Hunting Guide: Table of Contents

  • Hunting Hours

    • Permitted times for hunting activities
  • Required Licenses

    • Documentation necessary for legal hunting
  • Bag Limits

    • Restrictions on game harvest quantities
  • Hunting Zones

    • Designated areas for hunting within the region
  • Hunting Implements

    • Authorized equipment for use in hunting
  • Hunting Methods

    • Legal techniques for pursuing and capturing game
  • Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting Requirements

    • Procedures for handling game post-harvest
  • Hunting Season Framework

    • Overview of season dates and species-specific seasons
  • Raccoon and Opossum Hunting Regulations

    • Specific rules for hunting raccoons and opossums
  • Contact Information

    • Details for inquiries and further assistance

Hunting hours

Raccoon and opossum may be hunted 24 hours per day. Exception: WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season, the hunting hours for raccoon and opossum are from 9 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Required licenses

To hunt raccoon and opossum in Massachusetts you must have a license, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.

Massachusetts residents:

  • Hunting or sporting license

Non-residents:

  • Small game or big game license

Bag limits

Raccoon Individual bag limit: 3 raccoons (Between sunset of one day and sunset of the following day.)

Raccoon Group bag limit (2 or more hunters): 6 raccoons (Between sunset of one day and sunset of the following day.)

Opossum: No bag limit.

Hunting zones

All Wildlife Management Zones statewide.

Hunting implements

Shotguns: Only shot size up to #1 birdshot.

Archery: Archery equipment is legal, with no minimum pull. Crossbows may only be used by permit. Poisoned arrows, explosive tips, and bows drawn by mechanical means are prohibited.

Rifles and handguns:

  • Daytime hunting: During the period from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset there are no restrictions on size or caliber of rifles or handguns.
  • Nighttime hunting: During the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, rifles are restricted to those chambered not larger than .22 long rifle and handguns are restricted to those chambered not larger than .38 caliber.

Muzzleloaders: Smooth bore muzzleloaders: Only shot size up to #1 birdshot. Rifled bore muzzleloaders: no restrictions on caliber size.

Hunting methods

Legal:

  • Manual Calls
  • Electronic Calls
  • Bait
  • Artificial light
  • Dogs

Prohibited:

  • Wanton waste: It is unlawful for hunters to intentionally or knowingly leave a wounded or dead game animal in the field or the forest without making a reasonable effort to retrieve and use it. Each retrieved animal shall be retained or transferred to another until processed or used for food, pelt, feathers, or taxidermy. This does not apply to animals unfit for consumption or use—animals and their parts that are damaged, destroyed, decayed, rotting, diseased, or infected.

Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements

You do not have to report harvest for raccoon or opossum.

Hunting season framework

October 1 to the last day of January of the following year. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays. Raccoon and opossum hunting is closed during the shotgun deer season.

Raccoon and opossum hunting regulations

This page is to be used as a reference, it is not the entire law and is subject to change. You can refer to the hunting and trapping of certain mammals regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(5) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131 for more information about raccoon and opossum hunting.

Contact Information

MassWildlife

Online Resources

Telephone Support

  • Phone Number: (508) 389-6300
  • Operating Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. ET (Closed from noon–12:30 p.m. for lunch)

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Disclaimer:

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.