Duck Hunting in Massachusetts

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  • C
  • 29,900

    Duck Statewide Harvest

  • 9,300

    Goose Statewide Harvest

  • 4,700

    No. Waterfowl Licenses Sold Annually

  • 6.3

    Ducks Per Hunter

  • 2.4

    Geese Per Hunter

  • $27.50

    Cost of Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $5

    Cost of Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

  • 65.50

    Cost of Non-Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $5

    Cost of Non-Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

Duck Hunting Nation Knowledge

You won’t find many states where the sea duck harvest more than doubles the number of mallards taken, but Massachusetts qualifies for that list.

Massachusetts hunters shot 5,355 eiders, 4,463 scoters and 1,562 long-tailed ducks during 2019-'20, compared to 4,974 mallards. State fowlers also took respectable numbers of buffleheads, black ducks, wood ducks and green-winged teal. Canada geese, especially locally breeding birds, continue to provide decent opportunity — more than 8,747 birds harvested in 2019-'20 — and hunters also shoot some Atlantic brant each season.

Popular spots include Salisbury Marsh, north of the Merrimack River, and Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, along the state’s northeastern coast. Parker River features more than 3,000 acres of salt marsh and provides coastal habitat for more than 300 bird species. Waterfowl hunting is allowed in areas A, B and C (Nelson Island) at the refuge. Check refuge regulations for special hunting rules.

Why the relatively mediocre grade despite great breadth of opportunity? Eastern Massachusetts is highly urbanized, and competition for public spots can be tough. Hunting with a saltwater outfitter provides a nice option for out-of-state waterfowlers.

— Compiled and written by Brian Lovett

Photo © Ray Hennessy/Shutterstock

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