Tags: Gun Control | hunting | Massachusetts | invasive species | regulations

Hunting in Massachusetts: 3 Invasive Species to Massachusetts and Its Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 10:53 AM

Non-native species in Massachusetts, both plant and animal, have an adverse impact on habitat, economics, and state ecology. In some instances these species may be hunted, but there are rules for doing so.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture, an invasive species is any animal, including  mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects that have" the ability to thrive and spread aggressively outside their native range."

While Massachusetts has few invasive, non-aquatic animals, there are a few nuisance animals that need culling because of their population pressures. Some of the nuisance animals that can be hunted in the state include white-tailed deer, coyote, European hare, and migratory birds.
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Migrating birds, while not invasive, do offer hunters an opportunity to help population control. There are bag limits for those birds – which include woodcock, ducks, geese, snipe, coot, and rails. The regulations for hunters are set annually in August by the Fisheries and Wildlife Board.
  • What is required today for hunting geese and ducks is:a valid Massachusetts hunting or sporting license for residents and non-residents alike who are 15 years old or older, a Massachusetts Waterfowl Stamp, which can be purchased online, a Federal Duck Stamp for hunters 16 and older, which can bet found at selected post offices and online. The Federal Duck Stamp is valid from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

  • Finally, for ducks and geese, you need a Harvest Information Program Registration, which you can acquire when buying a hunting license. If you want to hunt woodcock, snipe, rail and coot, you will need the Massachusetts hunting or sporting license and the HIP registration, but no federal duck stamps are needed. Waterfowl can be hunted from one hour prior to sunup to sunset. All banded migratory birds taken must be reported to Reportband.gov.
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  • Coyote, which can be considered invasive, are hunted seasonally in Massachusetts, and according to the Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Guide the open-season is from mid-October to early March. It is also legal to hunt coyote during shotgun deer season, but they can only be taken between a half hour prior to sunrise to a half hour after sunset. The use of manual or electronic calls and dogs are not allowed, and there is no use of rifles or handguns, but shotguns and muzzzleloaders with slugs and single balls or buckshot are okay. All hunters must wear 500 square inches of hunter orange on their head, chest and back.

  • While wild Russian boars have invaded many states and are a growing problem, the U.S. Department of Agriculture claims there are no feral pigs in Massachusetts, yet. However, one was hit by a car in 2008 along Route 2, and three have been recorded in the state over the last decade. Wild boar now live in neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont, so it may not be long before they will be in Massachusetts and hunters will be able to help control them.
This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Non-native species in Massachusetts, both plant and animal, have an adverse impact on habitat, economics, and state ecology. In some instances these species may be hunted, but there are rules for doing so.
hunting, Massachusetts, invasive species, regulations
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2015-53-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 10:53 AM
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