Massachusetts Turkey Hunting Forecast for 2014

Massachusetts Turkey Hunting Forecast for 2014
Joseph Hall from Lunenburg Massachusetts shot this great tom this season.

Bay State hunters can expect a fairly average season this year.  Adult gobblers dominating the 2013 harvest suggests a lower proportion of jakes available last year, which translates to fewer longbeards this spring.  However, at around 30,000 birds the statewide population is still robust and should provide plenty ample opportunity.


Worcester County in the Central District annually accounts for the most birds with predominantly small to medium-sized public parcels well distributed throughout.  Hunting pressure can be higher on more popular areas but savvy hunters can find lighter hunting pressure by doing a little homework.  Northernmost Franklin County tops the Connecticut Valley District at nearly double either of the other two counties, and has more and larger public parcels.  However, the entire valley contains ideal habitat and patchily distributed pockets of birds.  The Western District's Berkshire County has some of the state's largest parcels.  Many are heavily forested so hunters should concentrate on the fringes, particularly areas adjacent to farmlands.



Massachusetts turkey hunting in spring is permitted in Zones 1-13.  The Bay State's season kicks off with a youth hunt on April 26, and youngsters are required to participate in a pre-season workshop to be eligible.  During the four-week regular season (April 28 - May 24).  Properly licensed hunters may take two bearded birds (one per day).  Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to 12:00 noon and gun hunters must affix an official green "Hunt Safely" sticker (available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to any DFW office) to their firearm such that it's visible to the hunter when sighting down the barrel.   Successful hunters must fill out and attach tags immediately, and must report their harvest, either online or at an official check station within 48 hours.


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