Massachusetts Deer Season 2024-2025: Latest Dates & Laws!

In Massachusetts, white-tailed deer are a common big game species that hunters seek. Here is an overview of the regulations, schedule, bag limit and information on how to legally hunt deer in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Deer Hunting Season Dates

Archery Zones 1–14October 7 – November 30, 2024
ParaplegicOctober 31 – November 2, 2024
ShotgunDecember 2 – December 14, 2024
Primitive FirearmsDecember 16 – December 31, 2024

Youth Hunt Days

Youth Archery28-Sep-24

Bag Limits

The yearly bag limitations in Massachusetts are as follows:

  • 2 deer with antlers that are at least 3 inches long;
  • Unlimited antlerless with valid permits
  • On Youth Hunt Day, 1 buck

Two deer may be taken per day in Zones 1 through 12, and four may be taken per day in Zones 13 through 14. A hunter may continue to pursue the same day after checking in.


License and Permits Required

A valid Massachusetts hunting license or non-resident large game permit is required for all hunters. Additionally, specific seasons call for stamps and permits for antlerless:

  • During the archery, a stamp for archery is necessary.
  • During the primitive guns period, a primitive firearms stamp is necessary.
  • Permits are needed to hunt deer without or with antlers under 3 inches.

If a legally licensed adult is present, youth hunters aged 12 to 14 are permitted to pursue a deer on the Youth hunt Day without a license, but they must first get a free Youth Day permit.

License costs

  • Sporting or hunting license (between $27.50 and $41.50) – Comes with two antlered tags. 
  • Archery Stamp ($5.10)
  • Primitive Firearms Stamp ($5.10)  
  • Antlerless Permit ($5.10) – Necessary to hunt deer without antlers

For non-residents:

  • Big Game License for Non-Residents ($90.50) includes two antlerless tags; 
  • $5.10 Archery Stamp
  • Stamp for Primitive Firearms ($5.10) 
  • Permit for Antlerless ($5.10)

Youth ages 12-17 need:

Free Youth Hunt Day Permit, Resident Minor Hunting License, Non-Resident Big Game License, Season Stamps, Antlerless Permit

  • Antlerless Permit 
  • Season stamps required 
  • Free Youth Hunt Day Permit

Legal Hunting Gear

  • Archery: 40+ lb draw weight crossbows, longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, and authorized recurve bows are allowed.
  • Shotguns with rifled barrels that are 10 gauge or less and loaded with slugs are allowed.
  • Primitive Firearms: Single-projectile muzzleloaders in the.44 to.775 caliber range.

Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting

Hunting license or permit tags must be promptly attached to deer that have been harvested. Within 48 hours, it must be reported online or at a check point. During shipping and processing, the confirmation number or check seal must be kept in place.

Hunting Hours

Permitted from half an hour before dawn to half an hour after sunset every day. For precise legal timings, hunters should reference sunrise/sunset tables.

Blaze Orange Requirements

Hunters are required to wear 500 inches of blaze orange on their head, chest, and back:

  • Youth Hunt Day
  • Shotgun
  • Primitive Firearms

WMAs that have been stocked with pheasants or quail, archers must use a blazing orange cap.

Other MA Deer Hunting Guidelines

  • Certain components cannot be imported from other states with Chronic Wasting Disease.
  • Driving deer is authorized but the use of rifles, pistols, dogs, baiting, and electronic calls is forbidden.
  • Dogs, baiting, rifles, pistols, and electronic calls are banned.
  • Antler rattling and odors are permissible.
  • It’s permitted to drive deer.
  • Wanton waste of game animals is prohibited.
  • Must be tagged immediately after harvest and reported within 48 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the youth deer hunting day in Massachusetts for the 2024-2025 season?

Saturday, September 28, 2024, is the Massachusetts youth deer hunting day for that year. Hunters between the ages of 12 and 17 if they are accompanied by a fully licensed adult over the age of 18. A free Youth Hunt Day permit from MassWildlife is required for young hunters.

What are the dates for the archery deer season in Massachusetts in 2024?

The Massachusetts archery deer Zones 10–14’s season runs from October 7–November 30.

What size shot is legal for hunting deer with a shotgun in Massachusetts?

Shotguns in Massachusetts must be 10 gauge or smaller and loaded with only slugs during the shotgun season. Both sabot slugs and common Foster types are acceptable. Slugs made of lead or a lead substitute may be used. Buckshot is not allowed.

What blaze orange standards apply to Massachusetts deer season?

When certain times of year or in Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), blaze orange is required. 500 square inches of blazing orange are required for Youth Hunt Day on the chest, back, and head. When hunting on WMAs that have been stocked with pheasants and/or quail throughout their respective seasons during the Archery, you must wear a blazing orange headgear. 500 square inches of blazing orange are required on the chest, back, and head during shotgun and the primitive firearms period. During certain times, hunters who use blinds must also wear enough orange to be seen from the outside of the blind.

What kind of hunting will not be permitted in Massachusetts ?

Using rifles and handguns, electronic calls, dogs, decoys, and other hunting techniques is not permitted in Massachusetts during the deer season. Baiting, which includes using organic or synthetic materials to entice the target, is likewise forbidden, subject to scheduling limits. Hunters must also make a reasonable attempt to find and utilize any injured or dead game animals before abandoning them in the field.

What time does legal hunting end each day during the Massachusetts deer seasons?

In Massachusetts, the time window for legal deer shooting closes every day one hour after dusk. The precise legal end hours for hunting, which change depending on the date and location, may be found by consulting sunrise-sunset tables.

What licenses and permits are required for deer hunting in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts citizens require a Hunting or Sporting License, which contains two statewide antlered tags, an Archery Stamp and a Primitive guns Stamp. No stamp is needed during shotgun. Hunters of antlerless deer must also have a permit. Non-residents need a Non-Resident Big Game Hunting License, which contains two statewide antlered tags, an Archery Stamp, and a Primitive Firearms Stamp for each season. A non-resident Antlerless Permit is also required for hunting. minors aged 15-17 need a Resident Minor Hunting license or Non-Resident Big Game License, an Antlerless Permit, and season stamps, whereas minors aged 12-14 do not need a license but must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter.

James Ellis

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