4,000 (NWTF estimate)
Wild Turkey Population
Number of Licenses Sold Annually
Hunting license, $21; turkey permit, $8
Cost of Resident License and Permit
Hunting license, $55; turkey permit, $21.50
Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit
Hunt Rhode Island if you want your six-state New England Slam. Definitely try it if you have friends or relatives there with private land, as this is where hunters will find some birds. Otherwise, the smallest state in the union (1,045 square miles) only offers limited opportunities. In 2022, about 85 percent of the spring turkey harvest occurred on private land. Hunting pressure, however, is low.
The Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife and National Wild Turkey Federation began a joint turkey restoration project during winter 1980. Twenty-nine turkeys, trapped and transferred from Vermont, were released in the town of Exeter.
Population growth was assisted by birds released in 1983 and 1984 by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection along the border of Rhode Island and Connecticut. Wild bird dispersal (turkeys moving to new locations on their own) did the rest. Additional efforts occurred in 1994 and in 1995, when the RIDFW started its first in-state trap and transfer program. Efforts continued into 1996.
During spring 2022, Rhode Island hunters took 262 turkeys. The northwestern part of the state has consistently seen the highest harvest, including the towns of Glocester, Burrillville and Foster. In 2022, Tiverton was also in the top four towns with the highest harvests.
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