Small Game and Bird Hunting Regulations in Rhode Island

General Shooting Hours

  • Legal shooting hours for game species: Sunrise to sunset.
  • Exceptions: Coyote and raccoon have different specified hours.

Small Game Seasons and Limits

  1. Season Duration:
    • From the third Saturday in October to the end of February.
  2. Cottontail Rabbit:
    • Daily bag limit: Three.
  3. Red and Gray Squirrel:
    • Daily bag limit: Five, either species or combined.
  4. Fox Hunting:
    • Daily bag limit: Unlimited.
  5. Restricted Areas:
    • Patience Island: Closed for small game, open for coyotes and raccoons.
    • Prudence Island: Heritage property closed during open archery deer season.

Bird Hunting Seasons and Limits

  1. Bobwhite Quail and Ring-Necked Pheasant:
    • Season: Third Saturday in October to the end of February.
    • Daily bag limits: Pheasant - Two; Bobwhite Quail - Three.
  2. Youth Pheasant Weekend:
    • Second full weekend in October.
  3. Ruffed Grouse:
    • Season: Closed.
  4. Game Bird Permit:
    • Required for hunting quail and pheasant.
  5. New Shoreham (Block Island):
    • Special pheasant season dates for 2023-2025.
    • Daily bag limit: Two male pheasants.
    • Steel or other non-toxic shot required.

Youth Pheasant Hunting Weekend

  1. Eligibility:
    • Hunters aged 12 to 15.
  2. Permit Requirements:
    • All hunters must have a game bird permit.
  3. Junior Hunters:
    • Ages 12 to 14 require adult supervision.
    • One adult can accompany up to two junior hunters.
    • Accompanying adults cannot hunt.
  4. Independence at Age 15:
    • Fifteen-year-olds may hunt without adult supervision.
  5. Designated Hunting Areas:
    • Great Swamp, Durfee Hill, and Eight Rod Farm Management Areas.
  6. Bag Limit:
    • Two pheasants per day

Compliance with State Laws

  • All shooting preserves and hunters must adhere to R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 20-17-1 through 20-17-11 and 20-19-2.

Importation of Game Birds

  • Compliance with Part 40-05-1 of Title, governing the importation of domestic animals, is mandatory for all imported game birds, including chicks and eggs.

Game Propagation Permit Requirements

  1. General Permit Rules:
    • Possession of a valid game propagation permit is compulsory for possessing, releasing, or hunting artificially propagated game birds.
    • Permits are obtainable from the RI DEM Office of Boat Registration and Licensing.
  2. Hunting Clubs:
    • Permit fee: $5.00.
    • Proof of ownership of 25+ acres required.
    • Record keeping of game birds is mandatory.
    • Health and disease certification of game birds is a prerequisite.
    • Restrictions on the release and hunting of game birds.
    • Bag limits: 2 pheasants or 3 bobwhite quail per hunter per day; no limit for chukar.
    • Penalties for false information or non-compliance.
  3. Shooting Preserves:
    • Permit fee: $25.00.
    • Proof of ownership of 120+ acres required.
    • Similar record-keeping and health certification requirements as hunting clubs.
    • Unlimited bag limit for released game birds.
    • Specific documentation requirements for hunters.
    • Revocation penalties for false information or violations.

Enforcement and Adjudication

  • Detailed processes for handling revocations and appeals are outlined, including deadlines for filing a request for an adjudicative hearing with the Administrative Adjudication Division in Providence, RI.

Woodchuck Hunting

  • Private Lands: No closed season.
  • State Lands: Season from the third Saturday in October to the end of February.
  • Bag Limit: Unlimited.

Small Game Hunting: Methods of Take

  1. Shotgun: Use of shot not larger than No. 2.
  2. Muzzleloader: Maximum caliber of .40 for small mammals.
  3. Air Rifles: Minimum caliber of .177 and maximum of .22, with a minimum velocity of 750 FPS for specific small mammals.
  4. Archery Equipment: Use of field points, small game blunts, or judo points; broadhead arrows require a valid archery deer tag.
  5. Crossbow: Permitted for small game mammals; not for birds.
  6. Education Requirement: Bow hunter education course completion required.

Upland Game Bird Hunting: Methods of Take

  1. Shotgun: Use of bird shot not larger than No. 2.
  2. Archery Equipment: Minimum draw weight for deer hunting, using small game blunts or judo points.
  3. Crossbow Prohibition: Birds cannot be taken with a crossbow.
  4. Education Requirement: Bow hunter education course completion required.

Coyote Hunting Regulations

  • Private Lands: No closed season.
  • State Lands: Season from September 15 to the end of February and during the open spring turkey hunting season.
  • Prudence and Patience Islands: During Zone 3 archery deer season with a valid archery deer permit.
  • Shooting Hours: Half hour before sunrise to half hour after sunset.
  • Methods: Electronic calls and decoys permitted; unlimited bag limit.
  • Firearms Restrictions: Refer to R.I. Gen. Laws § 20-13-13.

Coyote Hunting During Spring Turkey Season

  • Requirement of a valid turkey permit for hunting on State lands.

Safety Regulations for Coyote Hunting

  • Fluorescent Orange Requirement: 200 square inches from the third Saturday in October to the end of February; 500 square inches during shotgun deer season.

Coyote Baiting Regulations

  • Private Property: Use of carcasses or meat parts allowed.
  • State Lands: Prohibited.

Coyote Hunting: Legal Methods of Take

  • Shotgun, rimfire rifle, bow and arrow, and crossbow; centerfire rifles permitted on private lands from April 1 to September 30.

Raccoon Hunting Season and Regulations

  • Season: 6:00 P.M. October 1 to the end of February.
  • Bag Limit: Unlimited.
  • Archery Permit Holders: May hunt during legal deer shooting hours.
  • Prudence and Patience Islands: Specific season dates and requirements.
  • Hunting Methods: Use of a gun with a dog, specific caliber and shot size restrictions, and light source regulations.

Legal Hunting Methods and Restrictions for Raccoon

  • Regulations on rifles, shotgun shells, and light sources during raccoon hunts.

 

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.