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RI Small Game Season Starts Oct. 17

[CREDIT: DEM] The small game season for pheasant, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, bobwhite quail, red and gray fox opens this Saturday, Oct. 17,

[CREDIT: DEM] The small game season for pheasant, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, bobwhite quail, red and gray fox opens this Saturday, Oct. 17,
[CREDIT: DEM] The small game season for pheasant, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, bobwhite quail, red and gray fox opens this Saturday, Oct. 17,
PROVIDENCE — The season for pheasant, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, bobwhite quail, red and gray fox opens this Saturday, Oct. 17, with a 2,000 bird increase in pheasant stocked by DEM.

The season runs through Saturday, Feb. 28, 2021, during which 200 sq. in. of hunter blaze orange is required to be worn by hunters and users of management areas.

  • DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will stock a total of 6,000 pheasant from Oct. 17 through December 2020, a 2,000-bird increase from previous years.
  • The season for woodcock also opens Oct. 17 – Nov. 30 and the second portion of the mourning dove season opens Oct. 17 – Nov. 29.

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 Oct. 17 – 18, Oct. 24 – 25, and Oct. 31- Nov. 1 when hunting those areas. Check stations hours are a half-hour before sunrise until sunset. More information including daily bag, possession limits, and fluorescent orange requirements is available in the 2020-2021 Hunting & Trapping Guide that is available online and at license vendors.

Raccoon, Coyote season open

The season for hunting raccoon is open now through Saturday, Feb. 28, 2021. The season for coyote on state land is open now through Saturday, Feb. 28, 2021 and during the spring turkey season: April 29, 2021 – May 23, 2021, provided the hunter has a valid spring turkey permit in his/her possession. There is no closed season for coyote on private land.

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Blaze orange required during hunting season

Small game, upland game bird, and coyote hunters are reminded that they are required to wear a minimum of 200 square inches of fluorescent orange beginning October 17th and 500 square inches during the shotgun deer seasons. Fall turkey hunters are required to wear 200 square inches of fluorescent orange while traveling during the fall turkey season.

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.

Solid fluorescent hunter orange must be worn above the waist and be visible in all directions.

Examples are: a hat that covers 200 square inches or a combination of hat and vest covering 500 square inches. Fluorescent camouflage does not meet this requirement.

  • 200sq. in. by small game hunters during the small game season, fall turkey hunters while traveling, and muzzleloader deer hunters during the muzzleloader deer season.
  • 200sq. in. by archers when traveling to/from elevated stands during the muzzleloader season. Once in an elevated stand, archery deer hunters are exempt from the orange requirement during the muzzleloader season.
  • 500sq. in. by all hunters (including archers) and all users of management areas and undeveloped state parks during all portions of shotgun deer seasons.
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 Hunter education

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 www.dem.ri.gov

More information about Rhode Island’s hunting and fishing licensing system is available at www.dem.ri.gov/huntfish. The site also acts as a portal to help plan adventures that make the most of Rhode Island’s great outdoors. The site 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.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.