CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is informing local hunters of some new extensions and regulations for the 2023 hunting season.

MassWildlife will be extending the hunting season of pheasant and quail seasons. The season will now be open on the Saturday after Columbus Day and will close on December 31. Hunters will now be able to use all legal methods to hunt pheasant and quail stocked in Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). Previously, hunters were restricted to shotguns and archery in those areas. All other public and private hunting land statewide will be shotgun and archery only.

There will be several new hunting seasons this year. Gray squirrels, cottontail rabbits, and snowshoe hares have been placed into their own hunting seasons.

  • Gray squirrel season will begin on the Tuesday after Labor Day and end on the last day of February.
  • Cottontail rabbit season will begin on the Saturday after Columbus Day and ends on the last day of February.
  • Snowshoe hare season will also begin on the Saturday after Columbus Day and ends on the last day of February.

The black-tailed jackrabbit season has been removed from the Massachusetts hunting seasons.

All other hunting seasons will be held around the same time as in previous years. Those seasons can be found on the Mass.gov website.