Public Hearing for Proposed Changes in Hunting Regulation

A public hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 3 pm at the MassWildlife field headquarters (1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough) on the proposed regulatory amendments to 321 CMR 3.00 Hunting; specifically, the regulations relating to the hunting of pheasants, quail and small game.

The proposed regulations:

  • Create a late season pheasant and quail so hunters can go after any previously uncaught birds in storage until December 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 for pheasants and quail 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 the 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.
  • Retire the black-tailed jackrabbit season. MassWildlife staff believe the species is extirpated.

The full hearing notice, including the text of the proposed regulations, is available on the MassWildlife website. public hearings page. Written comments will be accepted until July 6, 2022 at 5 pm To submit written comments, please send an email Attention Board of Fish and Wildlife, or mail comments to Chairman of the Board of Fish and Wildlife, c/o Director of MassWildlife, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581.