Rhode Island Hunting
Maps you can use at home and on your smart phone to help you enjoy our state lands!
By Paul Jordan, Supervising GIS Specialist RIDEM
Looking for a new place to hunt or fish? Want to know where’s the closest check station, or which Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) are being stocked with pheasants? You can find all that and more in Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management’s (RI DEM) Outdoor Recreation Atlas (https://bit.ly/3emoIoY). Our newest interactive map leverages nearly 30 years of GIS (geographic information system) data collection throughout the state on properties owned or managed mainly by RI DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife for outdoor activities like hunting and fishing. The map includes boundaries to all WMA’s and State Parks (developed and undeveloped), hiking trails, bikeways, boat ramps, check stations and much more. All this information can be viewed easily from a desktop or mobile device.
Following the link above, you’ll see an initial screen like Figure 1. The view will vary slightly with the device (mobile device or desktop) you use to access the map. If you are unfamiliar with the map you can view or download a printable page like Figure 2 describing the tools available to help you find your way about. You can turn layers (information displayed on the map) on or off to see where they are in the state, view recent aerial photography or topographic maps, measure distances and even print out your own customized map to take along with you into the field.
Here are some quick tips for hunters:
- To see where you are in relation to property boundaries, use a mobile device to zoom to your approximate location by clicking “my location.” This will zoom to your approximate location and can assure you that you remain on state property and prevent you from trespassing or deer hunting on private property without permission.
- To be sure you are the sufficient distance from dwellings while hunting use the measurement tool (small ruler toward the bottom of the page). Click the measurement tool, then in the pop-up window select the middle option (line distance) and set your units, default is in “feet (US).” Select your starting point (ie., an occupied dwelling) by clicking it one time, then double-click on the place you planned on hunting. If you want to restart your line, just click “Clear.”
- To determine contact information for license vendors open Layer List (looks like a stack of papers). Click the drop down arrow on the side of “DEM_Outdoor_Recreation” to show more options and select the box to turn on the “Fishing/Hunting – License Vendor” layer. Click on any vendor location (red star) for the name, address and phone number (Figure 3).
- If you are trying to determine what deer management zone you or your hunting location is in, use the “Hunting – Deer Management Zone” layer.
- Use the “Hunting – Late Season Goose” layer to make sure your are not goose hunting in a closed area during the late canada goose season.
We think you’ll like our new map as it has a variety of uses for hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. We highly encourage you to check it out as it has more to offer than you might think! The more you use it the more you will become familiar with it and be able to use all the tools it has to offer. If you have questions, comments or concerns please feel free to contact the Division of Fish and Wildlife at (401)-789-0281 or email Paul Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.