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Small Game Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Rhode Island Hunting

Small Game Hunting



Daily Bag Limit

Coyote – State Land

October 1 – February 28, 2018
April 26 – May 20, 2018


Coyote – Private Land

No closed season



October 1 – February 28, 2018


Youth Pheasant*

October 14 – 15



October 21 – February 28, 2018


Cottontail Rabbit

October 21 – February 28, 2018


Gray Squirrel

October 21 – February 28, 2018


Bobwhite Quail

October 21 – February 28, 2018


Red, Gray Fox

October 21 – February 28, 2018


Ruffed Grouse


Management Area Check Stations

Small game hunters are required to check in and out of the state operated check stations at Great Swamp, Arcadia, Durfee Hill, and Carolina Management Areas on the following dates: October 21 – 22, October 28 – 29 and November 4 – 5. Check station hours are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset, except during the first four days of deer muzzleloader season (Nov 4-7) when check stations will be open until 6:00PM. Hunters may be asked to produce harvested game for inspection.

Pheasant Hunting

Gamebird Permit is Required. The daily limit for pheasant is 2 either sex birds. Each pheasant must be tagged immediately upon taking. Each gamebird permit allows the taking of 4 pheasants; hunters may purchase multiple permits. Pheasants are stocked prior to opening day, then weekly through the end of December. Pheasant stocking does not occur in January and February. Stocked management areas are: Arcadia, Black Hut, Big River, Buck Hill, Carolina, Durfee Hill, Great Swamp, Nicholas Farm, Sapowet, Simmons Mill Pond and 8 Rod Farm.

Block Island Pheasant Hunting

Pheasant hunting is open on Block Island, with written permission, on November 22th and 29th, December 20th and 27th and January 3rd, 2018. Only male pheasants (rooster) may be taken from Block Island, bag limit 2 per day.

Additional Regulations

The small game hunting season will remain OPEN during the December shotgun deer season. This allows small game hunting on state management areas during the shotgun deer season.

Muzzle-loading rifles, no greater than .40 caliber with round ball and patch, may be used for hunting small game mammals during established seasons.
Night hunting of raccoons with shot larger than No. 4 or rifles larger than .22 cal. rimfire long-rifle is prohibited.
Archery hunters with a valid deer archery hunting permit may take raccoon during legal deer hunting hours beginning on the first day of October and ending on the last day of January.

Air Gun Rifles

Air gun rifles are permitted to hunt the following small mammals: squirrels, woodchucks, and cottontail rabbits, provided that the air guns are a minimum of .177 caliber and not larger than .22; a minimum of 750 fps velocity with pellets 7.5 grains or larger.

Coyote Hunting

The hunting season for coyotes on state lands shall be from October 1 until the last day in February, inclusive, and during the open spring turkey hunting season, April 26 – May 20, 2018. 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 – 30 and on North Prudence during upland season, January 1 – 31, 2018. There is no closed season for coyote hunting on private lands.

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.

Legal methods of take for coyote hunting include shotgun (no lead shot larger than No. 2) and rimfire rifle not larger than .22 caliber at any time, bow and arrow and crossbow; however, on private lands from April 1 to September 30 (both dates inclusive), centerfire rifles not larger than .229 caliber may be used (RIGL 20-13-13) and by any means allowed during any concurrent hunting season. When coyote hunting during deer season, the hunter must be in possession of a valid deer permit.