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New antlerless deer permit procedures for MA hunters

From Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

-- With the start of the new electronic licensing system, MassWildlife has changed the issuance process for antlerless deer permits.

There will no longer be a permit drawing, and hunters' chances of winning will no longer involve hunting/sporting license numbers. Also, there will no longer be a mail notification and/or remittance postcards to customers.

The deer permit application period began Dec. 1, 2011, and runs through July 16.

Hunters interested in obtaining an antlerless deer permit must apply when they initially purchase licenses or any time prior to July 16.

The Instant Award Period begins Aug. 1 and continues through Dec. 31.  Antlerless deer permit applicants must return to the MassFishHunt website either online or at an authorized license agent location or MassWildlife office to win antlerless deer permits in the zones they previously applied.  After selecting the zone for which the hunter previously applied, the system instantly notifies the hunter if he/she won an antlerless deer permit.

For more information on the online process, visit

If the permit is won, the hunter can pay the $5 permit fee immediately and print the permit. The online process allows the applicant to leave the winning permit in the shopping cart where it will remain until payment is made or until the permit expires. All permits expire Dec. 31.

The Instant Award system winning percentages will be determined by the number of permits available for each WMZ divided by the number of applicants for each zone. Hunters have the same odds of winning a permit in their selected zones no matter when they return.

The system is not a first-come, first-served system. Only hunters who applied during the Application Period are able to try for an antlerless deer permit. Only one attempt per hunter is permitted during the Instant Award Phase.

Surplus antlerless deer permits will still be available in October for any zone in which has more permits available than hunters that apply. Surplus antlerless deer permits continue to be issued on a first-come/first-served basis. They are available over the counter, online, through authorized license agent locations and MassWildlife Offices.

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