When does turkey hunting season begin in Massachusetts?

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The spring season of wild turkey hunting begins on Monday along with a one-day youth turkey hunt on Saturday.

Spring turkey season begins Monday, April 25 and goes to Saturday, May 21, excluding Sundays. Hours for hunting begin half an hour before sunrise and end at noon. In order to hunt, you are required to have the following licenses and permits:

Massachusetts residents:

  • Hunting or Sporting License
  • Turkey permit
  • Safety sticker

Non-residents:

  • Big game license
  • Turkey permit
  • Safety sticker

Spring season allows hunters to use a shotgun, muzzleloader or archery weapons. All shotguns and muzzleloaders are required to have an official safety sticker placed on the gun and must be visible when you are looking down the barrel.

Blaze orange clothing is not required during the spring season. It is also illegal to hunt using electronic calls, dogs, bait, herding turkeys, live decoys or wanton waste.

Hunters are limited to two bearded birds for bag limits. All game must be reported within 48 hours of harvest.

Youth Hunt Program

A youth turkey hunt program will be held on Saturday from a half an hour before sunrise to 5:00 p.m. and is open to minors ages 12 to 17 that have met the following requirements:

  • Graduated from a basic Hunter Education course before the day of the hunt
  • Completed one seminar before the day of the hunt
  • Be accompanied by an adult mentor with a Massachusetts hunting license and turkey permit

Kids ages 15 or older that wish to hunt with a shotgun are required to have a valid Massachusetts firearm license. Kids that are interested in future youth turkey hunt programs can complete the courses and seminars online.

How to identify male and female turkeys in the spring

Tom identifications:

  • Head: Red, blue or white colors with a fleshy mass over the beak
  • Body: Dark, brown-black
  • Beard: Long bristle/filament-like beard
  • Spurs: Present
  • Calls: Gobble, drum
  • Strut: Walks with tail fanned and wings dropped
  • Size, Larger than hen

Hen identifications:

  • Head: Blue-gray, no snood
  • Body: Light, rusty brown
  • Beard: Usually no beard
  • Spurs: Usually absent
  • Calls: Yelps, clucks, cuts
  • Strut: Do not strut or fan tail
  • Size: 1/2 to 2/3 size of toms
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