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The legendary “Green Monster” of Fenway Park is not the only mythical monster to be found in Massachusetts. We’re not talking about the giant Bluefin tuna that fill your sushi rolls or Chára of the Boston Bruins coming across the blue line. The creature we speak of lives in the woods, and can be hunted with a bow or rifle.
Massachusetts has an exploding whitetail deer population that is quickly approaching overpopulated territory. While this might be considered bad, it spells good news for hunters. Coupled with extremely reasonable license prices, and their bag limit of 2 bucks and as many antlerless as a hunter has permits for, Massachusetts offers a great opportunity for those hunters looking to fill the freezer. Don’t be mistaken, and think that there are no trophy deer around though, as the fabled Sovinksi buck that scored 204 1/8 inches was killed on public ground in Massachusetts a few years ago. However, if chasing brute whitetails is not your speed, perhaps you’d like to get up close and personal with a set of big teeth and claws.
Massachusetts is home to a sizable bear population of over 4,500 individuals. Similar to the deer population, bears have grown to be a nuisance to people. Farmers are frequently subject to damage from the animals, and have opened some opportunities for hunters to manage the problem. Non-resident hunters must only purchase a big game license and bear permit to chase the toothy critters. However, if you typically steer clear of teeth and claws like any sane person would, a Massachusetts wild turkey hunt may be preferred.
With a turkey population of over 30,000 birds in a relatively small area, there are innumerable opportunities to chase a gobbler. The state has both a fall and spring season, with one bird allowed in the fall and one or two (depending on if you harvested a fall bird) allowed in the spring. Non-resident hunters must only purchase a big game license, turkey permit, and safety sticker to hunt turkeys. Licenses are very reasonable for turkey standards, and provide a fun and inexpensive option to hunt the Massachusetts state game bird. However, if you prefer running your favorite bird dog in tall grass to ambushing a gobbler on a field edge, you will love the pheasant hunting in Massachusetts.
MassWildlife stocks over 40,000 ring-necked pheasants annually on both public and private land, and provides an interactive map of stocking locations to help you kill more birds. Regulations are slightly different than many of the Midwestern states, as you can shoot both roosters and hens. Unfortunately, the season bag limit is only six birds, and only two birds are allowed per day. Luckily, you only need a small game or big game license with no additional permitting, which helps offset the light bag limit. If you decide to go with a guide on a commercial shooting preserve for a day, the fee is negligible, and is a great inexpensive option that guarantees that you knock down some birds. Alternatively, if you prefer a pair of camo waders to a hunter’s orange vest, we suggest you look into Massachusetts waterfowl hunting.
Waterfowl hunting in the northeast can be very different to what those in the other three-quarters of the country are likely used to. There are obviously the classic puddle duck hunts on farm ponds and in the marsh, but what is unique to this region is the option of hunting big diver ducks on the coastal marshes in areas like the Parker River. Ducks like Scoters, Eiders, and Long-tails are often hunted from layout blinds nestled among massive spreads of decoys. Hunters hide in plain sight until the fighter-jet-like ducks check out the spread, then do everything they can to get a bead on them. Make sure to bring plenty of shells, as you will likely need them. Licenses are priced on the very low end in comparison to other states, which may open up some personal funds to go with an outfitter. Being that the competition is high, I suggest you connect with one of our expert guides at HuntAnywhere.com and greatly increase your chances of bagging a limit of birds.
Whether you are a diehard deer hunter looking to shoot a wall hanger, a weekend pheasant hunter looking to have a great day with some buddies, or an out-of-state Red Sox fan in for a game looking to go on your first hunting trip, Massachusetts has opportunities for hunters of all skill levels and interests. Check out our catalog of experienced Guides and Outfitters on HuntAnywhere.com, and book a trip you will not soon forget!