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Rhode Island Hunting Outfitters & Guides
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Rhode Island Hunting Outfitters and Guides Deer Facts

Deer are a common sight in Rhode Island, with large populations all over the state, including many of the Bay islands. Some people enjoy watching deer from their backyard,while others are frustrated with constant damage to their gardens. Still others value deer as a game species and source of food. With deer so abundant, few realize that until recently, they were quite rare in Rhode Island. Abundant at the time of European settlement, hunting pressure and extensive clearing of land for agriculture reduced the deer population so greatly that deer hunting was made illegal. A Rhode Island game survey from 1941 lists the state deer population as 662, but with diminished agriculture, land returned to the mixed woodlands that deer favor and the population rose. Across their range, white-tailed deer females weigh 90-210 lbs. and males can range between 150-310 lbs. Individuals tend to be larger the further north they occur. The coat is reddish brown to bright tan in the summer and turns grayer and dull in the winter. Fawns are reddish brown with characteristic white spots. Males have antlers with smaller vertical points branching off the main beam. Antlers are first grown after a male’s first year. In the spring, the new antlers are covered with “velvet”, a soft skin that is filled with blood vessels. The velvet nourishes and protects the growing bones. In late summer, when the antlers are mature, the velvet dries up and is rubbed off. Antlers are then shed in the winter and re-grown over the summer.  The white-tailed deer is the most important game species in the United States and Rhode Island. Deer provide food and sport for hunters, and permit sales generate funds for state wildlife management. In addition, revenue from federal excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition is distributed back to the states in the form of grants. The grants are used for land acquisition, land maintenance, and wildlife management. Hunting is a vital tool for managing deer. It has proven to be the most cost-effective, efficient, and successful method of controlling deer populations. Deer are currently overabundant in many parts of Rhode Island, and have been for many years. Wildlife managers can influence population growth by encouraging the taking of female deer. Thirty-five to forty percent of does must be taken every year just for the population to remain stable. Predators such as coyotes do not take sufficient deer as they consume a wide variety of prey. In the absence of hunting, overabundant deer die of starvation and disease. Hunting is highly regulated, has a high safetyrating, and can be tailored to meet the needs of individual communities. In densely settled areas


Rhode Island Hunting Outfitters and Guides Turkey Facts

Rhode Island began its wild turkey restoration efforts in 1980 and today birds are found statewide with a current estimated population of 3500 birds When you’ve located and called in a wild tom turkey to spitting distance, had him strut right in front of you, then sound off with a gobble that shakes your core, you’ll be hooked for good. Hunting gobblers in the spring is as heart pounding as hunting gets. Next to the excitement of turkey hunting, another great attraction is the birds’ widespread availability. Thanks to historic conservation and reintroduction efforts over more than 30 years, turkey can be found today in 49 states (only Alaska is left out), a growing number of Canadian provinces, and Mexico. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the National Wild Turkey Federation and the grassroots efforts of its members for rebuilding the numbers of this truly American bird. Turkey hunting can be done in both spring and fall seasons in many locations. Spring is the mating season during which you’ll use the tom’s bravado and territorialism against him in trying to overcome the turkeys’ incredible wariness. In the fall, a number of methods of turkey hunting are employed to locate and draw birds into range, though none can quite match the thrill of calling in brash gobblers in the spring. In fall seasons in many states, both toms and hens are legal game.
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