Duck hunting in the upper bay: DEM’s response

Duck hunting in the upper bay: DEM’s response

Duck hunters in Hundred Acre Cove earlier this month.

Duck hunters in Hundred Acre Cove earlier this month.
Duck hunters in Hundred Acre Cove earlier this month.
A recent petition to ban duck hunting in the upper Narragansett Bay has raised some questions among locals about what is legal and what is not. Following is a list of questions posed to officials at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management regarding duck hunting:

BT: Are there regulations about duck hunting near occupied osprey perches?

DEM: There is no specific law about hunting near an osprey nest; however, you cannot harass or shoot a protected bird. (20-14-1 Birds protected.)

BT: What is the law about hunting in areas surrounded by homes, such as in Hundred Acre Cove?

DEM: You cannot discharge a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling without permission of the owner. (20-13-7 Shooting in proximity to occupied buildings.)

BT: Are there laws about hunting near bird sanctuaries? Hundred Acre Cove is bordered by the Doug Rayner Refuge to the north and by the Osemaquin Bird Sanctuary to the west.

DEM: No, with the exception of the Sachuest Wildlife Refuge. In the Barrington instances, the hunters are below mean high tide and not hunting on the property of the refuges. If they were to enter onto the refuges and if the property is posted with no trespass or no hunting signs, a hunter could be charged for trespassing. While the fact that the Sachuest refuge is closed to hunting is not unique, the water to low tide is unique. A major difference with species in need of protections is that harlequins are at Sachuest. This area is closed to hunting and of concern by Canadian Wildlife Service. (11-44-4 Shooting, trapping or fishing on posted lands.)

BT: Are duck hunters allowed to fire onto refuge property if they themselves are not situated on refuge property? For example, could a duck hunter shoot onto refuge property if he was sitting on one of the marshy islands in Hundred Acre Cove?

DEM: You cannot discharge onto the land of another without their permission. (11-47-50 Firing without landowner’s permission.)

BT: Any reaction to the petition circulating that calls for banning duck hunting in the upper bay?

DEM: The areas of the Providence River and Hundred Acre Cove have been a traditional duck hunting location for many years. Historically, blinds and hunters have been observed up and down Narragansett Bay and specifically in these identified locations. DEM environmental police officers regularly check the people hunting these locations and we find a very high level of compliance. We see a higher level of participation in early to middle January due to the variety of species observed in our area. Many hunters find our state to be a prime area for hunting migratory waterfowl and due to this activity we see an increased interest in tourism. Residents and tourists spend $10 million annually in Rhode Island on hunting-related expenditures including food, lodging, transportation and equipment.

In addition to providing an opportunity for residents and visitors to engage in outdoor recreation, hunting contributes to the economic health of the state. According to statistics from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (2006), a combined total of $378 million is spent annually in Rhode Island on trip and equipment-related expenditures for fishing, hunting and wildlife-watching activities.

It’s also important to add that duck and other hunters have been leading advocates for conservation of habitat and wildlife.


  1. I would like to know what kind of interaction the NRA has with the DEM. That official sounds like an NRA lawyer. Their tendrils run deep and our East Bad pols are on the payroll too so good luck with this brick wall.

  2. I love watching the bleeding hearts on their phones calling the police when I’m at Sabins Point hunting…I shout out “yeah baby!..Did ya see that!” every time I take out a duck.

    • While I’m all for hunting, and am an avid bow hunter myself, “Don Corleone” you’re the reason why hunting has a black eye.

      • Na..Bud..These women watch from the park while we hunt and harass us.
        They yell, throw rocks in the water and call the cops. The poor cop has show up to make them understand that we are more than 500 feet away from dwellings, and he’ll stick around for awhile to watch.
        Liberals are the reason “hunting has a black eye” pal.
        But you knew that already.

        • I love these people who complain about hunters while sitting at the table eating their Thanksgiving Turkey that someone else killed and cleaned for them or those that love a tuna sandwich, that HAS to be 100% Dolphin free or a won’t eat it! Yeah, screw the millions of Tuna that were killed for your sandwich, but kill one flipper and OMG!
          Think about it when your swinging into McDs for a cheese burger, millions of cattle slaughtered for your burger, but kill one dear and OMG! Screw the cattle, but leave bambie alone you monster!
          I like dear and I like duck, leave me alone and catch my own dinner. Most of you would starve to death if you had to hunt your own food.

  3. I LOVE THEY FACT THAT DEM is Doing their job, protecting our rights, most of the people that hate hunting in this state don’t know that the money used to buy hunting permits, ammo, guns and clothing go to purchase land that is used by all in Rhode island. 378 million can pay for a lot of land and upkeep for all Rhode Islanders to Use, With out hunters we would not have the public land we have today, and the wild life population we have today. Its because of hunters we have an abundance of wildlife for all us to view for Generations. So next time you walk in Arcadia, or Big river ask your self how did I help pay to preserve this wonderful place that your using, I know I do every year I spend over 2k on hunting in this state between permits and fuel and other expenses.