Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Permits Go On Sale April 1

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management announced Wednesday that spring wild turkey hunting permits go on sale Friday, April 1, for the youth, paraplegic, and public season. The 2022 seven-day youth turkey hunting season (ages 12-15) is open from April 18 through April 24. Participating youth must have either a junior hunting license (ages 12-14) or a resident hunting license (age 15) and a spring turkey permit. Junior hunters must be in the immediate company of an adult (21 or older) who holds a valid RI hunting license. The 2022 two day paraplegic hunter turkey season runs April 23-24. Hunters must have a spring turkey permit and a permanent disability hunting license.

The 2022 spring turkey season for the public opens April 28 runs through May 22. Hunters must have a spring turkey permit and a valid RI hunting license. The season bag limit is two bearded turkeys, no more than one of which can be harvested on state-owned land (all lands turkey permit). Legal shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 1 PM. All harvested turkeys must be registered with DEM’S Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) within 24 hours of harvest. Wild turkey licenses can be purchased online on the new Rhode Island Outdoors website.

Wild turkeys went extinct in Rhode Island during the early 1800s due to land-use changes, forest clearing, and overharvesting. In the 1980s, DEM and the National Wild Turkey Federation began a wildlife restoration program by translocating 29 turkeys from Vermont to Exeter, RI. The restoration effort was successful and wild turkeys recolonized the vast majority of Rhode Island by the late 1990s. DEM’s DFW conducts annual surveys to monitor the resident wild turkey population and has implemented a sustainable wild turkey hunting season since 1985. Wild turkey populations in Rhode Island are stable and provide recreation wildlife viewing opportunities.

DEM works to protect and enhance wildlife habitat in Rhode Island forests and management areas to ensure healthier, more diverse, and abundant wildlife populations. Hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, supporting family customs, connecting people with nature, and attracting tourism to the state. Hunters help provide funding for wildlife conservation through their purchase of firearms and ammunition through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program and generate more matching federal funds ($3 federal match for every $1 state contributed) through the purchase of their state hunting licenses and permits.

Hunter education is offered as part of the DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program. Safety training is required by law in Rhode Island for beginning hunters. To date, more than 40,000 people have completed a hunter safety course in Rhode Island, helping to reduce related accidents in the state and elsewhere.



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