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Free Youth Waterfowl Training Workshop and Mentored Hunt

PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, will offer a youth waterfowl orientation and training workshop from 4 PM to 7 PM on Thursday, September 26, at the Great Swamp Field Headquarters in West Kingston. The workshop will provide an overview of rules and regulations, firearm safety, waterfowl identification, hunting with dogs, and the proper gear, equipment and clothing needed for waterfowl hunting.

The workshop is open to all youths ages 12 to 15 who have completed a hunter education course and their guardians. They will have an opportunity to shoot clay targets at the Great Swamp Shooting Range during the workshop. Clay targets, safety gear, and 12- and 20-gauge ammunition will be provided by the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program. Participants may bring their own 12- or 20-gauge shotgun to the program or use one provided by DFW. The Federated Rhode Island Sportsman Club will provide food and beverages to participants at the end of the workshop.

Workshop participants also will be eligible to participate in a mentored youth waterfowl hunt that will take place on Saturday, October 26. During the mentored hunt, which is jointly sponsored by DEM and Ducks Unlimited, a volunteer from Ducks Unlimited will be paired with a youth and their parent or guardian for an exciting morning afield hunting ducks and/or geese. A current RI hunting license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit is required for participation in the mentored hunt.

Youth waterfowl hunting days are October 26 and 27 and provide an opportunity for youth hunters age 12 to 15 to hunt ducks and geese. Youth hunters are required to possess a current Rhode Island hunting license and HIP permit. Parents or guardians assisting youths are prohibited from possessing a firearm and hunting during the youth waterfowl hunting days.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required by September 25. To register, contact Jenny Kilburn at Jennifer.kilburn@dem.ri.gov or call the Great Swamp Field Office at (401) 789-0281.

Hunter education is offered as part of the DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program. Safety training is required by law in Rhode Island for beginning hunters. To date, more than 40,000 people have completed a hunter safety course in Rhode Island, helping to reduce related accidents in the state and elsewhere. A complete schedule of hunter educational offerings is available at www.dem.ri.gov.

Hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, supporting family customs, connecting people with nature, and attracting tourism to the state. Hunters and anglers purchase around 70,000 licenses, permits, stamps, and tags each year and contribute more than $235 million to Rhode Island’s economy. Revenue generated from license and permit sales support Rhode Island fish and wildlife conservation programs. A critical source of funding, these monies are leveraged to match federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program dollars that support outdoor recreational opportunities for fishing, hunting, and boating in Rhode Island.

More information about Rhode Island’s hunting and fishing licensing system is available at www.dem.ri.gov/huntfish. The site also acts as a portal to help plan adventures that make the most of Rhode Island’s great outdoors. The site links to information on hunting and fishing opportunities, trails, and natural areas through a variety of maps, as well as certification information for hunter safety and boating safety.