Table of Contents

  • Hunting Hours
    • Legal periods for hunting activities
  • Required Licenses and Permits
    • Mandatory documentation and authorizations for hunters
  • Bag Limits
    • Species-specific capture limits
  • Hunting Zones
    • Designated areas for hunting with specific boundaries
  • Hunting Implements
    • Approved equipment for hunting various game
  • Hunting Methods
    • Legal tactics and practices in the pursuit of game
  • Trapping
    • Guidelines and regulations for capturing wildlife
  • Blaze Orange Requirements
    • Safety apparel mandates for hunter visibility
  • Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting Requirements
    • Protocols for handling and documenting harvested game
  • Hunting Season Framework
    • Calendar outlines for different hunting seasons
  • Bobcat Hunting Regulations
    • Rules specific to the hunting of bobcats
  • Contact Information
    • Details for outreach and inquiries regarding hunting regulations

Hunting hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end ½ hour after sunset. Click here for a sunrise/sunset table.

Required licenses and permits

To hunt bobcats in Massachusetts you must have a license, which you can buy through MassFishHunt. No permits are required.

Massachusetts residents:

  • Hunting or sporting license

Non-residents:

  • Small game or big game license

Bag limits

None

Hunting zones

Wildlife Management Zones 1-8

Hunting implements

Shotguns: Only shot size up to #1 birdshot (pellet diameter equal to or less than 0.160 inches) can be used.

Archery equipment: Archery tackle 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: There are no restrictions on caliber size for rifles or handguns.

Muzzleloaders: Smooth bore muzzleloaders: Only shot size up to #1 birdshot (pellet diameter equal to or less than 0.160 inches) can be used. Rifled bore muzzleloaders: no restrictions on caliber size.

Hunting methods

Legal methods:

  • Electronic calls
  • Manual calls
  • Decoys
  • Bait

Prohibited:

  • Use of dogs
  • 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.

Trapping

Blaze orange requirements

When hunting on a pheasant or quail stocked WMA during the pheasant/quail season, a blaze orange cap is required. 

Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements

  • Bobcats cannot be reported online. Report at an official furbearer check station.
  • You must report your bobcat harvest within 4 working days of the end of the season.
  • Seals must remain attached to the pelt/carcass until the pelt/carcass is prepared for mounting by a taxidermist or the pelt is sold or tanned.

Hunting season framework

December 20 – March 8 of the following year.

Bobcat 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 fox, coyote, and bobcat hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(3) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131 for more information about bobcat hunting laws and regulations.

Contact Information

MassWildlife

Online Resources

Telephone Contact

  • Phone Number: (508) 389-6300
  • Availability: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (closed 12 p.m.–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.