Director’s Message

Hunting Regulations Icon Rhode Island Hunting

On behalf of Governor Gina Raimondo, I am excited to present the fourth annual Rhode Island Hunting and Trapping Regulation Guide. Written for both novice and seasoned hunters, I hope you will find it replete with useful information and helpful guidance on the harvest of game animals.

Rhode Island has an array of natural places, from our fields and forests to coastal areas, which offer excellent hunting and trapping opportunities. Continuing to invest in land and wildlife conservation remains an important focus for us.
Through contributions from Rhode Island hunters, we’ve protected over 500 acres in the last six years to enhance our state’s hunting and trapping invitation – bringing the total purchased to date with your support to more than 16,000 acres. This adds significantly to the 55,000 acres managed by our Division of Fish & Wildlife. Among the new public lands open to hunting are the 20-acre Perry property in Burrillville that has been incorporated into the state’s Buck Hill Management Area.
Hunting and trapping are treasured traditions for many Rhode Island families and visitors to the state. And as part of a broader network of recreational opportunities in Rhode Island, they play an important role economically. According to the US Fish & Wildlife Service, consumer spending on hunting contributes $18 million to our state’s economy each year. Spending on wildlife watching contributes another $200 million.
I hope this guide, funded through your contributions to the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson Act), enhances your hunting experiences, while encouraging you to be respectful of the environment and fellow hunters. Enjoy the excitement of the outdoors in beautiful Rhode Island and the tranquility and connection to nature hunting brings. And thank you for being part of conservation efforts that will provide benefits for generations to come.

Janet Coit


Message from the Chief of Law Enforcement:

Rhode Island has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. With over 400 miles of coastline, miles of streams and rivers, freshwater lakes and ponds, the water sports opportunities are almost limitless. Add to this the ability to go into our state parks and you have all facets of what anyone could desire in the outdoors. Just one such park, Arcadia Management area, offers 18,000 acres of streams, rivers, waterfalls and features, trout fishing, hunting, hiking and biking.

As a lifelong Rhode Islander I never truly appreciated these areas until I became the chief of the division of law enforcement. During my time as chief, I have come across some areas of our state that rival those of the deep woods of New Hampshire or Maine. It is hard to imagine that such beautiful places are located literally within minutes of where we live.
Being an active hunter and fresh and saltwater fisherman, Rhode Island offers an incredible variety of options for all season. Waterfowl, whitetail deer and small game hunting are available on both state and private properties throughout the state. I would challenge many of our neighboring states to provide whitetail deer populations and hunter success rates. Stocked pheasant hunting is available and our location within the waterfowl migration and wintering routes offer what some would consider world class hunting experiences.
We have some of the best recreational and charter saltwater fishing options in the northeast. Whether fishing out of one of our ports with an experienced charter captain or simply walking the vast shorelines chasing fall runs of striped bass and bluefish, the avid angler has boundless opportunity. If it is offshore big game fishing that drives you, there is no shortage of available fisheries there. Codfish, shark, tuna and marlin can be found off our coastline and while you’re out you may see porpoise, whales, sea turtles and other marine life.
As far as freshwater fishing, the state stocks trout and salmon in our freshwater ponds, rivers and streams. I think that it would be difficult to find a state that stocks the volume and size of the trout that our hatcheries produce on a yearly basis. Re-stocking of our waters provides a year round fishery for anglers, even those like me that love ice fishing when the weather allows.
As chief of the Rhode Island Environmental Police, I would encourage you to get out and explore our great natural resources. Rhode Island has so much to offer and all within a very compact area. Take part in the variety of outdoor activities whether on land or water, and see what you have been missing.

Dean Hoxsie, Chief

To report violations, please call: (401) 222-3070