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About the Guide

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This Guide contains a summary of the laws and regulations in place as of September 1, 2010. Any changes in law or regulation enacted after September 1 are publicized through releases to the news media, town clerk’s offices, all license sales outlets, and on our website. These are not the complete laws and regulations. Laws and regulations (MGL Ch. 131 and 321 CMR) are subject to change.

Hunting, fishing, sporting, and trapping licenses must be carried on your person and shown on demand to any officer empowered to enforce these laws, and to landowners or lessees while on their property. A hunting, fishing or trapping license is not permission to trespass or intrude on private land, posted or not. Remember, your privilege to enter on private land is a courtesy extended to you by the owner. Practice courtesy and leave a good impression if you want to continue hunting, fishing or trapping.

License sales outlets may sell a hunting or sporting license only after seeing proof of a previous hunting license from any state or province, or year, or a certificate of completion of a Basic Hunter Education course from any state or province. See Minors.


Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs

IAN A. BOWLES, Secretary

Department of Fish and Game

MARY B. GRIFFIN, Commissioner

Division of Fisheries & Wildlife

WAYNE F. MacCALLUM, Director

Fisheries & Wildlife Board

GEORGE L. DAREY, Chair (Lenox)
JOHN F. CREEDON, Esq. (Brockton)
JOSEPH S. LARSON, Ph.D. (Pelham)
Bonita J. Booth (Spencer)
BRANDI VAN ROO, Ph.D. (Douglas)

Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Advisory Committee

KATHLEEN S. ANDERSON, Chair (Middleborough)
MARILYN J. FLOR (Rockport)
JOSEPH S. LARSON, Ph.D. (Pelham)
MARK MELLO (South Dartmouth)
GLENN MOTZKIN (Shutesbury)

Associate Members

William E. Brumback (Framingham)
Andy Finton (Boston)
Timothy Flanagan (Lenox)
Wayne R. Petersen (Hanson)
Mark Pokras (North Grafton)
Bryan Windmiller (Concord)

Visit the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife on-line at


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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