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Rhode Island hunting licenses are a gateway to legally harvesting animals in the state. However, before a hunter can buy hunting licenses, he or she must meet a few requirements as well as present certain credentials to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM). Hunting permits in Rhode Island are classified based on a number of factors, such as age, the species of game hunted and the length of time in which a license is valid. Both resident and nonresident hunting license applicants will find that there are many different options to choose from, such as combination hunting and fishing licenses and trapping licenses, all of which are available for purchase in three ways. Rhode Island hunting licenses can be obtained online, in person and by mail. While the online method is accessible from almost anywhere, in-person applicants will find that this option is convenient as well. Not only can you buy directly from an RI DEM office, but you can also access authorized license sales vendors from almost anywhere in the state, as they operate out of retail establishments. Though some hunters will be able to simply purchase the hunting license that is appropriate for them, others will have to complete a hunter education course to qualify for licensure. Rhode Island, just like all other states, offers basic hunter’s ed courses that help to prepare the novice hunter for the responsibility of participating in the sport. To find out more about how to get hunting licenses, read the items presented below:

  • Types of hunting licenses in Rhode Island
  • How to buy hunting licenses in Rhode Island
  • Hunter education in Rhode Island
  • Replacing hunting licenses in Rhode Island

What types of hunting licenses are available in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island DEM offers a variety of different hunting license types to match visiting and resident hunters alike. Hunting licenses vary based on a number of factors, such as age and the type of animal hunted. Hunting permit fees are calculated based on whether or not you are a resident of Rhode Island. The available types of licenses to hunt include the following:

  • Annual hunting license
  • Combination hunting & fishing license
  • Three-day tourist license

Additionally, hunting licenses for seniors, the disabled and active-duty military personnel are available at discounted rates. Besides hunting licenses, turkey and pheasant hunting permits as well as waterfowl stamps and deer tags are supplemental credentials that some hunters may have to purchase.

Once you decide which hunting permit type you need, apply through the Rhode Island DEM. Prior to buying hunting licenses, you must complete the Rhode Island hunter safety requirements as well.

How do I purchase hunting licenses in Rhode Island?

Getting hunting licenses in Rhode Island is a fairly simple process, since the RI DEM offers a few options for buying hunting licenses. However, before you can buy a hunting permit, complete the hunter safety requirements set by the Rhode Island DEM. Options for purchasing hunting permits include online, in-person and by-mail requests.

Online hunting license applicants can get licensed without having to leave their home or office. Also, mail-in application documents can be downloaded online and sent to the address designated on the form.

Individuals who prefer to purchase an RI hunting license in person can do so in a few different ways. The Department of Environmental Management issues licenses at office locations. The DEM also authorizes license dealers to sell hunting licenses on behalf of the agency. Applicants are sure to find that their local sporting goods retail store is also a hunting license vendor. The final way in which Rhode Island hunting licenses may be obtained in person is by visiting a town clerk office.

Am I required to take any hunting classes in order to purchase a Rhode Island hunting license?

Rhode Island hunting license applicants must present a certificate of completion for a hunter safety course, unless they qualify for an exemption. Exempt individuals include those who have held an RI hunting license in the previous year and applicants who hold an education certificate from another state. Veterans who have served in or been honorably discharged from the U.S. military are not required to complete a hunter education course.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management offers two types of hunter education courses including a bowhunter class. Hunting license applicants who plan to obtain an archery-only license need to complete the bowhunter course to qualify for that type of licensure. As for individuals planning on engaging in bow and arrow and firearm hunting, they must complete both the hunter education and the bowhunter course to qualify for the appropriate hunting licenses.

The general hunter education course is offered in two formats: online and in person. Students who learn best by listening and hands-on exercises may benefit more from a traditional class setup. Classes offered by the RI DEM are free of charge, and study materials are available at no cost. However, students who chose to complete their hunter education certification online must pay a fee to the third-party vendor that administers the course.

Both the online and the in-person versions of the hunter education course take a minimum of 10 hours to complete. Topics covered in the course include hunter responsibility, principles of wildlife management and firearm safety, among others. The bowhunter course lasts around eight hours and the curriculum teaches bowhunters the fundamentals of the sport, including how to use a tree stand, shot placement and safety issues. Weapon demonstrations are not usually a part of the class structure, though interested students may choose to participate in them at the conclusion of the course.

How do I replace a lost Rhode Island hunting license?

In the case of a lost, stolen or damaged RI hunting license, a request can be made for a replacement by contacting the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Licensing. A fee may be assessed for obtaining a duplicate hunting license.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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