PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) reminds Rhode Island deer hunters that all deer taken during the first two days of the muzzleloader deer season – Saturday, Nov. 6, and Sunday, Nov. 7 – and the first two days of shotgun deer season – Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5 – must be physically checked at one of five state-operated biological check stations. This includes deer taken with archery equipment. Exempt from this requirement are deer taken on Patience Island, Prudence Island, and Block Island; these must be reported using the online licensing system.
Operating Hours are 8 AM until 6 PM daily. The five check stations are located at:
- Arcadia Management Area: Rte. 165, Ten Rod Road, at Wood River, Exeter, Phone: 539-7117
- Carolina Management Area: Pine Hill Road, Richmond, Phone: 364-3483
- Durfee Hill Management Area: Reynolds Road (Rte. 94), Glocester, Phone: 568-6753
- Great Swamp Management Area: 277 Great Neck Road, West Kingston, Phone: 789-1636
- Tiverton Rod and Gun Club: 1529 Fish Road, Tiverton, Phone: 624-3959
Deer hunters are required to obtain written permission annually for all deer hunting on private lands. DEM and DFW has developed a courtesy card, available on the DEM website, for hunters and landowners to sign that gives the dates for permissions and contains A Hunter's Pledge regarding principles of conduct. DEM encourages private landowners to allow hunters to hunt deer on their property, where feasible, during deer hunting seasons as this is a sound management technique that benefits deer habitats and regulates population growth.
Check stations allow biologists and volunteers to collect samples and take data that provides insight into the overall health of Rhode Island's deer herd. If you would like to volunteer, please use this link to sign up. Outside of check stations, hunters are required to report their deer harvest online within 24 hours of harvest. Deer must be tagged in the field, with a valid deer tag for the appropriate season, immediately upon taking. Those who do not have internet service or cellular data access may call DEM's Division of Fish & Wildlife at 401-789-0281 between 8:30 AM and 4 PM Monday-Friday to report their harvest.
Hunter education is offered as part of DFW's Hunter Education Program. Safety training is required by law in Rhode Island for new hunters. To date, more than 40,000 people have completed a hunter safety course, helping to reduce hunting-related accidents in the state and elsewhere. A complete schedule of hunter educational offerings is available 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.
To purchase a hunting license, or for more information about Rhode Island's hunting and fishing licensing system, visit https://www.ri.gov/DEM/huntfish. The site also acts as a portal to help plan adventures that make the most of Rhode Island's great outdoors. It links to information on hunting and fishing opportunities, trails, and natural areas through a variety of maps, as well as certification information for hunter safety and boating safety. For more information on seasons, bag limits, zones, and regulations, review the 2021-22 Hunting and Trapping Abstract.
For more information on DEM programs and services, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), Facebook, or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem and @ri.fishandwildlife).