MassWildlife Seeks Information on New Hunting Regulations

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (WWLP) – MassWildlife will hold a public hearing in June to discuss regulations on hunting pheasants, quail and other small game.

The hearing, which will be open to the public, will be held on June 22 at 3 pm at the MassWildlife field headquarters, located at 1 Rabbit Hill Road in Westborough. The following standards will be discussed:

  • Create a late season pheasant and quail: Hunters could go after any previously stocked uncatched birds through Dec. 31.
  • Extend hunting hours on stored WMAs: Hunting hours would remain from sunrise to sunset while hunting pheasant, but would be expanded for other species. For example, archery deer hunters can now hunt from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset in pheasant-filled WMAs.
  • Standardize hunting hours: The plan would be to establish pheasant and quail hunting hours from sunrise to sunset throughout the state.
  • Remove WMA hunting implement restrictions and standardize implements (shotgun and archery) for pheasant and quail: For example, bear and coyote hunters would now be allowed to use any legal hunting implement, including rifles, in WMAs filled with pheasants. Hunters would now only be able to use shotguns and archery equipment while hunting pheasants throughout the state.
  • Simplify and extend hare, cottontail, and gray squirrel seasons: Hunting seasons for jack rabbits, cottontails and gray squirrels would be extended through the end of February in a single state season for each species.
  • Eliminate Black-tailed Jackrabbit Season: MassWildlife staff believe the species is extirpated.

Written comments on the regulation changes will be accepted until July 6 at 5 p.m. If you are interested in submitting a written comment, you may email to the attention of the Board of Fish and Wildlife.