Press Releases


Small Game Hunting Opens This Month

Season for pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, woodcock, quail, and fox opens October 20

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

The season for pheasant, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, bobwhite quail, red and gray fox opens Saturday, October 20 Thursday, February 28, 2019. The season for woodcock also opens October 20 December 3 and the second portion of the mourning dove season opens October 20 December 2. Small game and upland game bird hunters are reminded that they must check in and out of check stations at Arcadia, Carolina, Great Swamp and Durfee Hill Management Areas on October 20 21, October 27 28, and November 3 4 when hunting those areas. Check stations hours are a half-hour before sunrise until sunset. More information including daily bag and possession limits is available in the 2018-2019 Hunting & Trapping Guide that is available online and at license vendors.

The season for hunting raccoon is open now through Thursday, February 28, 2019. The season for coyote on state land is open now through Thursday, February 28, 2018 and during the spring turkey season: Thursday, April 25, 2019 Sunday, May 19, 2019, provided the hunter has a valid spring turkey permit in his/her possession. There is no closed season for coyote on private land.

Small game, upland game bird, coyote hunters and archery deer hunters traveling to and from elevated tree stands are reminded that they are required to wear a minimum of 200 square inches of fluorescent orange beginning October 20th and 500 square inches during the shotgun deer seasons. All other users of state management areas and designated undeveloped state parks are required to wear a minimum of 200 square inches of fluorescent orange beginning on the second Saturday in September through the last day in February, except during the shotgun deer seasons in December when a minimum of 500 square inches is required.

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 13 and October 14. 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 game bird permit are required for all youth pheasant hunters. Registration is not required to participate in the youth pheasant hunt.

Hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, supporting family customs, connecting people with nature, and attracting tourism to the state. Hunters and anglers purchase around 70,000 licenses, permits, stamps, and tags each year and contribute more than $235 million to Rhode Island's economy. Revenue generated from license and permit sales support Rhode Island fish and wildlife conservation programs. A critical source of funding, these monies are leveraged to match federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program dollars that support outdoor recreational opportunities for fishing, hunting, and boating in Rhode Island.

Hunter education is offered as part of the 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

For more information about hunting in Rhode Island, visit Follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online:
  • Release date: 10-12-2018

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