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Migratory Game Birds

Hunting Regulations Icon Rhode Island Hunting



Bag / Possession Limit

Mourning Dove

9/12/15 – 10/11/15

10/17/15 – 11/29/15

12/12/15 – 12/27/15

15 / 45

King/Clapper Rail

9/1/15 – 11/9/15

1 / 3

Sora/Virginia Rail

9/1/15 – 11/9/15

3 / 9


9/1/15 – 11/9/15

5 / 15


10/17/15 – 11/30/15

3 / 9


8/14/15 – 10/4/15 (Fri, Sat, Sun Only)

10/17/15 – 12/4/15 (inclusive)

12/11/15 – 4/3/16 (Fri, Sat, Sun Only)


Canada Goose*

9/1/15 – 9/30/15

15 / 45

Sea Duck

10/10/15 – 1/24/16

5**/ 15

* Shooting hours include 1⁄2 hr after sunset for September Canada goose hunting only.

** No more than four (4) of which may be eider or scoter or long-tailed duck.

Federal law requires that migratory game bird hunters use a shotgun that is capable of holding no more than three (3) shells. The methods of taking migratory birds and waterfowl are the same as the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR part 20). Refer to Waterfowl Abstract for additional regulations and South Shore MA Regulations.

Non-Toxic Shot Requirements: No person shall take or attempt to take waterfowl, rails, or snipe within the State of Rhode Island, including Narragansett Bay and its coastal waters, to the three mile limit, while possessing shells loaded with any shot other than non toxic shot or other shot as approved by United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Avian Disease

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is participating in a nationwide effort of surveillance of wild birds for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). In the winter and spring of 2015, HPAI was detected in the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways affecting 48+ million birds. The Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), in cooperation with other federal and state agencies will be targeting several species for surveillance. The DFW is using a variety of methods to sample birds and working with the National Wildlife Health Center to have samples tested. The state will work with federal agencies and the local media to inform the public in the event of a positive detection of HPAI.

Due to the presence of HPAI in North America, the DFW strongly advises hunters to adhere to the following procedures when handling wild birds to avoid possible exposure to themselves, pets or domestic poultry:

  • Do not handle or butcher game animals that are obviously sick or are found dead.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while cleaning game.
  • Wear rubber gloves or cover hands with plastic when cleaning game.
  • Wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds after handling game.
  • Carry disinfecting wipes or an alcohol-based gel into the field with you for immediate use after handling game.
  • Wash tools and working surfaces with soap and water, then disinfect with a 10% solution of chlorine bleach.
  • Cook game meat thoroughly—reaching an internal temperature of 165° F.
  • Clean birds in an area that poultry and pet birds cannot access. There should be a solid barrier between your game cleaning area and where birds are housed.
  • Keep a separate pair of shoes to be worn only in the game cleaning area. Clean and disinfect all footwear when coming in and out of the cleaning area.
  • Use dedicated tools for cleaning game, do not mix tools that you use around poultry or pet birds.
  • Double bag offal and feathers, tying both bags shut.
  • Place bags in a container that poultry, pet birds, children or other pets cannot access.