Deer Hunting in Rhode Island

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  • C
  • 19,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 17,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $30.50

    Resident hunting license is $18; deer permits are $12.50 each.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $70.50

    Nonresident hunting license is $45, and deer permits are $25.50 each.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 176 4/8"

    Picked up by Benjamin DeMerchant in Providence County in 2011. Largest typical buck killed by a hunter is 166 6/8 inches and was taken by Stephen Ponte in Newport County in 2006.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 4

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • None


    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • None

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Rhode Island might be small, but it has some good deer hunting. (John Hafner photo)

Season Dates (2019): 

Season dates vary greatly by zone, hunter classification, land type/ownership, and other factors. For most, archery runs from mid-September to late-January. Muzzleloader falls in November, December and/or January, depending on location. Shotgun season is primarily in December. Check regulations for specific season dates.

The Grade: C

There is no getting around the fact that Rhode Island is small and densely populated. That makes it tough for hunters to find suitable hunting areas. For those that do, though, this tiny state packs a pretty good punch when it comes to deer numbers. Licenses are relatively inexpensive and tags are plentiful and over-the-counter. So, if you do locate a hunting spot, you can fill the freezer in a hurry. Hunters are permitted to take two antlered and six antlerless deer per season.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

The deer are so plentiful in some areas of the state that many towns actually offer a bounty on deer taken by hunters. Find one of these areas and start knocking on doors to obtain permission from local landowners fed up with losing their landscapes to deer. Take note that muzzleloader season in Rhode Island runs through the rut, so smokepole hunters have a great shot at seeing mature bucks on the move.

In an effort to prevent the spread of CWD, Rhode Island Department of Fish and Wildlife asks that hunters not provide bait for deer and not use urine-based scent attractors.