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This is the 2015 Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Guide

This guide contains regulations effective today through December 31st, 2015.  For regulations effective January 1st, 2016, please refer to the 2016 Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Guide.

Wild Turkey

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Permit required. Official green safety sticker must be adhered to firearm such that it is visible to the hunter when sighting down the barrel (typically placed on the tang). If new or replacement sticker is needed, send self-addressed, stamped envelope to any DFW office. Spring hunting hours: ½ hour before sunrise to 12:00 noon. Fall hunting hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset except as noted in WMA Reg. #10 (General Hunting Regulations).

Bag Limit: Annual limit of 2 wild turkeys total, only one turkey may be harvested per day; EITHER (a) 2 bearded birds in spring season (1 per day) with NO fall bird allowed, OR (b) 1 bearded bird in spring season, and 1 bird of either sex in fall season. No hunter may take 2 birds in the fall season. Hunting only with shotguns no larger than 10 gauge or .775 caliber smoothbore muzzleloading shotguns using #4-#7 size shot, and with archery equipment (see ARCHERY, General Hunting Regulations). Use of electronic calls, dogs, bait, and driving turkeys is prohibited. Successful hunters must fill out tag attached to permit and immediately (prior to moving) attach it to turkey, and must check/report their harvest within 48 hours by EITHER 1) reporting online and writing the assigned confirmation number on tag attached to turkey (see Massachusetts Gun Laws for details), or 2) bringing the turkey to an official check station.

Differences Between hens (females) and Toms (males) during the spring hunting season: A small proportion of female turkeys may have a beard and therefore can be legally harvested. However, their loss reduces the reproductive potential of the turkey population. To avoid misidentification, use the following features to accurately identify a tom from a hen.




Red, blue, or white colors with snood


Blue-gray, no snood

Dark, brown-black


Light, rusty brown

Long bristle/filament like beard


Usually no beard



Usually absent

Gobble, drum


Yelps, clucks, cuts

Strut with tail fan and wing drop


Do not strut

Larger than hen


1⁄2 to 2⁄3 size of Tom

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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