WESTBOROUGH — A public hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 3 p.m. at the MassWildlife Field Headquarters (1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough) on proposed regulatory amendments to 321 CMR 3.00 Hunting; specifically, regulations relating to pheasant, quail, and small game hunting.
The proposed regulations would:
• Create a late pheasant and quail season so hunters can pursue any previously stocked unharvested birds through December 31.
• Expand hunting hours on stocked WMAs. Hunting hours would remain from sunrise to sunset while hunting pheasant, but would be expanded for other species. For example, archery deer hunters could now hunt from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset on WMAs stocked with pheasant.
• Standardize hunting hours for pheasant and quail to sunrise to sunset statewide.
• Remove WMA hunting, implement restrictions and standardize implements (shotgun and archery) for pheasant and quail. For example, bear and coyote hunters would now be permitted to use any legal hunting implement, including rifles, on WMAs stocked with pheasants. Hunters would now only be able to use shotgun and archery equipment while hunting for pheasants statewide.
• Simplify and expand the hare, cottontail, and gray squirrel seasons. Hare, cottontail, and gray squirrel hunting seasons would be extended through the end of February in a single statewide season for each species.
• Remove the black-tailed jackrabbit season. MassWildlife staff believes the species is extirpated.
• The full hearing notice, including the text of the proposed regulations, is available on MassWildlife’s Public Hearings page by visiting https://www.mass.gov/service-details/fisheries-and-wildlife-hearings-on-proposed-regulatory-amendments Written comments will be accepted until July 6, 2022 at 5 p.m. To submit written comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to the attention of the Fisheries and Wildlife Board, or mail comments to Chairman, Fisheries and Wildlife Board, c/o Director of MassWildlife, Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581.