Archery Proficiency Testing


DFW, Year-round, By appointment: Contact Branton Elleman at 401-575-6331 or

Weekdays preferred. Weekends available with advance notice (4+ weeks). No testing after sunset.

  • Division of Fish & Wildlife Education Center at 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

    • Navigate to Frosty Hollow Road, off Rt.165, then follow "Office" direction signs

  • Division of Fish & Wildlife Great Swamp Shooting Range at 277 Great Neck Road, West Kingston

    • Closed seasonally November through March


Archery Proficiency testing is required every two years when bowhunting on Prudence Island, Patience Island, Block Island (federal, state, and private land), Trustom National Wildlife Refuge, John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge, Beavertail State Park, Bristol town co-op properties, and anywhere in the town of Lincoln.

Testing Requirements:

Picture ID will be required for all adult participants.

The test consists of five shots at 20 yards. Three of five arrows must strike the vital area of a life size, two-dimensional deer silhouette target. It is advised that archers are able to consistently group shots within an 8" diameter circle before testing.

Participants may shoot standing, kneeling, or sitting. Crossbow shooters may brace against the body, if desired. Shooting rests, such as monopod or bipod shooting sticks, are not permitted.

The participant must provide five arrows or bolts equipped with broadheads. Participants can NOT reuse the same arrow(s). The test is over once the participant approaches the target to retrieve arrows/bolts.

Broadheads must have a minimum of two cutting edges 7/8" or greater at the widest point and may be fixed-blade or mechanical. Broadheads do not need to be a matched set or sharpened.

Manufacturer-provided practice broadheads are acceptable; no field, bullet, or judo points.

Broadheads must be covered in a quiver while being transported attached to arrows and bolts, or brought to the range unassembled.

Bows must register a draw weight of at least 40 pounds if using fixed-blade broadheads and 50 pounds if using mechanical broadheads. The test proctor may require participants verify draw weight with a handheld tester. Crossbows do not need to be measured unless there is reasonable suspicion that it does not meet the poundage requirements.

Only ONE attempt is allowed per 24-hour day. No practice shots.

Check the current RI Hunting Abstract for a complete listing of all locations in Rhode Island that require the archery proficiency certification for bowhunting.