PROVIDENCE, RI –The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will begin stocking pheasants this weekend for the 2022-2023 hunting season starting tomorrow, Oct. 8. DEM stocks pheasants to provide public hunting opportunities on select management areas throughout Rhode Island. Stocking occurs twice weekly at most locations from Oct. 15 until early December and once weekly through the end of December. Pheasants will be stocked at Carolina, Arcadia, Black Hut, Big River, Buck Hill, Durfee Hill, Great Swamp, Nicholas Farm, Sapowet Marsh, Simmons Mill, and Eight Rod Farm management areas. DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) staff also will stock Durfee Hill, Eight Rod Farm, and Great Swamp management areas for the youth pheasant hunting season.
The pheasant hunting season runs Oct. 15 through Feb. 28, 2023, with a daily bag limit of two birds. Hunters 15 and older must be in possession of a RI hunting license and game bird permit. Youth hunters 12 to 14 must have 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 2022-2023 Regulation Guide. Hunting licenses can be purchased online on DEM'S Rhode Island Outdoors (RIO) portal.
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.
Upon the release and establishment of pheasants in North America in 1857, pheasant hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, supporting family customs, connecting people with nature, and attracting tourism to the state. 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. Although the landscape has changed, DEM's pheasant stocking program continues to support Rhode Island's pheasant hunting tradition.
DEM works to protect and enhance wildlife habitat in Rhode Island forests and management areas to ensure healthier, more diverse, and abundant wildlife populations. 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 state hunting licenses. Hunters and anglers buy around 70,000 licenses, permits, stamps, and tags each year and contribute more than $235 million to Rhode Island's economy.
For more information on DEM programs and services, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Facebook, DEM's Outdoor Education on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@RhodeIslandDEM).