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Massachusetts Rabbit Hunting Laws and Regulations

Table of Contents

  • Hunting Hours

    • Specified times for legal hunting pursuit
  • Required Licenses and Permits

    • Necessary authorizations for hunters
  • Bag Limits

    • Maximum number of game allowed to be harvested
  • Hunting Implements

    • Approved equipment for hunting use
  • Hunting Methods

    • Acceptable strategies and techniques for hunting
  • Blaze Orange Requirements

    • Safety attire necessities during hunting
  • Tagging, Transporting, and Reporting Requirements

    • Protocols for handling game post-harvest
  • Hunting Season Framework

    • Outline of seasons and hunting periods
  • Contact Information

    • Resources for inquiries and further information

Hunting hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and ends at midnight. Click here for a sunrise/sunset table.

Required licenses and permits

To hunt cottontail rabbit in Massachusetts you must have the appropriate license, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.

Massachusetts residents:

  • Hunting or sporting license

Non-residents:

  • Small game or big game license

You can buy the license you need through MassFishHunt.

Bag limits

  • Cottontail rabbit: 5 per day, 10 in possession, no annual bag limit
  • Snowshoe hare: 2 per day, 4 in possession, no annual bag limit

Hunting implements

Shotguns (including smoothbore muzzleloaders): No larger than #1 birdshot.

Archery: Archery equipment is legal. You must use a device that works by flexing and releasing a bowstring. You may not use poisoned arrows, explosive tips, bows drawn by mechanical means, or any device that propels an arrow, dart, or bolt by gunpowder, compressed air, or any other means. Crossbows may be used only by hunters with a crossbow permit.

Rifles and handguns (including rifled muzzleloaders): Rifles and handguns are legal.

Hunting methods

Wanton waste prohibited: 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.

Blaze orange requirements

Hunters must wear a hunter orange cap when hunting on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season.

Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements

You do not have to report harvest for cottontail rabbit.

Hunting season framework

Cottontail rabbits and snowshoe hares may be hunted in Zones 1–14 from the first Saturday after Columbus Day to the last day of February in the following calendar year. You may not hunt rabbit or hare during the 2-week shotgun deer season.

Contact Information

MassWildlife

Online

Phone

  • Number: (508) 389-6300
  • Business Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (Closed from noon–12:30 p.m.)
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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.