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Upland Game Birds

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Open season
(All Dates Inclusive)

Daily BAG limit

possession limit

season limit


Jan. 1 – Apr. 10
Jul. 2 – Apr. 10, 2013


Oct. 13 – Nov. 24




Youth Hunt

See Outdoor Skills & Wildlife Education Programs.


Oct. 13 – Nov. 24




Ruffed Grouse

Oct. 13 – Nov. 24







Wild Turkey

Spring: Zones 1–13

Apr. 30 – May 26

See “Wild Turkey,” below.

Fall: Zones 1–9; 13

Oct. 29 – Nov. 3

Youth Hunt: Zones 1-13

April 28 (special restrictions apply**)

Upland game bird hunting is closed during shotgun deer season.

* Migratory game birds (includes waterfowl, woodcock, snipe, rails): Seasons set annually. see Migratory Bird Abstracts.

** Must have completed the youth turkey hunt program (see Outdoor Skills & Wildlife Education Programs).


May be hunted on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays only during the open season. Electronic calls, rifles, and bait are permissible. Hunting hours close ½ hour after sunset except as noted in WMA Reg. #10 in the General Hunting Regulations.


Zone from the New Hampshire border south on I-95 to I-495 south to I-95, north on I-95 to I-93/128, east on I-93/128 to Rte. 3, south on Rte. 3 to Rte. 228, north on 228 to the Hull town line. Cocks and hens may be hunted west of the zone line and on all WMAs. Cocks only may be hunted east of the zone line including Hull and in Dukes and Nantucket counties. See WMA Reg. #10 in the General Hunting Regulations.


Zones 11–14 only. See WMA Reg. #10 in the General Hunting Regulations.

Ruffed Grouse

See WMA Reg. #10 in the General Hunting Regulations.

Wild Turkey

Permit required. Official safety sticker must be adhered to firearm in such a manner as to be visible when hunter is sighting down the barrel. If new or replacement sticker is needed, send self-addressed stamped envelope to DFW’s Field Headquarters 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 in the General Hunting Regulations.

Bag limit: (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 (.775 caliber for smoothbore muzzleloaders) and restricted to shot sizes #4–#6, or with bows 40 lbs. pull or greater. Electronic calls, dogs, bait, driving prohibited. Successful hunters must tag bird immediately and check/report the bird within 48 hours.



Licensed hunters may submit an application to DFW District offices for a free 1 day permit that allows the private purchase, liberation, and hunting of ring-necked pheasants and/or bobwhite quail on selected WMAs from January 1–March 31. If purchasing birds from out of state, a separate importation permit is required. Permits are issued on a first-come first-served basis; only one party may schedule a hunt on each specific WMA per day. There is no minimum or maximum stocking limit, or daily/season bag limit. For a complete list of procedures associated with this permit, contact a DFW district office. WMAs currently designated for hunting under this special permit are:

Crane WMA, Southeast District

Erwin Wilder WMA, Southeast District

Martin Burns WMA, Northeast District

Bolton Flats WMA, Central District

Winnimusset WMA, Central District

Herm Covey WMA, CT Valley District

Housatonic Valley WMA, Western District



ALL migratory game bird hunters must complete a Harvest Information Program (H.I.P.) survey for each calendar year. This includes woodcock, rail, snipe, and coot hunters. Complete the survey when you purchase your license, or whenever you purchase your state waterfowl stamp. HIP numbers will no longer be issued; instead, a “HIP Survey Completed” notation will appear directly on your license. A separate HIP survey must be completed for each state in which you hunt migratory game birds.

Migratory Game Bird Hunting regulations do not appear in this publication. They are published separately each September.


Differentiating hens (females) from Toms (males) during the spring hunting season: Up to 8% of female turkeys may have a beard and may be legally harvested. However, their loss reduces the reproductive potential of the turkey population. To avoid misidentification, use the following features to positively identify a gobbler from a hen.


turkey_Tom Turkeys display V4_by Bill Byrne_Tiff.tif

Hen turkeys_SUBSTITUTION p37 top right_9089.tif




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 gobbler

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