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Hunting in Rhode Island

Welcome to the secret paradise of New England: Rhode Island. From experienced hunters to curious newcomers, this small yet powerful state has something for everyone who seeks an unforgettable hunting experience. With its lush forests, abundant wildlife, and long-standing traditions, a journey into the great outdoors here is not one you want to miss! So gear up and let’s discover all that Rhode Island has to offer – it’s sure to be a wild adventure!

In this detailed guide, we have covered all you need to know about hunting in Rhode Island. We will discuss what type of animals you can hunt here, where to find them, hunting seasons, and license information.

Hunting in Rhode Island

What Can You Hunt in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, you can hunt for several animals. The popular game includes white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl like ducks and geese. You can also hunt for small game like rabbits, squirrels, and pheasants.

Plus, there are special seasons for hunting certain animals like mourning doves, and quail. Before hunting, you need to have the right license and follow specific rules and seasons set by the state. Some places may have different rules, so always check before hunting.


Hunting white-tailed deer is a popular pastime in Rhode Island. Before heading out, it’s essential to secure the proper licenses and permits for whichever season you plan on hunting during – whether it be archery, muzzleloader, or shotgun.

To increase your chances of success, scouting the area ahead of time can prove invaluable; look for signs such as tracks, rubs, and scrapes near food sources or well-used trails.

Using calls and scents strategically helps draw them towards you without spooking them away. Always remember to adhere to all laws regarding deer hunting.

Deer Season Rhode Island

Season Dates Zones
Archery Sep 15 – Jan 31 Zone 01
Archery Oct 01 – Jan 31 Zone 02
Archery: Patience & Prudence Islands Nov 01 – Jan 31 Zone 03
Archery: Block Island Oct 12, 13, 16-20, 23-27, 30, 31 Zone 04
Archery (Youth) Sep 09 – Sep 10 Zone 01
Archery (Youth) Sep 23 – Sep 24 Zone 02
Muzzleloader Nov 04 – Nov 26 Zone 01 & 02
Muzzleloader (Youth) Oct 28 – Oct 29 Zone 01 & 02
Muzzleloader Dec 26 – Jan 02 Zone 01 & 02 (Private lands, Antlerless only)
Archery, Muzzleloader, Shotgun

Nov 1-3, 6-9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 27-30

Dec 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11-15, 18, 19, 21, 22

Jan 2-5, 8-12, 16-19, 22-26, 29-31

Feb 1, 2, 5-9, 12-16

Zone 04
Special Season for Disabled Hunters: Patience & Prudence Islands Oct 24 – Oct 27 Zone 03
Archery: Patience & Prudence Islands Oct 28 – Oct 29 Youth Only


Turkey hunting in the small state of Rhode Island is a rewarding experience. It’s home to a healthy population of these majestic birds, making it one of the top destinations for avid hunters. With its mix of forests, fields, and wetlands providing an ideal habitat for turkeys to thrive, you can’t go wrong with this spot.

The spring season is when turkey hunting reaches peak performance. The snow melts away as temperatures rise – signaling that these wild birds are becoming more active and vocal – creating prime conditions for calling them in with decoys or other methods.

To up your game even further, keep an eye out for their roosting areas; tall trees or high ground near water sources make great spots to set up a blind or tree stand before sunrise so you’ll be ready when they come down looking for food.

Calling plays a huge role too – there are various types from box calls to diaphragm calls but mastering natural sounds like clucks, purrs yelps & gobbles will give you a serious advantage over any competition lurking about.

Lastly don’t forget camo gear – full body coverage plus face paint/mask help prevent detection by sharp eyesighted prey who love nothing more than catching movement at long distances.

Wild Turkey Season Rhode Island

Season Dates Bag Limit
Fall Archery Oct 01 – Oct 31 1 Turkey (either sex)
Spring Apr 15 – May 19 2 Bearded Turkeys
Youth Apr 15 – Apr 21 2 Bearded Turkeys
Paraplegic Apr 20 – Apr 21 2 Bearded Turkeys


Raccoons, often referred to as “masked bandits” due to their iconic black and white markings, are a common sight in Rhode Island. These intelligent creatures thrive in both urban and rural areas, thanks to their adaptability. Not only do they have dexterous paws for foraging food but also for opening trash cans with ease.

Hunting raccoons isn’t the simplest task – they’re nocturnal animals so it’s best done at night using a spotlight or thermal imaging device; also, cover your tracks by utilizing scent blockers since these critters have an acute sense of smell.

To attract them, there’s baiting: spread out corn or fish scraps near potential dens or along pathways, raccoons will always take advantage of yummy snacks. Plus, you can use calls that mimic vocalizations that draw out neighboring raccoons.

When it comes time to choose weapons, shotguns or .22 caliber rifles are recommended when hunting raccoons but don’t forget to double-check state regulations before heading out hunting in Rhode Island.

Hunting Raccoons in Rhode Island

Raccoon Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Raccoon Oct 01 – Feb 29 No Limit


Coyotes are some of the most resilient and adaptive predators in North America. With their native western habitat, they’ve now established themselves throughout all corners of our state – proving they can thrive anywhere.

Their small size makes them excellent hunters, able to navigate through different terrains with ease. They feed on a wide variety of prey such as rabbits, rodents, and even deer; making them an invaluable asset for controlling these populations.

But don’t let their size deceive you – coyotes are smart predators that use teamwork tactics like ambushes to catch unsuspecting victims! This adds an extra layer of difficulty for hunters looking for a challenge – providing plenty of thrills along the way.

Coyote Season Rhode Island

Season Dates Bag Limit
State Land Sep 15 – Feb 29, Apr 25 – May 19 No Limit
Private Land Jan 01 – Dec 31 No Limit


With its diverse landscape and suitable habitat, the Ocean State is home to an abundance of these majestic birds. From fields to woodlands and even agricultural lands, they’re known for being highly adaptable creatures that can thrive in various environments.

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of flushing out a rooster or hen from their hiding spot only to take aim at it. The males are easily recognizable by their colorful feathers – an impressive sight indeed while hens are more subdued due to camouflage purposes.

When it comes time for your hunt, remember that safety should always be the top priority when dealing with any game animal. Make sure you have all necessary licenses and permits before hitting the field come October-Februray when pheasant season typically runs here in Rhode Island!

Whether using shotguns or trying one’s hand at falconry (a traditional method of hunting involving trained raptors), success often depends on skillful preparation.

Once you’ve successfully brought down your quarry, don’t forget about savoring its delicious meat; whether roasted or grilled up on skewers over a campfire flame – what better way could there be? Pheasant makes for an unforgettable meal guaranteed to leave lasting memories.

Pheasant Season

Season Dates Bag Limit
General Season Oct 21 – Feb 29 2 per day
Youth Oct 14 – Oct 15 2 per day


When it comes to hunting quail in Rhode Island, being prepared is key. These birds are known for their speed and agility, making them a challenge to catch even for the most experienced hunters.

Start with scouting out potential habitats such as grasslands or fields that offer plenty of open spaces and low vegetation. Quails also tend to congregate around water sources like ponds or streams so keep an eye out there too!

Having a well-trained bird dog can be incredibly advantageous when hunting these fast-moving birds – they have great noses that simply cannot be beaten when tracking quail in dense cover. Watching your pup flush out the covey from its hiding spot will certainly get your adrenaline going.

If you prefer using firearms, then make sure you have good aim and always stay aware of your surroundings since these small but mighty creatures can quickly change direction at high speeds.

Overall, if you take the time to understand their habits and habitat along with honing your skillset accordingly, then chasing after this prized game bird should become much easier (and more rewarding)!

Quail Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Bobwhite Quail Oct 21 – Feb 29 3 per day


Rabbits are experts in hiding and can vanish in a split second when you least expect it. But fear not – with proper techniques and patience, even a novice can successfully bag themselves one of these devious bunnies.

When scouting out their habitats, open fields or brushy areas are great starting points – but don’t forget about abandoned farmlands either! Each terrain presents its own set of unique difficulties; coastal areas often have strong winds to contend with while forests require careful avoidance of obstructions like fallen logs or branches.

When it comes to arms selection for hunting rabbits in the Ocean State, we recommend a shotgun or .22 caliber rifle – they provide fast aiming speed and accuracy needed for such quick targets.

Hunting Rabbits in Rhode Island

Rabbit Season in Rhode Island

Species Dates Bag Limit
Cottontail Rabbit Oct 21 – Feb 29 3 per day

Squirrel Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Gray & Red Squirrel Oct 21 – Feb 29 5 per day

Fox Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Red Fox, Gray Fox Oct 21 – Feb 29 No Limit

Grouse Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Ruffed Grouse Closed Season Closed Season

Mink Season

Season Dates Bag Limit
Trapping Season Nov 01 – Jan 31 No Limit

Muskrat Season

Season Dates Bag Limit
Trapping Season  Nov 01 – Jan 31 No Limit

Skunk Season

Season Dates Bag Limit
Trapping Season  Nov 01 – Jan 31 No Limit

Opossum Season

Season Dates Bag Limit
Trapping Season  Nov 01 – Jan 31 No Limit

Beaver Season

Hunting Beavers in Rhode Island

Season Dates Bag Limit
Trapping Season (State Land) Dec 01 – Feb 29 20 per season
Trapping Season (Private Land) Nov 01 – Mar 14 20 per season

Weasel Season

Season Dates Bag Limit
Trapping Season  Nov 01 – Jan 31 No Limit

Fisher Season

Season Dates Bag Limit
Trapping Season Dec 01 – Dec 24 2 per season

Duck Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Duck Oct 13 – Oct 16, Nov 22 – Nov 26, Dec 02 – Jan 21 6 per day
Sea Duck Oct 13 – Oct 16, Nov 22 – Nov 26, Dec 02 – Jan 21 4 per day

Scaup Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Scaup Oct 13 – Oct 16, Nov 22 – Nov 26, Dec 02 – Jan 01, Jan 02 – Jan 21 1 per day

Coot & Merganser Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Coots & Mergansers Oct 13 – Oct 16, Nov 22 – Nov 26, Dec 02 – Jan 21 Merganser: 5 Coot: 15

Goose Season

Season Dates Bag Limit
Canada Goose Early Season Sep 01 – Sep 30 15 per day
Canada Goose Regular Season Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 02 – Jan 21 2 per day
Canada Goose Late Season Jan 27 – Feb 10 5 per day
Snow Goose Oct 07 – Jan 01 25 per day

Brant Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Brant Dec 23 – Jan 21 1 per day

Rail Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Sora & Virginia Rail Sep 01 – Nov 09 3 per day
King & Clapper Rail Sep 01 – Nov 09 1 per day

Dove Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Mourning Dove Sep 09 – Oct 18, Oct 21 – Dec 03, Dec 09 – Dec 24 15 per day

Snipe Season

Hunting Snipes in Rhode Island

Species Dates Bag Limit
Snipe Sep 01 – Nov 09 5 per day

Crow Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Crow Aug 11 – Oct 01, Oct 21 – Dec 11, Dec 15 – Mar 30 No Limit

Woodcock Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Woodcock Oct 21 – Dec 04 3 per day

Rhode Island Hunting License information

Hunting is a popular outdoor activity in Rhode Island, but it’s important to remember that you need a valid license in order to legally pursue any game species. Whether you’re an experienced hunter or just starting out, obtaining your license can be simple and straightforward.

Residents under 16 years old can purchase a junior hunting license at a reduced cost. Non-residents have the option of buying annual or temporary licenses. You can easily get yours online through the RI Department of Environmental Management website or by visiting any authorized agent such as sporting goods stores or town halls near you.

Once licensed, it’s essential to carry your permit on all hunts and be prepared to show it if requested by law enforcement officers. It’s also mandatory that hunters abide by state regulations regarding bag limits, seasons, and open areas for hunting; certain species may require additional permits/tags (e.g., deer tags for specific zones and turkey permits during the spring season).

If new to this sport, we strongly suggest taking hunter education courses which not only will equip you with safety practices and ethical hunting techniques but are necessary for those under age 16 anyway!

In Rhode Island, a resident hunting license costs $23 while a non-resident license is priced at $58.

Where Can You Hunt in Rhode Island?

First, let’s talk about state-owned land in Rhode Island. The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) oversees around sixty thousand acres designated as public hunting grounds. These areas are open for licensed hunters to pursue a variety of animals including deer, turkey, waterfowl, and small game species like rabbits or squirrels. Popular spots include Arcadia Management Area, Big River Management Area, and Burlingame State Park – all excellent choices for an outdoor getaway.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking towards private lands, then there is much to be explored too! Many landowners across Rhode Island allow hunts with permission from them beforehand; so make sure that you have your ducks in a row before heading out on your adventure!

And don’t worry if it doesn’t work out; wildlife management areas managed by DEM also provide great opportunities for big and small game alike – some incredible places being Black Hut Management Area, George Washington Management Area, and Snake Den Farm WMA just to name a few.

For those who prefer shooting over water sources instead? No problem at all! Quonochontaug Pond, Ninigret Pond, or Block Island Sound can offer prime duck/goose habitats during season times.

Public Hunting Places in Rhode Island

Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge

Trustom Pond is a 794-acre paradise nestled in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. It’s the perfect spot for any hunting fanatics looking to bag some game. The refuge features tranquil ponds, marshes, and woodlands – ideal for spotting waterfowl like mallards, black ducks, and teal; upland game birds such as pheasants, quail, and wild turkeys; plus deer during both archery and shotgun season.

For those who enjoy birdwatching or simply savoring the peacefulness of nature at its best – Trustom Pond has you covered there too! With careful management practices in place to maintain healthy animal populations, visitors can witness these incredible creatures thriving in their natural habitats without disrupting their ecosystems.

Block Island National Wildlife Refuge

Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, just off Rhode Island’s coast, spreads across 127 acres filled with grasslands, shrubs, and forests. The diverse habitats here are a haven for various game like deer, turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl.

But hunting here is more than just the pursuit of game. It’s a chance to step into nature’s embrace, away from the daily grind. As you wander the trails and find your perfect hunting spot, the majestic views of the Atlantic and the gorgeous coastal landscape will leave you in awe.

John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge

John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island is an incredible destination for hunters looking to explore a diverse landscape of habitats, from grasslands and woodlands to freshwater ponds and salt marshes.

Here, you’ll find plenty of wildlife including whitetail deer — perfect for harvesting mature bucks or does with the right hunting programs in place. The experience of tracking these majestic creatures through thick forests is sure to be unforgettable for those hunting in Rhode Island!

Waterfowl such as ducks, mallards, coots, mergansers, and teal are also commonly found here due to their location near the Atlantic Ocean – making it ideal to set decoys up on marshland or target them open water during your hunt. You won’t want to miss out on this thrilling opportunity that John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge provides.

Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge

Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge is a 900-acre haven in southern Rhode Island, offering a remarkable variety of landscapes from grasslands to salt marshes and woodlands. This biodiversity makes it the perfect spot for hunting game like deer, turkey, waterfowl, and small game.

For those seeking white-tailed deer, Ninigret’s abundance of these majestic animals makes it an ideal spot for bow or rifle hunters – even special archery-only areas are available!

During fall migration season when ducks and geese come through along the Atlantic Flyway route, they can be hunted with either guided or self-guided hunts in designated locations.

Smaller game such as rabbits, squirrels, pheasant, and quail also call this refuge home; their diverse habitats provide ample cover making them an exciting challenge for any hunter here.

Private Hunting Places in Rhode Island

Don’t let Rhode Island’s small size fool you – The Ocean State still offers a plethora of hunting spots for the avid hunter. Private hunting grounds offer an adventure-filled experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

But before heading out on any private hunting land in Rhode Island, it’s essential to secure permission from the property owner in advance – whether it be written or verbal. A valid hunting license and access fees may also apply so researching ahead is key.

When setting off on your hunt, remember to always follow safety regulations and respect others’ property: leave nothing but footprints behind!

Showing your appreciation for allowing you onto their land will go a long way too. So take advantage of the unique opportunities Rhode Island has to offer; with its abundance of private lands ready for hunters across all levels, there’s something here for everyone!