DEM Reminds Hunters that Turkey Permits Go On Sale April 1

Published on Thursday, March 28, 2024

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that spring wild turkey hunting permits go on sale Monday, April 1, for the youth, paraplegic, and public season. 

The 2024 seven-day youth turkey hunting season (ages 12-15) is open from April 15 through April 21. 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 2024 two-day paraplegic hunter turkey season runs April 20-21. Hunters must have a spring turkey permit and a permanent disability hunting license.

The 2024 spring turkey season for the public opens April 25 runs through May 19. 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 Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) within 24 hours of harvest. Wild turkey licenses may be purchased online on the Rhode Island Outdoors (RIO) website.

Wild turkeys were extirpated in Rhode Island during the early 1800s due to land-use changes and overharvesting. In 1980, DEM and the National Wild Turkey Federation began a wildlife restoration program by translocating 29 turkeys from Vermont to Exeter, RI and continued this effort in the 1990s. Today wild turkeys are found in virtually all areas of the state. DEM's DFW conducts annual surveys to monitor the resident wild turkey population and has implemented a sustainable wild turkey hunting season since 1985. Today, wild turkeys are found in practically all areas of the state and provide recreational and wildlife viewing opportunities. Restoration of the wild turkey was funded by state hunting license fees and the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration program.

Hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, supporting family customs, connecting people with nature, and attracting tourism to the state. Hunters provide funding for wildlife conservation through their purchase of firearms and ammunition through the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program, and through the purchase of their state hunting licenses. Hunters and anglers purchase around 70,000 licenses, permits, stamps, and tags each year and contribute more than $235 million to Rhode Island’s economy. With the help of hunters, DEM has protected thousands of acres for wildlife in RI, continued our research and monitoring efforts for both game and non-game birds and mammals, established a strong research partnership with University of Rhode Island, and continue to provide hunter education and wildlife outreach opportunities for the public. Without the contribution of legal and responsible hunters, DEM would not be able to conserve and protect our state's wildlife. 

Hunter education is offered as part of the DFW’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. A complete schedule of hunter educational offerings is available online here.

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates. Follow DFW on Facebook and Instagram (@ri.fishandwildlife) to stay up to date on news, events and volunteer opportunities. You can also subscribe to DFW’s monthly newsletter here.