Deer Hunting in Rhode Island

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  • C
  • 20,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 5,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $43 and up

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $96 and up

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 176 4/8"

    Picked up in Providence County in 2011.

    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. Image by John Hafner

Season Dates (2022): 

Hunting season dates, which vary greatly by location, were not available at the time of this writing. Please check the Rhode Island Fish & Wildlife website for specific deer 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 and contributes heavily to its C grade. For those who find a place to hunt, though, there are some good opportunities. 

Licenses are relatively inexpensive, and tags are plentiful and over-the-counter. So, if you 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.

In an effort to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease, the Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife asks that hunters not provide bait for deer and not use urine-based scent attractants.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

Despite being the smallest state in the country, the Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife is diligent about producing actionable harvest data each deer season. This is a valuable resource for planning hunts and also good for agency transparency. 

Whitetails are so plentiful in some areas of the state that many towns 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. 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.

“We provide ample opportunity with a lengthy hunting season with liberal bag limits and a muzzleloader season during the rut,” said Dylan Ferreira, senior wildlife biologist for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. “Don’t be afraid to ask for private property permission. Look in our hunting and trapping abstract for a detailed map and table of huntable properties.”

If DIY is your style, use the Rhode Island Hunt Area Map to begin planning your next public-land deer hunt. It’s possible to find unpressured pockets with decent deer numbers.

Get your deer hunting gear at the Realtree store.