Rhode Island Hunting
There are over 55,000 acres of land designated as state management areas in Rhode Island. Maps of management areas are available from the Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife at the Great Swamp Field Office or online at: www.dem.ri.gov. Regulations are designed and enforced to allow all outdoor enthusiasts to safely enjoy these land holdings. Hunting and trapping is allowed during the open seasons. In order to effectively manage and safeguard these open areas for people, wildlife, and habitat, the following regulations are to be followed:
- Except for fishing, hunting, launching, and/or mooring of boats, all management areas are closed ½ hour after sunset to 5:00 a.m., except by written permit (RIGL 32-2-4).
- Camping is prohibited on all areas with the exception of portions designated at Arcadia and George Washington Management Areas. Contact the Division of Forest Environment for camping information (401) 539-2356.
- The use of motorcycles is prohibited except in designated portions of Arcadia Management Area.
- The use of ATVs is prohibited statewide.
- The blocking of any gate, road, or access in State Management Areas is prohibited and subject to fines (RIGL 8-8.2-2).
- Horseback riding is prohibited in the Great Swamp Management Area during small game and shotgun deer season (RIGL 32-2-4).
- Groups consisting of 10 or more persons must obtain a special use permit available from the Division of Forest Environment, (401) 539-2356.
- Sapowet Marsh Management Area is open to deer hunting using archery equipment only.
Undeveloped State Parks and Other Public Reservations
Hunting is permitted in the following:
- Galilee Bird Sanctuary is open to deer hunting using archery equipment only.
- Cocumcussoc and Washington Grove
- Burlingame State Park North Camp is open to deer and turkey hunting only
- Snake Den is open to archery deer hunting only.
- Ninigret Conservation Area/East Beach is open to small game hunting and archery deer hunting only.
- J.L. Curran is open to shotgun and archery hunting only, within the posted designated areas; this area is closed to mourning dove hunting.
Dogs on Management Areas
No dogs shall be trained, run, exercised or be permitted to run at large on state management areas from March 15 – August 15, inclusive, without written permission of the State Lands Management Council , except in specified dog training areas (below). Walking of dogs on a leash of not more than twenty-five (25) feet in length shall be permitted on roads and trails only. All dogs being utilized in hunting or training activities must wear a collar bearing the name and address of the owner and the handler must hold in possession a valid dog license or tag but it does not need to be on the dog.
Special Dog Training Areas
Dog training is allowed in designated areas located within Arcadia Management Area (Midway Trail) in Exeter, Nicholas Farm Management Area (north of Trestle Trail) in Coventry, and Black Farm Management Area in Hopkinton from January 1 to September 30, from sunrise to sunset. The use of live birds is by special permit only. A hunting license is required when training dogs on wild game on state management areas, except when participating in state sanctioned field trials.
Written permission of the landowner, countersigned by the Portsmouth police chief, must be obtained to hunt private property on Prudence Island. South Prudence is closed to small game hunting. The small game season on Prudence Island is November 1 – 30, except on North Prudence, where the small game season is January 1 – 31, 2020; North Prudence is located north of the State gate, at the northern terminus of Neck Farm Road. Raccoon open hunting season for Prudence Island is the first day of January through the last day of February with written permission of the landowner. Bow hunters with a valid archery deer permit may take raccoon on Prudence Island during legal deer hunting hours beginning on the first day of November and ending on the last day of January.
Waterfowl hunting is permitted no more than 10 feet above mean high water on Prudence Island, except during the early waterfowl season, as established by federal regulation, and during November 1 – 30. Special deer season for disabled hunters limited to paraplegic and double amputee deer hunters only by special permit available at the RI DEM Office of Boat Registration and Licensing (401-222-3576).
Dutch Island: Closed to hunting and all other access.
East and West Island: No Trespassing April 1 – August 15, for nesting birds.
Dyer Island, Gould Island, Hope Island: No Trespassing April 1 – August 15, for nesting birds. All domestic animals prohibited except hunting dogs during small game, migratory upland game bird and waterfowl seasons.
Patience Island: Closed to small game and upland game bird hunting, except for coyote. All domestic animals prohibited except hunting dogs during the waterfowl season.