Rhode Island is a great place for hunters to indulge in their pastime while also seeing the state’s stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman or just getting your feet wet, you’ll enjoy Rhode Island’s several hunting seasons. We’ll go through the several hunting seasons in Rhode Island and the regulations and permits you’ll need to take part in this thrilling outdoor pastime.
Rhode Island Hunting Seasons
Rhode Islanders love to spend time in the great outdoors, and the state’s several hunting seasons allow them to do just that. The deer season begins on September 15 and ends on January 31, while the deer shotgun season runs from September 9 through December 20 and again from December 26 through February 16.
Any anyone using a state managed area between the second Saturday in September and the last day in February, and the third Saturday in April and the last day in May, must wear 200 square inches of solid daylight bright orange, regardless of whether or not they are hunting. Rhode Island is a great place to go hunting, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started.
Deer SeasonZonesHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates Archery (Youth only)Zone 19-Sep10-Sep Archery (Youth only)Zone 223-Sep24-Sep ArcheryZone 115-Sep31-Jan-24 ArcheryZone 21-Oct31-Jan-24 Archery: Patience and Prudence Islands (Youth only)Zone 328-Oct29-Oct Archery: Patience and Prudence IslandsZone 31-Nov31-Jan-24 Archery: Block IslandZone 4October 12, 13, 16-20, 23-27, 30, 31 Muzzleloader (Youth only)Zones 1, 228-Oct29-Oct MuzzleloaderZones 1, 24-Nov26-Nov Muzzleloader (Private land only, antlerless deer only)Zones 1, 226-Dec2-Jan-24 ShotgunZone 12-Dec17-Dec ShotgunZone 22-Dec10-Dec Shotgun (Private land only, antlerless deer only)Zones 1, 226-Dec2-Jan-24 Archery, Muzzleloader & Shotgun: Block Island (Zone 4)November 1-3, 6-9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 27-30, December 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11-15, 18, 19, 21, 22, January 2-5, 8-12, 16-19, 22-26, 29-31, 2024, February 1, 2, 5-9, 12-16, 2024 Special Season for Disabled Hunters: Patience and Prudence Islands (Zone 3)24-Oct27-Oct
Turkey SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates Fall Archery1-Oct-2331-Oct-23 Youth15-Apr-2321-Apr-24 Paraplegic20-Apr-2321-Apr-24 Spring25-Apr-2319-May-24
RI Small Game Hunting Season
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag Limit Coyote – State Land15-Sep29-Feb-24Unlimited Coyote – State Land25-Apr19-May-24Unlimited Coyote – Private LandNo closed seasonNo closed seasonUnlimited
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit Raccoon Season1-Oct29-Febunlimited
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag Limit Youth Pheasant14-Oct15-Oct2 Youth Pheasant21-Oct29-Feb-242
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit Bobwhite Quail21-Oct29-Feb3
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit Cottontail Rabbit21-Oct29-Feb3
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit Gray and Red Squirrel21-Oct29-Feb5, singly or in aggregate
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit Red, Gray Fox21-Oct29-Febunlimited
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit Ruffed GrouseClosedClosedN/A
RI Waterfowl Season
Youth Waterfowl Hunting Season
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days28-Oct29-Oct
Goose SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag Limit Early Season1-Sep30-Sep15 Regular Season18-Nov26-Nov2 Regular Season2-Dec21-Jan-242 Late Season27-Jan-2410-Feb-245 Snow Goose (Including Blue Goose)7-Oct25-Jan-2421
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit Brant23-Dec21-Jan1
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag Limit Ducks13-Oct16-Oct6 Ducks22-Nov26-Nov6 Ducks2-Dec21-Jan-246 Harlequin DuckClosedClosedN/A Sea Ducks13-Oct16-Oct6 Sea Ducks22-Nov26-Nov6 Sea Ducks2-Dec21-Jan-246
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag Limit Scaup13-Oct16-Oct1 Scaup22-Nov26-Nov1 Scaup2-Dec1-Jan-241 Scaup2-Jan-2421-Jan-242
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag Limit Mergansers13-Oct16-Oct6 Mergansers22-Nov26-Nov6 Mergansers2-Dec21-Jan-246
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag Limit Coots13-Oct16-Oct6 Coots22-Nov26-Nov6 Coots2-Dec21-Jan-246
SpeciesHunting Dates SwanNo Season
Migratory Shore and Upland Game Bird Seasons
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag Limit Crow11-AugOctober 1 (Fri, Sat, Sun)Unlimited Crow21-Oct11-DecUnlimited Crow15-DecMarch 30, 2024 (Fri, Sat, Sun)Unlimited
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit King/Clapper Rail1-Sep9-Nov1 Sora/Virginia Rail1-Sep9-Nov3
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit Snipe1-Sep9-Nov5
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag Limit Mourning Dove9-Sep8-OctNot specified Mourning Dove21-Oct3-Dec15 Mourning Dove9-Dec24-DecNot specified
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit Woodcock Season21-Oct4-Dec3
Rhode Island Trapping Season
SpeciesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesSeason Bag LimitPelt Tagging Mink1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Muskrat1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Skunk1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Raccoon1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Opossum1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Weasel1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Red Fox1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Gray Fox1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Rabbit1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Coyote – PrivateNo closed seasonnoneno Coyote – State Land1-Nov31-Jan-24noneno Beaver – Private*1-Nov14-Mar-2420yes Beaver – State Land*1-Dec29-Feb-24 Fisher*1-Dec24-Dec2yes
RI Hunting License & Permits
All hunters are required to have valid hunting permits on their person at all times when hunting. In addition to the potential suspension or revocation of a hunting license for rule infractions, licensed hunters and trappers are also liable to having their gear inspected.
A valid hunting license acts as a permit for hunting in state management areas, as well as in select TNC and state co-op hunting areas; however, special licenses are required for shooting deer, waterfowl, and turkey on state lands between the months of October and February.
RI Hunting License CatagoriesFee (Agency)Fees (Online)Note Resident Hunting License$23.00 $21.00 Must be age of 15 or older. Rhode Island requires young hunters to be accompanied by a 21-year-old adult with a valid hunting license. Resident Combination License$40.00 $38.00 Hunting & Fishing Resident Junior Hunting License $17.00 $14.00 12-14 years old. 12-14-year-olds Rhode Island requires young hunters to be accompanied by a 21-year-old adult with a valid hunting license. Permanent Resident Combination LicenseNo FeeNo feeover 65 or disabled. (If you are 65 or older, or if you have a permanent handicap, you may get a free permanent license at the DEM Office of Boat Registration and Licensing, from any licensing seller, or online.) Resident Trapping License$17.00 $15.00 Non-Resident Hunting License$58.00 $55.00 Must be age of 15 or older. Rhode Island requires young hunters to be accompanied by a 21-year-old adult with a valid hunting license. Non-Resident Tourist Hunting License$23.00 $20.00 3-day Non-Resident Junior Hunting License$43.00 $40.00 12-14 years old. 12-14-year-olds Rhode Island requires young hunters to be accompanied by a 21-year-old adult with a valid hunting license. Non-Resident Trapping License$53.00 $50.00 if reciprocal privileges allowed Active Military Personnel Hunting License$23.00 $21.00
RI Hunting Permit CatagoriesFee (Agency)Fees (Online)Note Resident All Outdoors Package Permit$81.00 $78.00 Two (2) antlered deer licenses and five (5) antlerless deer permits are included in the All Outdoors Deer Permit Package. These permits may be utilized in any combination during open deer seasons in Zones 1 and 2, up to the zone bag restrictions. Resident Deer Permit$13.50 $13.00 Permits for hunting deer vary by zone, allowed weapon, and gender. Non-Resident Deer Permit$27.50 $26.50 Permits for hunting deer vary by zone, allowed weapon, and gender. Resident Turkey Permit$8.50 $8.00 Non-Resident Turkey Permit$22.50 $21.50 RI Game Bird Permit$17.51 $17.00 State Waterfowl Stamp$8.51 $8.00 Migratory Bird (H.I.P) PermitNo FeeNo fee
- Young hunters in Rhode Island must be accompanied by a 21-year-old adult with a valid hunting license.
- If you are 65 or older or have a permanent handicap, you may get a free permanent license through the DEM Office of Boat Registration and Licensing, any licensing provider, or online.
- Two antlered and five antlerless permits are included in the All Outdoors Deer Permit Package. In Zones 1 and 2, these permits may be used in any combination, subject to bag limitations.
- Each deer hunting license is specific to gender, weapon, and hunting location.
- Non-residents must pay a Game Bird Permit fee of $20.00 and a State Waterfowl Stamp fee of $10.00.
For Migratory Birds (HIP): The HIP certification and the survey are not optional for those who pursue migratory birds as a hobby. The online-platform, licensing providers, and DEM offices all provide free HIP permits. Better data gathering is one way that the HIP program is making a difference in the way that migratory bird resources are managed.
Enhanced Access Fee (EAF)
Full service providers charge an Enhanced Access Fee to assist cover the costs of maintaining the licensing infrastructure (EAF). The following is a breakdown of the costs:
TypeLicensePermit Resident$2 $0.50 Non-Resident$3 $1.00
Note: There is no EAF for Recreational Saltwater Fishing or No Cost Licenses and permits.
Restrictions on Participation: Hunting with more than five people, target or trap shooting outside of designated ranges, hunting under the influence of intoxicating substances, spotlighting wild animals and birds from September 15th to the end of February, and shooting at animals on telephoto lenses are all illegal in Rhode Island. Furthermore, at no point is it acceptable to feed or bait wild animals.
The Control of Firearms: Outside of designated shooting times, it is prohibited to be in possession of a loaded weapon or archery equipment. In contrast, hunters have up to 15 minutes before their allotted shooting time to load their rifle or archery equipment before engaging in a shot within legal shooting hours. No. 2 lead shot or smaller may be used, and the use of laser sights or night vision equipment is forbidden. Centerfire rifles no bigger than.229 caliber may be used during daylight hours from April 1st to September 30th, but rimfire rifles of any caliber are prohibited. It’s illegal to shoot a gun or use an arrow when archery hunting within 500 or 200 yards of an inhabited building without authorization.
Conservation and Wildlife Laws: Any wild animal, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusc, or crab, or their dead bodies, parts, eggs, or progeny, are covered under the Lacey Act of 1900, which governs the interstate and international commerce of wildlife (excluding migratory birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act). Transferring, exporting, or selling animals in violation of state or international regulations, or transporting items without appropriate labeling or tagging, are all violations that may result in legal repercussions for the offenders. The federal government, with allowances for state control, enforces the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, an international agreement to conserve migratory bird populations. Except for certain hunting seasons, the Act protects all birds and all of their parts, nests, and eggs.
Dress Code: Fluorescent orange is the compulsory color for hunters to wear during hunting seasons. During shotgun deer seasons, all hunters and users of state management areas and undeveloped state parks are required to wear at least 200 square inches of orange, with the exception of those who are hunting small game, autumn turkeys, or deer with muzzleloaders. This orange requirement exemption applies to archery deer hunters in elevated stands during the muzzleloader season, as well as nighttime raccoon hunters, crow hunters over decoys, spring turkey hunters, first segment dove hunters, and waterfowl hunters in boats or blinds over water or fields with decoys. During the months of September through February and April through May, visitors to state management areas and undeveloped state parks are obliged to wear fluorescent orange clothing. In this case, fluorescent camouflage is insufficient.
Rhode Island Hunting Contacts
FAQs related to RI Hunting Season
Dates & Regulations Source: DEM Rhode Island