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Rhode Island

Hunting

Messages

Acting Director's Message:

On behalf of Governor Dan McKee, I am excited to release the eighth annual Rhode Island Hunting and Trapping Regulation Guide for Rhode Islanders and visitors who enjoy wildlife and the great outdoors. We hope its information about the ins and outs of harvesting game animals will help novice and seasoned hunters alike.

Rhode Island is home to a myriad of natural habitats. From coastal shrublands to forestland to grasslands that sway in the breeze, opportunities for hunting and trapping abound. Investing in land and wildlife conservation remains an important focus of the Department of Environmental Management (DEM). Through contributions from Rhode Island hunters, we’ve protected over 800 acres in the last eight years to enhance opportunities for hunting and trapping, bringing the total purchased to date with your support to more than 16,000 acres. This adds significantly to the 55,000 acres already managed by our Division of Fish and Wildlife. Among the new public lands open to hunting is the 150-acre Mandros property in eastern Tiverton abutting existing holdings for a total of 270 contiguous acres of hunting land. Hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, supporting family customs, connecting people with nature, and attracting tourism to the state. Most hunters hunt to provide food for their families, while also enjoying time spent with family and friends in the outdoors. Although I am not an active hunter, I know and respect the valuable history of hunting in Rhode Island and how hunting skills and experiences are passed on generation to generation in many Rhode Island families. The important role Rhode Island hunters play is critical to effectively conserving wildlife and their habitats and enhances our economy. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, consumer spending on hunting expands the state economy by $18 million annually. Spending on wildlife watching contributes another $200 million. Throughout the year, DEM offers a host of educational workshops for novice and experienced hunters; among the offerings are programs on deer processing, firearms familiarization, tree stand safety, wilderness first aid, wild game cooking, land navigation, and mentored hunts. With our new electronic licensing system, residents and non-resident customers are now able to purchase hunting licenses, permits, and tags and report their harvests online. Visit https://www.ri.gov/DEM/huntfish to learn more!

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 that hunting brings. And thank you for being part of conservation efforts that will provide benefits for generations to come!

Terrence Gray, PE, Acting Director

Environmental Police Chief’s Message:

Welcome to the hunting and fishing abstract for the State of Rhode Island. You will find all the necessary information within this and a list of resources, locations and programs that are offered. Rhode Island, while small, has a great deal to offer for outdoor enthusiasts. Opportunities include Whitetail deer, waterfowl, small game, and upland bird hunting, along with a tremendous trout stocking program for freshwater fishing. Saltwater anglers can fish the many miles of shoreline, take a charter boat or use recreational boating to access some of the best fishing on the east coast.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife offer hunter education courses operate a state-of-the-art shooting range at the Great Swamp and provide many other programs for you to learn from and explore. All programs are provided to ensure that those hunting and fishing in our state, do so in an ethical manner, with the greatest regard for the outdoor environment, and the wildlife inhabitants. The Division of Fish and Wildlife has a highly educated and dedicated staff that work to provide wildlife habitat, game management, and trout and salmon stocking programs to benefit the everyone. The Environmental Police work together with all divisions of the department to provide resource protection through conservation law enforcement. Our officers are highly educated and trained to provide a diverse and thorough background in natural resources. Officers are responsible for all state lands, private lands for hunting and fishing oversight, as well as the marine environment. Hunting, fishing, and boating safety and enforcement are the primary functions of the division. Officers are provided with a tremendous assortment of tools to insure the protection of our natural resources for future generations. As we start to exit the Covid-19 restrictions that our country has faced for more than a year, please explore and enjoy all that Rhode Island has to offer. We ask that you do so in a manner that is respectful to the lands and waters of our state and maintain these areas in a pristine condition so that others can enjoy them as you have. As Chief, I welcome you to Rhode Island and ask that everyone do their part to protect the natural resources of this small but incredibly diverse state.

Sincerely,

Dean Hoxsie, Chief
RI Environmental Police
(401-222-3070)