 to 31. These are the dates set when published. Please check the state DNR's website to confirm.

The Grade: C

Massachusetts' deer herd benefited from a large mast crop and mild winter last fall and the fall before, too. The herd should be in great shape when the 2018 season starts. While public land is scarce and population density is high (third in the nation in people per square mile), good deer hunting can still be found for those who work at it. The increasing herd is starting to strain some local neighborhoods, and residents are increasingly looking to hunters as a way to protect their landscape and make their commutes safer. Bowhunters in particular are finding more and more openings in urban settings. Don’t overlook state-managed lands like parks and state forests which are experiencing the same deer overpopulation as surrounding neighborhoods. Hunters are needed there to help with population control, too.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

While Massachusetts doesn’t put a lot of deer in the record books, a lot of their entries, non-typical in particular, have came in recent years. All of the state’s non-typical bucks have been entered since 1995, including the state’s current non-typical record taken by a hunter, a 200 5/8-inch buck taken by Craig F. Luscier in Berkshire Co. in 2012.

The area along I-495, stretching from Billerica northward to Hopkinton and Bellingham in the south is seeing booming deer numbers, but the entire state should have a healthy population this fall.


Massachusetts Harvests

  • Jason Pemble

    Berkshire , Massachusetts

  • Jason Pemble

    Pittsfield, Massachusetts

From the Realtree Trophy Den