PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that deer hunting season at Black Rock/Rodman Hollow on Block Island will open on Tuesday, January 17 through Friday, February 10.
"Whether for food, sport, or leisure, hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, and the Black Rock Hunt, in particular, continues to be a popular draw," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "It is also a vital part of controlling the Island's abundant deer population. We are pleased to join the Town of New Shoreham to open this year's Hunt."
Outdoor recreation – such as hunting – is a significant economic driver for Rhode Island. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, more than $18 million is contributed to the local economy each year as a result of hunting-related activities. Hunting on the Black Rock property is allowed on weekdays (Tuesday through Friday), beginning one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Participating hunters were selected by lottery.
The public is urged to use caution while walking the trails on the Black Rock property during the hunting season and must comply with the fluorescent orange safety requirement: hunters, hikers and other users must wear 500 square inches of blaze orange. 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 DEM's hunter educational offerings is available at www.dem.ri.gov.
DEM will establish a deer checking station, weather permitting, at the Block Island Police Department on Thursday, January 19, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to inspect the health of deer harvested on Black Rock property or private lands. Wildlife biologists will measure weight, age and sex of the deer – as well as take samples for Chronic Wasting Disease. For more information on the deer checking station, contact the DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife at 401-789-0281. For more information on hunting season requirements, visit www.dem.ri.gov.
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