Turkey Hunting in Massachusetts

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  • C
  • 30,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 85,000 (estimated)

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $32.50

    Hunting license and turkey permit. Archery stamp is $5.10.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $104.50

    Hunting license and turkey permit. Archery stamp is $5.10.

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Bet you didn't know the Massachusetts state game bird is the wild turkey, while the official "state bird" is the black-capped chickadee.

It can get complicated in these parts.

As with many states across Turkey Hunting Nation, serious wild turkey hunters both live and visit here, despite the political perception some might have of this northeastern location.

Massachusetts has an annual limit of two turkeys. But there's a hitch.

You can tag one per day in the spring season using both tags (one daily), with no fall bird allowed, or one bearded spring bird and one either-sex turkey in the fall.

Shooting hours run from a half-hour before sunrise until noon in the spring, which might seem unusual to visiting hunters who live in states where it's open all day.

Wildlife Management Zones are clearly listed on this map.

Western Massachusetts, more rural and rugged country than to the east, is typically the region many Bay State turkey hunters target. That said, birds can be found throughout the state, including urban strongholds.

Massachusetts owns 195,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat, including 147 Wildlife Management Areas.

Top Bay State counties for registering turkeys typically include Berkshire, Franklin, Plymouth and Worcester.

Important Fact: To hunt legally, an official safety sticker (which comes with the turkey permit) must be placed on your gun so that it's visible when sighting down the barrel. Lose one? Contact the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife for a replacement.

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in Massachusetts (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Massachusetts Turkey Hunting Regulations

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