Rhode Island – From a Deer Hunter’s POV

Posted: 08/30/2012 in Archery, Hunting, Legal, News, Whitetail Deer
Tags: , , , ,

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Rhode Island

Is the information easy to find?

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Hunting and Fishing regulations are the third result from the top.

Grade: C

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The only information about hunting is in one of three PDF fils, the first is a 41 page PDF file titled “Hunting Regulations for the 2012-2013 Season” that was published on August 1st, 2012, the second is a “Hunting and Trapping Abstract,” however this document is only five pages shorter than the ‘full’ version, and contains different data, invalidating the claim that it is an ‘abstract.’ The third PDF file is the Park and Management Area Rules and Regulations document, which has the same information as the 2012-2013 season PDF file.  Since all of the information on hunting is contained in these PDF files, it would have taken whoever updates the web site less than a minute to post this information.  This is a massive disservice to the state’s hunters, both resident and nonresident.

Grade: D-

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

While quite a few of the islands and game preserves require lottery-style permits, over the counter licenses are the norm in Rhode Island. (Abstract, page 8)  The application for Block Island is an example of a lottery hunt held in this state.

Grade: A

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident hunting licenses are priced at $18.00, with deer tags priced at $12.50, nonresident annual licenses are priced at $45.00, with deer tags priced at $25.50.  There is a three day Tourist hunting license at $16.00, but there is no notation whether or not this is legal to combine with a deer tag.
These are the lowest prices of any state examined to date.

Another good point is on page 4:

All Outdoor Deer Permits are issued for 3 Antlered deer and 5 Antlerless deer 8 total and may be used in any combination during any open deer season. The total number of deer that may be taken with the AO deer permit is 8.

Grade: A

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

Hunting seasons listed in the Hunting Abstract document, deer hunting is on page 22. The seasons are divided by zones, and while some of the zones are simple, other skip days with no explanation:

Block Island (Zone 4)
Archery October 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19,
22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31
November 1, 2

It would seem far simpler to have included the skipped days, which would make the season “October 9th – November 2nd.”

Grade: B

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Public land regulations are listed in the Park and Management Area Rules and Regulations PDF on page 17, however the author(s) of the PDF failed to actually number the pages, so the user must download the PDF and open it independently in Acrobat Reader or scroll until he or she finds the reference point.  This document hasn’t been updated since December 2010, which would make it’s contents outdated enough to worry most hunters.  The regulations that begin on page 35 of the 2012-2013 Hunting Regulations PDF appear to be the same as the Park and Management Area document in a different format.

Neither maps nor a list of public hunting areas and/or wildlife management areas could be found, though there is a short list of areas with regulations that deviate from the rest of the managed hunting property in the 2012-2013 Hunting Regulations document after the main public hunting regulations.

Grade: D

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

The simplest answer is: who knows?  The website is the worst seen so far in this analysis series, with a total of three PDF files containing every scrap of information on hunting.  Only through a Google search on the phrase ‘is Chronic Wasting Disease present in Rhode Island’ could the PDF file from the Rhode Island state government found.  CWD is NOT present in Rhode Island, and if concerns over a specific animal are raised there is a number at the bottom of the PDF file for the Rhode Island Environmental Police.

Grade: D-

Summary: Final Grade C

I would be absolutely ashamed to be associated with a web site such as this one.  In 2000, this wouldn’t have been too terribly bad, many web sites looked similar, but that was twelve years ago, and I can say with 95% certainty that there are people who are very highly paid who have the responsibility for this website and are doing very little to earn that pay.   Three PDF files contain 90+% of the information for Rhode Island hunters, the information is poorly organized in those three PDF files, and yet the state expects hunters from out of state to visit?  The best part of the state hunting regulations is the bag limit and very affordable hunting licenses, yet without more information, there doesn’t seem to be any point in attempting to plan a hunt in this location.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregon, Pennsylvania

Comments are closed.