Rhode Island Small Game Hunting Opens Next Month

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that small game hunting season opens next month.

The season for pheasant, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, bobwhite quail, red and gray fox opens Saturday, October 21 – Wednesday, February 28, 2018. Season dates were misprinted on page 30 of the 2017-2018 Hunting & Trapping Guide that is available at license vendors; an insert listing the correct dates is being provided to vendors this week. The online Guide includes correct season dates.

The season for hunting raccoon runs from Sunday, October 1 – Wednesday, February 28, 2018. The season for coyote on state land runs from Sunday, October 1 – Wednesday, February 28, 2018 and during the spring turkey season: Thursday, April 26, 2018 – Sunday, May 20, 2018, provided the hunter has a valid spring turkey permit in his/her possession. There is no closed season for coyote on private land.

DEM’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is stocking the Great Swamp, Durfee Hill, and Eight Rod Farm wildlife management areas for the Youth Pheasant Hunting Weekend on October 14 and October 15. The hunt is open to youths aged 12 to 15 that have completed a hunter education class; hunters under age 15 must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter aged 21 or older. A hunting license and pheasant tags are required for all youth pheasant hunters. Space is limited and pre-registration is required by October 6. To register, please complete the registration form and send it to Jessica Pena at the DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife at jessica.pena@dem.ri.gov. Please see the registration form for more information.

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. Hunter education is offered as part of 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.