PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announces the start of the 2021-2022 pheasant stocking program. DEM stocks pheasants to provide public hunting opportunities on select management areas throughout Rhode Island with stocking occurring twice weekly at most locations October 16 until early December and once weekly at other locations through the end of December.
Pheasants will be stocked every week on either Friday or Saturday, but this year midweek stocking will occur on fluctuating days. Some stocking locations have changed, depending on pheasant habitat suitability, and hunters can locate pheasant stocking sites using the RIDEM Outdoor Recreation map. Small game check stations are closed for the 2021-2022 pheasant season.
DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) staff will stock pheasants at Arcadia, Black Hut, Big River, Buck Hill, Carolina, Durfee Hill, Great Swamp, Nicholas Farm, Sapowet Marsh, Simmons Mill, and Eight Rod Farm management areas this hunting season. DFW staff also will stock Durfee Hill, Eight Rod, and Great Swamp management areas for the youth pheasant hunting season.
The pheasant hunting season begins Oct. 16 and ends Feb. 28, 2022. Hunters 15 and older must be in possession of a RI Hunting License and a Game Bird Permit. Youth hunters 12 to 14 must be in possession of a Junior Hunting License and a Game Bird Permit and be in the immediate company of a fully licensed adult 21 and older. A full list of pheasant hunting rules and regulations can be found in the Rhode Island Hunting and Trapping 2021-2022 Regulation Guide.
Pheasant hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, starting with the release of pheasants in North America in 1857 and their establishment in Rhode Island thereafter. Changing farming practices and land uses resulted in the elimination of pheasants from most of Rhode Island, except for a small population on Block Island. DEM's pheasant stocking program continues to support Rhode Island's pheasant hunting tradition.
REMINDER: All users of Wildlife Management Areas and Undeveloped State Parks are required to wear at least 200 square inches of solid, fluorescent orange during the hunting season from the second Saturday in September until the end of May. Covering or clothing consisting of 500 square inches of blaze orange is required during the shotgun deer season in December. For more details, click here.
DEM works to protect and enhance wildlife habitat in Rhode Island forests and management areas to ensure healthier, more diverse, and abundant wildlife populations. Hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, supporting family customs, connecting people with nature, and attracting tourism to the state. Hunters provide funding for wildlife conservation through their purchase of firearms and ammunition through the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program, and through the purchase of their state hunting licenses. 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.
Follow the Division of Fish and Wildlife on Facebook and Instagram (@RI.FishandWildlife) for timely updates. For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov or follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM).