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RI Department of Environmental Management
DEM ANNOUNCES NEW HUNTING REGULATIONS FOR UPCOMING SEASON
Freshwater Fishing Regulations Remain Unchanged
PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management's Division of Fish and Wildlife has established regulations for the 2000-2001 hunting season. Changes include a bonus archery deer permit for antlerless deer in specified towns, shortening of the grouse season and a special turkey season for paraplegic hunters.
Freshwater fishing regulations for the 2001-2002 season that begins next April remain unchanged. Fishing abstracts are available now at most license vendors or by calling the Division at 789-3094. Hunting abstracts will be available by late August.
DEM is continuing the 10-bird season limit for pheasant; however, the management areas will remain open on stocking days.
The state's muzzleloader deer season is similar to last year's, beginning on November 4 and extending through November 26, 2000. "Rhode Island's season still remains significantly longer than the average 13-day season held by other New England states," Michael Lapisky, DEM Deputy Chief of Wildlife Resources, said. "Although some hunters requested a second antlerless season after shotgun hunting, we feel that deer need to regain body weight lost during the rut. Additional hunting at that time could jeopardize a balanced healthy deer herd." The results of the most recent deer population analysis conducted by DEM indicate that the overall deer population in Rhode Island has stabilized and remains healthy, he added.
Bonus antlerless deer permits must be purchased prior to their respective seasons. As in the past, permits may be used in either order but will only be valid on private land. The archery bonus is only valid in Little Compton, Tiverton, North Kingstown, Coventry, eastern Exeter (east of Route 3), South Kingstown, Narragansett, Charlestown, Scituate, and Cranston.
Less restrictive harvest strategies will be in place this year on Prudence and Patience Islands, reflecting the increased deer herd size on the islands. The quota will be increased from 60 to 100 deer. Hunters will be permitted to take one deer this season. During the period from October 30-November 12 reservations are required to hunt on state land on the Islands. The first three weekend and weekday portions are restricted to hunting only for bucks. The remaining weekend portion will allow for hunting deer of either sex. Applications and lottery information for the reservation system is available by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to DEM Fish & Wildlife, Box 218, W. Kingston, RI, 02892, Attn: Deer Lottery. The application period opened July 17 and runs through August 20, 2000. The season will end on January 12, or earlier if the quota is reached.
The Division would also like to inform all archery deer hunters that a recent statutory change is now in effect, reducing the safety zone for archers from 500 feet to 200 feet.
Additional changes in bird hunting regulations include a three way split for mourning dove hunting. The first open season for doves begins September 30. Shooting hours during the first portion of the season are from noon to sunset. Also, the grouse season will end December 1, 2000, this year. Hunting of grouse in the Arcadia Management Area is closed for the 2000-2001 season. Several other smaller changes were adopted at the public hearing, which was held June 21. For additional information, contact DEM's Division of Fish & Wildlife at 789-3094.