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Hunting Regulations Icon Rhode Island Hunting



Bag Limit


Mink, Muskrat, Skunk, Raccoon, Opossum, Weasel, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Rabbit

11/1/15 – 1/31/16



Coyote- Private

no closed season



Coyote- State Land

11/1/15 – 1/31/16

Beaver- Private*

11/1/15 – 3/14/16

20 total


Beaver- State Land*

12/1/15 – 2/29/16


12/1/15 – 12/24/15

4 season


* Special permit required in addition to RI trapping license, which may be obtained at Fish and Wildlife’s Great Swamp Field Headquarters (401) 789-0281

General Regulations

  • No person shall set, maintain or tend any trap without first obtaining a trapping license from the Department of Environmental Management. A resident of this state may set traps on property which they own and on which they are domiciled without obtaining a trapping license. (RIGL 20-16-7)
  • Every holder of a trapping license will be provided with a trapping harvest report card that must be returned to the Division of Fish and Wildlife within 30 days of the end of the trapping season. Failure to return the card will result in denial of trapping license renewal. (RIGL 20-16-12)
  • Traps may not be set, staked, or placed prior to 8:00 AM opening day.
  • All traps must have at a minimum the trapper’s current RI trapping license number attached by a metal tag or embedded or cut into the trap. (RIGL 20-6-7)
  • Written landowner permission is required to trap on private land. (RIGL 20-16-9)
  • All traps must be checked at least once in every 24-hour period. (RIGL 20-6-9)
  • There is no open season on bobcat (Lynx rufus) or river otter (Lontra canadensis).

Types of Traps Permitted

Furbearers for which there is an open season may taken in: box (a.k.a. “cage”) traps, body-grip (a.k.a. “conibear”) traps, or species specific traps, with the following restrictions:

Body-grip traps

Private land: Body-grip (a.k.a. smooth wire or “conibear”) type traps up to 6 ½” jaw spread (i.e. “110, 120, 160” or equivalent) are permitted on land or in water on private land. Body-grip type traps greater than 6 ½” but not exceeding 8” jaw spread (“220”) may only be set if completely submerged in water or set no less than six (6) feet above the surface of the ground. Body-grip traps greater than 8” but not exceeding 10” jaw spread (“330”) may only be set completely submerged in water.

State land: Body-grip traps up to 6 ½” jaw spread are only permitted in water sets (i.e. all or a portion of the trap in water) or if placed six (6) feet above the ground. Body-grip traps with a jaw spread greater than 6 ½” but not exceeding 10” (“220-330”) may only be set if completely submerged in water.

Box traps

The use of box traps is permitted on private and state lands.

Species specific traps

The use of species specific traps is permitted on private and state land. A species specific trap is characterized by all of the following: triggering and restraining mechanisms are enclosed within a housing; triggering and restraining mechanisms are only accessible through a single opening when set; access opening does not exceed 2 inches in diameter; triggering mechanism can only be activated by a pulling force; has a swivel mounted anchoring system.

Permit to trap state lands

All trappers harvesting furbearers from state management areas must obtain a special permit (no fee), issued by the Division of Fish and Wildlife, Great Swamp Field Headquarters in addition to their current RI trapping license.


  • The use of poisons or snares (RIGL 20-16-6).
  • The use of steel-jawed leghold traps (RIGL 20-16-8).
  • No person shall disturb, tend, or possess a trap of another, or take an animal from the traps of another unless specifically authorized to do so. (RIGL 20-16-12).
  • The setting of traps within ten feet of a beaver lodge or bank den or within eight feet of a muskrat lodge unless authorized by special permit.
  • The taking or possession of a road-killed furbearer (RIGL 20-16-1), unless with a current RI trapping license and during the open season for that species or as provided for under a current RI Scientific Collectors Permit (RIGL 20-1-18) or otherwise permitted by the Division.
  • The relocation of beaver.

Coyote Hunting on State Lands

The hunting season for coyotes on state lands shall be from the beginning of dove hunting season in September to the last day in February inclusive and during the open spring turkey hunting season. The hunting season for coyotes on Prudence Island shall be: on state land during archery season with a valid archery permit, during the upland game season on private land, November 1 – November 30 and on North Prudence Management Area during upland season, January 4 – January 31.

During the spring turkey season, coyote hunters must possess a valid turkey hunting permit while hunting on state lands.

Coyote hunters on state lands must wear a minimum of 200 square inches of fluorescent orange during the small game hunting season. During the shotgun deer season, 500 square inches is required.

The placement or use of carcasses or meat parts thereof is allowed on private property for the purposes of hunting coyotes. The placement or use of carcasses or meat parts thereof is prohibited for purposes of hunting coyotes on state lands.

Shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset.