Table of Contents

  • Hunting Hours

    • Times when hunting is legally permitted
  • Required Licenses and Permits

    • Documentation needed to hunt legally
  • Bag Limits

    • Maximum number of game animals that can be taken
  • Hunting Zones

    • Specific areas designated for hunting
  • Hunting Implements

    • Approved equipment for use in hunting
  • Hunting Methods

    • Legal techniques for capturing or killing game
  • Blaze Orange Requirements

    • Safety clothing mandates for hunter visibility
  • Shotgun Deer Season Special Restrictions

    • Rules exclusive to shotgun deer hunting
  • Trapping

    • Regulations and guidelines for capturing wildlife
  • Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting Requirements

    • Post-hunt procedures for game management
  • Hunting Season Framework

    • Structure of the hunting seasons
  • Coyote Hunting Regulations

    • Specific rules for hunting coyotes
  • Contact Information

    • Resources and contacts for additional information

Standard Hunting Hours and Shotgun Deer Season Exception

Standard Hunting Hours

  • Timing:

    • Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise.
  • End Time:

    • Hunting hours extend until midnight.

Exception for Shotgun Deer Season

  • Timing:

    • During shotgun deer season, hunting hours start ½ hour before sunrise.
  • End Time:

    • Exceptionally, hunting hours end ½ hour after sunset during the shotgun deer season.

Required Licenses and Permits for Coyote Hunting

Massachusetts Residents

  • License Needed: Hunting or sporting license


  • License Options:
    • Small game license
    • Big game license

Purchase Platform

  • Where to Buy: Licenses and permits available via MassFishHunt.

Bag limits


Hunting zones

All Wildlife Management Zones statewide.

Hunting Implements


  • Shot Size Limitation: Up to FF (.230 inches diameter).
  • Usage Restriction: Slugs, single balls, and buckshot exclusive to shotgun deer season.

Archery Equipment

  • Legality: All archery tackle permitted, no minimum pull requirement.
  • Crossbow Usage: By permit for permanently disabled persons only.
  • Prohibitions:
    • Poisoned arrows
    • Explosive tips
    • Mechanically drawn bows

Rifles and Handguns

  • Daytime (½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset):
    • No size or caliber restrictions for rifles or handguns
  • Nighttime (½ hour after sunset to midnight):
    • Rifles: Restricted to .22 long rifle or smaller
    • Handguns: Restricted to .38 caliber or smaller
  • Shotgun Deer Season: Both rifles and handguns prohibited.


  • Smooth Bore:
    • Shot sizes up to FF (.230 inches diameter).
    • Slugs, single balls, and buckshot for shotgun deer season only.
  • Rifled Bore: No caliber size restrictions.

Hunting Methods

Legal Methods

  • Electronic Calls: Allowed outside shotgun deer season.
  • Manual Calls: Permissible except during shotgun deer season.
  • Dogs: Can be used, but not during shotgun deer season.
  • Decoys: No restrictions.
  • Bait: Permitted for use.

Prohibited Methods

  • Artificial Light: Use is illegal.
  • Wanton Waste:
    • It's illegal to abandon wounded or dead game without effort to retrieve.
    • Retrieval and use of each animal for food, pelt, feathers, or taxidermy is required.
    • Exemption for unfit game: Not applicable to damaged, decayed, or diseased game.

Blaze Orange Requirements

Shotgun Season for Deer

  • Requirement:
    • During the shotgun season for deer, hunters must wear 500 square inches of blaze orange.
  • Coverage:
    • The blaze orange must be visible on the chest, head, and back.

Pheasant or Quail Stocked WMA

  • Requirement:
    • When hunting on a pheasant or quail stocked Wildlife Management Area (WMA) during the pheasant/quail season, a blaze orange cap is required.

Special Restrictions for Shotgun Deer Season

Hunting Hours

  • Timing:
    • Hunting hours for shotgun deer season are ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.

Blaze Orange Requirement

  • Coverage:
    • Hunters are required to wear 500 square inches of hunter orange.
    • Blaze orange must be visible on the head, chest, and back.

Prohibited Items

  • Firearms:

    • Rifles and handguns are prohibited during shotgun deer season.
  • Calls:

    • Both electronic and manual calls are prohibited.
  • Canines:

    • The use of dogs for hunting is prohibited during this season.


Learn more about coyote trapping.

Coyote Harvest Reporting Requirements

Reporting Timeframe

  • Reporting Deadline:
    • Coyote harvest must be reported within 48 hours of harvest.

Reporting Options

  • Methods:

    • Report at an official check station or online through the designated platform.
  • Confirmation Number:

    • If reporting online, write the confirmation number on a tag.

Attachment Guidelines

  • Tag Attachment:

    • Attach the tag with the confirmation number to the coyote carcass or pelt.
  • Duration:

    • The confirmation number must remain attached until the pelt or carcass is prepared for mounting, sold, or tanned.

Coyote Hunting Season Framework

  • Season Duration:

    • The coyote hunting season spans from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to March 8 of the following year.
  • Inclusive Periods:

    • This timeframe includes the shotgun deer season.

This delineation provides the specific timeframe during which hunters can pursue coyotes in Massachusetts.

Coyote Hunting Regulations

Reference Purposes

  • Nature of the Page: To be used as a guideline, not an exhaustive legal document.
  • Change Policy: Subject to modifications.

Regulatory Resources

  • Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR): Detailed regulations found in 321 CMR 3.02(3).
  • Massachusetts General Laws: Further regulations located in Chapter 131.

Additional Information

Contact Information




  • Number: Call MassWildlife at (508) 389-6300
  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (closed 12 p.m.–12:30 p.m. for lunch)

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.