Rhode Island DEM Announces Sale of Spring Turkey Hunting Permits

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has announced that the sale of spring wild turkey hunting permits will be begin starting Monday, April 1, catering to the youth, paraplegic, and general public seasons.

For the 2024 season, the seven-day youth turkey hunting window, designated for ages 12-15, will span from April 15 through April 21. Participating youth are required to possess either a junior hunting license (for ages 12-14) or a resident hunting license (for age 15), alongside a spring turkey permit. Junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult (21 or older) with a valid RI hunting license. Additionally, the two-day paraplegic hunter turkey season is scheduled for April 20-21, necessitating hunters to hold a spring turkey permit and a permanent disability hunting license.

The public spring turkey season for 2024 kicks off on April 25 and extends through May 19. Hunters intending to participate must secure a spring turkey permit along with a valid RI hunting license. The bag limit for the season stands at two bearded turkeys, with a provision allowing only one turkey to be harvested on state-owned land (with an all-lands turkey permit). Legal shooting hours are set from 30 minutes before sunrise until 1 PM. All harvested turkeys are mandated to be registered with the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) within 24 hours of harvest. Interested individuals can purchase wild turkey licenses online via the Rhode Island Outdoors (RIO) website.

Wild turkeys, once extinct in Rhode Island during the early 1800s due to a combination of land-use alterations and overharvesting, have undergone successful restoration efforts. The DEM, in collaboration with the National Wild Turkey Federation, initiated a wildlife restoration program in 1980 by relocating 29 turkeys from Vermont to Exeter, RI, and continued these efforts throughout the 1990s. Presently, wild turkeys are prevalent in almost all regions of the state. The DEM’s DFW conducts annual surveys to monitor the resident wild turkey population and has overseen a sustainable wild turkey hunting season since 1985. This restoration endeavor has been primarily financed by state hunting license fees and the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration program.

Hunting holds deep-rooted traditions in Rhode Island, serving as a conduit for family customs, nature immersion, and bolstering tourism in the state. Hunters significantly contribute to wildlife conservation through their patronage of firearms and ammunition, facilitated by the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program, in addition to the purchase of state hunting licenses. Annually, hunters and anglers procure approximately 70,000 licenses, permits, stamps, and tags, injecting over $235 million into Rhode Island’s economy. Collaborating with hunters, the DEM has safeguarded extensive acres for wildlife in RI, sustained research and monitoring initiatives for both game and non-game birds and mammals, forged robust research alliances with the University of Rhode Island, and consistently offered hunter education and wildlife outreach programs to the public. The indispensable role played by legal and responsible hunters is fundamental to DEM’s endeavors in conserving and safeguarding the state’s wildlife.

As part of the DFW’s Hunter Education Program, hunter education is provided, with safety training mandated by Rhode Island law for novice hunters. To date, over 40,000 individuals have completed hunter safety courses in Rhode Island, thereby contributing to the reduction of hunting-related accidents in the state and beyond. Interested parties can access a comprehensive schedule of hunter educational offerings online.

For further inquiries or information regarding the spring turkey hunting permits and associated regulations, interested parties are encouraged to contact the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. www.dem.ri.gov




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