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Rhode Island




Photo of Director of Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife

Director’s Message:

On behalf of Governor Dan McKee, I am excited to release the ninth annual Rhode Island Hunting and Trapping Regulation Guide for all 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.

Hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, supporting family customs, connecting people with nature, and attracting tourism to the state. 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. This year, DFW conducted a study to get feedback from hunters to better understand hunting participation, experiences, and values in the state. It is DEM’s first major survey of licensed hunters in 15 years. The results will be an important tool toward maintaining and improving our efforts to manage wildlife and provide hunting opportunities in Rhode Island. The support of Rhode Island hunters allows DEM to acquire and protect wildlife habitat, study local species, and educate the public on the importance of conservation and management. This work includes both game and non-game species monitoring projects, such as The Rhode Island Bird Atlas. The second annual Mentored Youth Wild Turkey Hunt in partnership with The Light Foundation once again helped instill responsibility and respect in Rhode Island youth hunters. DEM is committed to building opportunities for young people to experience and enjoy the outdoors and inspiring the next generation of responsible hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and leaders. New this year, DEM has launched a website that’s your single, one-stop shop for hunting, fishing, and boating licenses and permits. From woods to water, Rhode Island Outdoors – RIO – makes license renewals speedier and eliminates the hassles of duplicate accounts. I love the outdoors, and I hike Rhode Island’s management areas whenever I get the chance. Like you, I don’t want to be tied up on the computer when I can be outside instead. The less time you spend purchasing and updating your licenses means more time outside in the woods and on the water. Start your outdoors adventures today by visiting! 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

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. Whitetail deer, waterfowl, small game and upland game hunting, along with a tremendous trout stocking program for our freshwater bodies of water. 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 offers hunter education courses, operates a state-of-the-art shooting range at the Great Swamp and provides many other programs for you to learn from and explore. All of the programming is 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. 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 outdoorsmen. 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 ensure the protection of our natural resources for future generations. Since we have hopefully moved past Covid, please safely explore and enjoy all that the state has to offer. We ask that you do so in a manner that is respectful to the outdoor environment, 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. Go out and explore, enjoy and take in all that Rhode Island has to offer.


Dean Hoxsie, Chief
RI Environmental Police