PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced it is hosting a free informational seminar on wild turkey hunting next month. The program is designed to educate hunters of all ages and experience on safe, successful hunting practices. A special season for youth and paraplegic hunters will be open on April 21-22, followed by the opening of the regular turkey hunting season on April 26.
WHEN: Saturday, April 7| 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife Education Center, 1-B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter
The workshop is open to the public. Participants will learn about turkey hunting safety, scouting and preparation, clothing and equipment, calls and calling, hunting techniques, and effective use of decoys. Joe Judd of Quaker Boy Hunting will be the featured speaker, along with wild turkey biologist Josh Beuth of DEM’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, and Scott Travers of DEM’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education Program. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, send your name, phone number and email address to Jessica Pena in the DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in Rhode Island, hunting plays an important role in connecting people with nature, supporting quality of life and family traditions, and attracting tourism. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, hunting contributes more than $18 million annually to Rhode Island’s economy. There are approximately 17,000 licensed hunters in Rhode Island.
This month, DEM launched a new online system for hunting licenses. Residents and non-resident customers are now able to purchase hunting, freshwater fishing, recreational saltwater fishing, and combination freshwater fishing and hunting licenses, as well as trout stamps at https://www.ri.gov/DEM/huntfish. Turkey permits will be available online in late March. Starting in April, hunters will be able to report their spring turkey harvest online. In August, hunters will be able to purchase hunting permits for deer, migratory bird, and small game and will be able to report all harvests online.
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 dramatically reduce related accidents in the state and elsewhere. A complete schedule of hunter educational offerings is available at www.dem.ri.gov.
Spring turkey season will be open Thursday, April 26 – Sunday, May 20, 2018 with a special season for youth (ages 12-15) and paraplegic hunters on April 21-22. All users of State wildlife management areas are reminded to wear a minimum of 200 square inches (hat) of fluorescent orange during the spring turkey season.