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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.


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ANIMALS Tagged for Research

Some bear, deer, coyotes, and other animals may have ear tags or radio collars. It is legal to harvest them. If you find or take one of these animals, contact DFW’s Field Headquarters (508) 389-6300 immediately. You will be asked for information that will help biologists determine the source and status of these animals AND you will be asked to return the equipment to the DFW. Thank you for your cooperation.

Open season
(All Dates Inclusive)

Daily BAG limit

possession limit

season limit

Black Bear

Zones 1-9

Sept. 8 – Sept. 26
Nov. 2 -Nov. 21

See “Black Bear,” below.



Permit required (see Licenses, Stamps & Permits). Limit one bear per year. Hunting allowed in Zones 1–9 ONLY (see Wildlife Management Area Regulations). Hunting only with rifle .23 caliber or larger, muzzleloader .44–.775 caliber, bows with a draw weight of 40 lbs. or greater, or revolvers .357 Magnum or .40 caliber or larger. Revolvers permitted during September season only. Use of shotguns and use of dogs for training or hunting is prohibited (see Hunting Dogs on General Hunting Regulations). Baiting of bears is prohibited. Hunting hours close ½ hour after sunset except as noted in WMA Reg. #10 (General Hunting Regulations). Successful hunters must immediately fill out and detach bear tag from permit and attach tag to bear prior to moving it, and then must check/report their harvest within 48 hours by EITHER 1) reporting online and writing the harvest report confirmation number on tag attached to the bear (see Massachusetts Gun Laws for details), or 2) bringing the bear to an official check station. Bear can only be field dressed, must not be concealed (bear or part of bear must remain open to view during transport), and must remain intact or whole (do not skin, butcher, or take to a taxidermist for mounting) until it has been checked/reported.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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