Table of Contents

  • Hunting Hours

    • Designated legal times for engaging in hunting activity
  • Required Licenses and Permits

    • Documentation that hunters must obtain before hunting
  • Bag Limits

    • Restrictions on the number of game animals that can be harvested
  • Hunting Zones

    • Geographic areas designated for hunting with specified boundaries
  • Hunting Implements

    • Approved tools and weapons for hunting use
  • Hunting Methods

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

    • Visibility attire mandates for hunting safety
  • Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting Requirements

    • Details on how to handle game post-harvest
  • Hunting Season Framework

    • Calendar structure for different hunting seasons
  • Ruffed Grouse Hunting Regulations

    • Specific guidelines pertaining to the hunting of ruffed grouse
  • Contact Information

    • How to reach out for further information or assistance

Hunting Hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end ½ hour after sunset. A sunrise/sunset table is available for reference.

Required Licenses and Permits

To hunt ruffed grouse in Massachusetts, residents need a hunting or sporting license, while non-residents require a small game or big game license. Licenses and permits can be purchased through MassFishHunt.

Bag Limits

  • Daily Limit: 3 per day
  • Possession Limit: 6 in possession
  • Seasonal Limit: 15 per season

Hunting Zones

Hunting for ruffed grouse is allowed in all Wildlife Management Zones statewide.

Hunting Implements

  • Shotguns (including smoothbore muzzleloaders): No larger than #1 birdshot is allowed.
  • Archery: Legal equipment includes bows, but crossbows may only be used by those with a specific permit. The use of poisoned arrows, explosive tips, mechanically drawn bows, or any device that propels an arrow by means other than a bowstring is prohibited.

Hunting Methods

Wanton waste is prohibited. Hunters must make a reasonable effort to retrieve and use wounded or dead game. This rule does not apply to animals unfit for consumption or use.

Blaze Orange Requirements

When hunting ruffed grouse on WMAs where pheasant or quail are stocked during their respective seasons, hunters are required to wear a blaze orange cap.

Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting Requirements

Harvest reporting for ruffed grouse is not required.

Hunting Season Framework

The season runs from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Hunting on Sundays is prohibited.

Ruffed Grouse Hunting Regulations

For detailed regulations, refer to the pheasant, quail, and ruffed grouse hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(6), and the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131.

Contact Information

MassWildlife provides resources and information for hunters:

  • Email:
  • Website: MassWildlife Homepage
  • Social Media: MassWildlife Facebook, MassWildlife Instagram
  • Phone Contact: (508) 389-6300
  • Operating Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET (Closed for lunch 12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

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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.