PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that the muzzleloader deer hunting season on state and private lands in Zones 1 and 2 opened on Saturday, Nov. 4.
All deer from Saturday, Nov. 4, to Tuesday, Nov. 7, must be checked at a state-operated check station. DEM partnered with the Tiverton Rod and Gun Club to provide a convenient location for hunters in the East Bay to check deer on Saturday.
The information collected at the biological check stations is vital to the state’s deer management program and is used to monitor the health of the deer herd and for disease surveillance. Every hunter is a vital and important contributor to deer management in Rhode Island; biologists rely on the deer harvest data provided by hunters to set season lengths and bag limits each year. All deer may be checked at vendor stations during the remainder of the season; see DEM’s Hunting and Trapping abstract for more information.
The muzzleloader deer-hunting season on state and private land runs from Saturday, November 4 – Sunday, November 26, 2017, in Zones 1 & 2. From Tuesday, December 26 – Tuesday, January 2, 2018, deer may be taken on private land with antlerless deer permits only in Zones 1 & 2. Hunters are required to wear a minimum of 200 square inches of fluorescent orange during this portion of the muzzleloader season.
Deer hunting hours remain one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. All deer taken must be tagged immediately and checked within 24 hours as provided by regulation. Hunters should check DEM regulations for specific regulations as to where hunting is allowed, and should also check with local authorities for additional hunting restrictions.
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.